Fall at the Operations Center
At Fruit Growers Supply (FGS) operations center, fall is the busiest time of year. A retail store for farmers, primarily citrus growers, the Orange Cove operations center is preparing for another busy season. Jerry Cedillo is the Warehouse Supervisor at the Orange Cove location, with 18 years of experience with Fruit Growers Supply. He started as a sales associate before moving into the buyer role for about 12 years. He’s been the Supervisor for five years now, knows what customers need from season to season, and has some wisdom to share with growers as we head into autumn.
Winter is Already Around the Corner
Professional growers need to think seasonally and make decisions today, based upon impacts that won’t be seen until a season or two later. A grower’s continued success depends on strategic thinking and setting up one’s operations for future success as early as possible. Jerry Cedillo’s goal is to help growers accomplish just that. “Our employees need to know what we’re selling and have it available for the customer,” he says. “This time of year, having products stocked and available is critical. We’re prepared for our growers’ supply needs.”
Around the Autumn Equinox, growers start making purchases that will prepare them for Winter and the frosts that come with it. “They’re going to look for items that will offer protection against frost for their trees, especially their younger trees,” says Cedillo. “To that end, we sell tree wraps, tree covers, and items for wind machines.”
Cooler temperatures mean it’s time to prune, as well. Most fruit growers prune their fruit trees for the best production. Citrus trees are unique in that the wood is strong and can successfully support large fruit loads, and they can produce fruit in partially-shaded parts of the tree. Young citrus trees, in particular, need proper care, including smart pruning, like removing sprouts and weak limbs. For mature trees, growers need to remove shoots, deadwood, or limbs that cross other limbs. If your crops are deciduous, you’ll need to prune to reduce the weight load on individual branches and refresh the tree. If you have both, follow best pruning practices for your crops. FGS supply centers carry chainsaws and loppers for all your pruning needs.
Your best protection is not something you can buy
“The biggest issue growers will come across is frost,” says Cedillo. “If we have too long of a freeze, it can damage the fruit severely.” FGS sells monitors that will inform growers when frost is coming, but if you haven’t wrapped your trees in time, alarms won’t help you much. Cedillo encounters poor planning every year. “A lot of times, we’ll have a couple of truckloads of a product in advance of cooler weather,” Cedillo explains. “But the product won’t move until that first cold night, and suddenly everyone is in here trying to get it. At that point, it can be too late for a farmer. It’s the ones who plan and get what they need in advance who have the greatest success when Winter arrives.”
Cedillo emphasizes that planning ahead pays off in more ways than one. “Buy before you need the product, and you can often buy in bulk to save money,” he advises. If a grower goes through a supply center to acquire products with a direct order, FGS can save the customer some money that way as well. Planning for your winter needs can save your crop and save you money.
Stop by one of our supply centers today
At Fruit Growers Supply, we’re here to ensure your operations are set up for your success. We’ve been in business for over a century and place the highest priority on customer service. “We have exceptional product knowledge,” says Cedillo. “We’re always talking to growers and finding out just a little bit more about why they use what they’re using and when. We’re as knowledgeable as possible on the items that we sell.” From irrigation parts to harvest tools, we have the supplies you need combined with the expertise to help set you up for operation-wide success. If you want the job done right, let us be your first call.
Have any questions? We’re happy to help – stop in one of our supply stores today, or fill out our contact form by clicking below.