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Last month I talked about hedging and the collateral damage caused by that operation. This month I’ll elaborate.

hedger cutting

I’ve shown you pictures of the massive amount of pruned limbs that litter the orchard floor during the hedging operation. All that biomass has to be removed and so it has. But in the process components of our irrigation system sometimes are broken.

broken AV

The vast amount of our irrigation lines are underground. It’s a sub-surface drip system so it’s out of harm’s way. However, in order to equalize the system pressure and reduce the chance of creating suction in the buried components we install a lot of air vents and occasionally they are broken off during the brush-removal operation.

Repairs are simple but they do take time; time we often can’t afford. Some air vents are more vulnerable than others because of their location and for those we have installed simple guards made out of two-inch steel pipe.

AV guard

AV guard single

In addition to air vents are junction points where multiple main-lines converge to various valve manifolds. The intricate routing of those large PVC lines makes them much more difficult to repair than air vents so we have constructed protectors made from larger four-inch steel pipes.

AV b-1

Our crew is careful but sometimes accidents happen. With so much to do in so little time, we don’t want to create extra work for ourselves.

Next month is bud break. Isn’t April a little late for trees to be leafing out? Let’s talk about that next time.