Crop care is vitally important to us. We are grateful to have field scouts like Emily below, who act as a second set of eyes for us in the fields. They understand Mother Nature and monitor the crops weekly for bugs - both good & bad, and any sign of disease. This helps us respond quickly if there is a potential problem.
How's it Growing?
Bountiful harvests since 1974 are nature's endorsement of the Krause family's care for the land, the soil, and crops.
We believe we grow the best agricultural crops in an environmentally sustainable way. We have worked very hard over the years to keep our soils healthy and productive.
Krause Berry farms & Estate Winery has always sought a sustainable style of agriculture. The family motto has been and is "Be good to the land and the Land will be good to you".
Our farm has thrived because Alf Krause has adopted new agricultural technologies as they become available. Years ago we adopted an integrated pest management system of farming. Our farm is a member of several grower organizations that sponsor and financially support basic disease resistance. This includes a focus on the nutritional and flavour components.
We feel that a complete elimination of all agri-chemicals is not a realistic goal in the short term. The use of safer, low residual crop protection agents, with precise timing (when the pests are present) reduces the use of pesticides. We monitor our fields weekly to stay on top of any potential pest issues. When needing to address a pest issue, we review the options:
1. Introducing biologicals (ladybugs, predator mites, etc..)
2. Organic type pesticides
3. Conventional type pesticides.
We then make an informed decision on how to proceed based
on all of the collected information. Our farm adheres to the
province of British Columbia and Canada's requirements for the
application of agricultural chemicals. We want to protect the
health and safety of our family, our staff and our guests.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
We try to use varieties that are resistant to as many diseases as possible and are always looking for ones that are more resistant to mold and rot. All of our crops are GMO Free.
Crop rotation of annyuals and perennials helps to build stronger soil. By rotating crops we aid in breaking the deisease, virus and weed build up cycle.
Chemical fertilizers are used to supplement the needs of different crops. At the base of fertile sils are organic manures, including poultry adn horse manure as well as green manures (rye and barley)
Innovative Cultural Practices
We are always seeking new methods of growing our berries and vegetables. For example, we use plastic coverings to plant strawberries. This eliminates the need to spray herbicides directly on the plants and reduces the need for fungicide sprays to control rot.
We collaborate on agricultural research projects with the University of Fraser Valley. We continually research as we attend learning seminars and conventions to keep our knowledge growing as well as our crops.
We regularly monitor both good and bad bug populations in our fields. If the numbers of beneficial bugs are insufficient to keep pests at acceptable meausures, a control measure will need to be taken. Possible options include:
1. Introducing biologicals like lady bugs, preditor mites etc...
2. Organic type pesticides
3. Conventional type pesticides
Introducing Preditor Insects
We have introduced ladybugs into our fields to control aphids and have introduced preditor mites ot counter two spotted mintes, which do severe damage to strawberries. We are also experimenting with predators to control catepillars in raspberries.
Once we have reviewed all of the information and options, we spray if necessary. Sometimes we need to assist mother nature in balancing disease and insect issues. Our goal is to control the problem with the least toxic and most specific chemical available.
Only trained applicators with certified pesticide applicator licenses do the spraying. We follow all Health and Environmental guidelines for spray residues.