California Growers Encouraged to Overwinter Puffers after 2021 Harvest

Suterra Aug 19, 2021 3:33:15 PM

In previous years, Suterra’s Clean Orchard Promise™ program required the return of used Puffers® at the end of the growing season. With the launch of the new Puffer in California this season, Suterra is encouraging a different approach for growers. California growers should keep up their Puffers in their orchards throughout the winter, and instead remove them when hanging new Puffers the following spring. This simple change to how growers manage their Puffers can be financially beneficial in a number of ways.

Protecting Your Orchards

In previous years, Suterra’s Clean Orchard Promise™ program required the return of used Puffers® at the end of the growing season. With the launch of the new Puffer in California this season, Suterra is encouraging a different approach for growers. California growers should keep up their Puffers in their orchards throughout the winter, and instead remove them when hanging new Puffers the following spring. This simple change to how growers manage their Puffers can be financially beneficial in a number of ways.

 

Leaving Puffers up over winter allows extra protection from pests during the final flight of the season. The past few years in California have been particularly warm, and this trend is likely to continue. Pest life cycles are highly dependent upon temperature, and as growers are aware, warmer temperatures can mean more frequent and larger flights extending further into the post-harvest period. By leaving mating disruption up beyond harvest and throughout winter, growers can get an extra edge of protection against the final flights of the year.

 

Allowing Puffers to overwinter can also be financially beneficial to growers in a much more direct way. Rather than employing crews at two different times to take down Puffers in the fall and hang new ones in the spring, both activities can be accomplished in the spring in one pass through the orchard. Throughout 2021, employers of all types have felt the effects of labor shortages, and the agricultural field has been no exception. Replacing Puffers in one operation in the spring can save growers time and money. Workers can also reuse the hooks in place from the previous season to hang the next season’s Puffers, further cutting down on costs, packaging and materials.

 

Growers who choose not to overwinter can still use the Clean Orchard Promise™ program at their convenience. There are no longer deadlines for returning a used Puffer®. Suterra will safely recycle all Puffer units at our own expense because it removes an additional task for growers and ensures outstanding stewardship of the environment. Growers who are using a competing brand of aerosol mating disruption can contact Suterra for free recycling.

 

The new Puffer is the hardiest device of its kind on the market. Leaving the devices up throughout the winter is a safe, easy way to cut down on labor and costs and offer added protection to your crops at the end of the season. If you have questions about overwintering, the Puffer or mating disruption, contact your local service representative or send us a message online through our Customer Care portal.