See a Bounty of Crops on Farm Visits and from the Bus Window
Agriculture is everywhere on our three-day water tour of the San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket, is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States. During our three-day Central Valley water tour, you will meet farmers who will explain how they prepare the fields, irrigate their crops and harvest the produce that helps feed the world. We will also drive through hundreds of miles of farmland and visit the sources of the water – rivers, dams and wells.
Farmers will also talk about how the prolonged drought coupled with the now abundant rains are impacting their operations, and discuss groundwater use. They will also discuss strategies and technologies to reduce water use, increase water efficiency and prevent water loss.
On the west side of the valley, we will see many row crops in March. Lettuce will be abundant as this area produces more than 95 percent of the nation’s head lettuce. Iceberg is the most common varietal, but red leaf, green leaf, romaine and butter lettuce will also sit atop the fields. Tomato seedlings are being transplanted, garlic shoots are emerging and spring wheat is developing. Broccoli and asparagus harvests are right around the corner.
The east side of the valley is characterized more by orchards. Fruit tree bloom is underway, approaching the time of year when they “leaf-out” and bare branches begin to fill. Blossoming fruit will include peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, pluots, cherries and avocados. During the tour we will visit a sprawling grove of navel oranges, Valencia oranges, tangerines and mandarins.
Throughout the valley, table grapes, wine grapes and raisin grapes are beginning to awaken from winter, many of which are now on drip irrigation systems. Over the years many valley farmers have shifted from row crops to permanent crops, including nut trees such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans. We will learn about the water needs and irrigation practices for these important tree crops.
Register here for this educational – and fun – tour. For an additional fee, you can receive continuing education credits for the tour.