Approach Your Next Growing Season with Fresh Eyes

Approach Your Next Growing Season with Fresh Eyes

It’s no secret 2018 was a tough one. Whether it was fire blight, summer diseases, relentless pests, or a roller coaster ride from Mother Nature, you sure had your hands full. And, I suspect at this time of year you’re wondering why the 2018 growing season unfolded the way it did.


New Year’s finds me in the same frame of mind. I find myself thinking about how the past year went and how many opportunities for growth and change I passed up or mishandled. Or, just shock at how quickly another year has started.

I’m sure you can relate. Dave Eddy and I spent many hours poring over the responses to our State of the Industry survey. Many growers said production levels were down and that was attributed to fungus and rots, high insect pressure, droughts, rain, fire, hail, poor pollination, birds, or even labor.

I’ve also heard the same sentiment from you as I’ve spoken to you at winter meetings. Suffice it to say, I’m guessing you were delighted to close the books on the 2018 season. And one social media post seemed to sum up the sentiment well.

“The last of the harvests are in, and we can move on from a truly awful 2018 growing season,” Grower Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit in Aspers, PA, wrote on an Instagram post. “We’re humbled, tired, and a little bitter. We learned a lot. And now it’s over. We’re also thankful for anything the rains didn’t destroy.”

It’s easy to wallow in the disappointments and frustrations that come with growing. To get caught up in everything that you didn’t do. To analyze the minutia of the past growing season. But there’s not much you can do to change the past.

Now, it’s January, and with this month comes a fresh start, of sorts. There are a few things you’ll likely need to be mindful of, especially if you had pest or disease pressure or fire blight in 2018. But you get the opportunity to try it all again, and with knowledge gleaned from the past years

One thing I admire is how resilient you are, even after a difficult 2018. The next growing season is around the corner and with it another chance. You might have had a tough year, but you’re ready to tackle the next one.

Here’s your opportunity to try something new. Here’s your chance to make the coming year season the best ever.

Here’s to a great 2019 growing season. Now, go out there and get ‘em!