Specialty crop growers are high-stakes gamblers. Despite meticulous planning and vast experience, any grower can succumb to factors out of their control. Every season, you put everything on the line, taking a chance on a crop to make a profit — or lose it all. Like any gambler, you aim to stack the deck to ensure you’re not leaving success up to chance.
Shan Brooks, Atticus director, Florida & specialty markets/products, is no stranger to the risks you take season after season.
“Growers of specialty crops are putting a lot on the line to raise a profitable crop that may or may not get harvested,” he says. “It’s high stakes, but with the proper planning, rolling the dice on a growing season doesn’t have to be quite so risky.”
Flexibility and variety to increase odds
One of the best strategies to ensure that gamble pays off is investing in a strategic, custom crop protection plan. Finding a committed partner like Atticus to help you and your retailer evaluate geographical challenges, crop-specific needs and the land’s history to customize a specific combination of crop protection products is a good bet to drive success.
“Cost is a major factor. Coming out of the ups and downs of the last several growing seasons, everyone is under extreme stress. Anything we can do to help evaluate with costs top-of-mind, we do,” Brooks says.
The depth and breadth of the Atticus product portfolio allows for great flexibility to ensure a crop protection plan is both effective and affordable. In the Western region, products such as Alterity™ 62.5 WG and Vango™ WG fungicides battle powdery mildew while Zara™ WSB and Inspirato™ 2 F fight off damaging insects.
“It’s our ultimate goal to work hand-in-hand with retailers, crop protection advisers and growers to review all relevant history and information to put together a tailored program that will help them achieve their desired results,” says Brooks.
Building trust and making a game plan
Though post-emergent applications can be successful, avoiding the appearance of weeds from start to finish is the ultimate goal. Brooks advises pushing for a proactive strategy that will keep fields, orchards and vineyards clean from the get-go.
“Following harvest, cleaning up the fields is a priority to set you up for success in the next season,” Brooks says. “Ongoing management and follow-up treatments to cover any gaps in a program can pay dividends.”
Work with your retailer to put together a plan to start clean and stay clean. Ensure it addresses resistance issues, adequate modes of action and strong, season-long defense against unwanted weeds.
Don’t forget to factor in insecticides
When embarking on the planning process, growers often overlook preparing for insecticide treatment. Brooks says “I don’t think growers spend enough time thinking through a strategy to tackle insects. It’s something you can usually predict based on past experience with insects and when they’ve typically caused issues with your crops in the past.”
Spending time in the off-season to think through application timing and options is time well-spent. He recommends working with your retailer to outline a foundational plan for if/when an expected insurgence of insects occurs. It can be far more costly to eliminate an insect infestation after an issue is observed than proactively treating.
Stack your deck with a reliable partner
Partnering with Atticus is a good bet not only because of its broad portfolio of crop protection products, but its team of experienced professionals have an unwavering commitment to operational excellence.
Brooks also touts its cost-efficient pricing. “We are coming in priced to value. We’re evaluating every one of our active ingredients before they launch and we’re choosing to price them in a way that offers value for our customers,” concludes Brooks.
Reach out to an Atticus representative today to discover how a custom crop protection plan can benefit your operation.