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Author Topic: Big Problem?  (Read 2323 times)

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Offline maple flats

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Big Problem?
« on: August 09, 2009, 07:47:00 PM »
I have a u-pick blueberry operation (4 1/2 acres). Everything is picked and paid on the honor system. It is my belief that people who are willing to take the time to pick their own are honest enough to pay. That does not seem to be the problem.
My problem comes from having to shut down for spraying. The fields are not near my house and are on a dead end road. When I spray I put up a chain across the road that goes from very thick brush on one side to a bank on the other that no one has ever tried to navigate because of the vegetation and the steepness of the bank. At mid point across the road is a 55 gal barrel and hanging on the chain next to this barrel is a bright yellow sign, 14x21" in plastic with the words "Danger, Pesticides (then a stop symbal with a hand held up and a circle around it with the universal "do not" slash across it) This is in both English and Spanish. Below that it says " This property has been sprayed with malathion on (the day of the week)  Do not enter. We will re-open on ( specified day and time) For example, Was Sprayed on Saturday, will re-open on Monday at 8AM. Today I had to enter the field to remove 2 people at different times from the field. They each said they did not see the sign. They however had to either go under or over the chain across the field. There was no evidence of going around, besides, no one except a rabbit or snake could realistically go around.
How can people be so stupid?!!? My problem is finding out how far i need to go to keep people out at such times. To fence it in would cost well over $50,000 because of the layout of it and the fact that once on the road there are over a thousand feet of way easy entry and over 4000' of harder entry. This 4.5 acres is in a 18 acre block of parcels comprising the farm.
For now I have had printed a series of signs to clip to the chain saying " STOP ", "DANGER! Do Not Enter! These fields have been sprayed with MALATHION! See bigger sign for re-opening date and time" and " ANYONE passing this chain is TRESPASSING,  TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED
What else can I do?
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Toolman

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 08:17:45 PM »
Claymore mines????............. :D :D. No matter what you do, some people will always violate your wishes. I would assume this stuff is harmful to humans. I hope you are'nt opening yourself up for a lawsuit. Here in Pa. posted property is'nt enforceable by law unless the entire perimeter is posted every 40ft. with signs. That makes it enforcible for police to issue citations, however,it does'nt clear you from civil liability. The trial lawyers have made it tough on your situation. If I were you, I'd contact your local Police and at least make them aware of your problem. If it's just a few people doing this, I'm sure after a few have been issued citations, your problem could be resolved. If it were me, I'd be patrolling that area as much as possible during those times to keep people out. Then I would prosecute those caught. I have no sympathy for those who can't or won't comprehend a simple warning. It's your backside you need to protect. I'd hate to see a few "dummies" screw up your operation.    Good Luck
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Offline Warbird

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 08:23:17 PM »
What else can I do?

Talk to a lawyer who is familiar with both your local laws, as well as Federal law.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 08:42:24 PM »
The liability issue is one thing that concerns me. I have good liability insurance but in a major lawsuit no insurance is good enough. Besides, I worry about kids who are taken in by their parents who could come back with a lawsuit after they reach legal age. Trying to protect myself and everyone who picks my berries.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline StorminN

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 09:25:29 PM »
Grow organic blueberries. There's a very successful farm near me that does just that...

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Offline moonhill

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2009, 09:34:58 PM »
I was going to just bring up not spraying.  Implement a ICM ( integrated crop management) program at least and only spray when or where it is needed, reducing the need and the issue of trespassing.  Would these people have not compensated you for the berries as well, they had snuck in?  We are about to start our blueberry harvest, we discourage self pick. 

Tim
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2009, 09:39:18 PM »
I grew then for over 20 years with no spraying but then got what is called blueberry maggot. That is when a certain fly lays 1 egg in each berry. People just don't appreciate it when a basket of berries left on their counter overnight is crawling with little worms the next morning. My first attempt at fighting them was about $2000 worth of special bait and sticky traps.(The spray  costs under $200/yr not counting labor.) The traps were less than adaquate. One year it even got so bad i never opened and lost the value of about 35,000 lbs. of berries, (berries now sell for $1.50/lb or as i price it $2.25/qt. The next year I started spraying and can't quit for a few years more after all the population has been eliminated. Since beginning the spray I have had zero worms in the berries. and my sales have gone up about 10 fold.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 09:51:22 PM »
Sometimes  IPM is a good way to operate .  Some nasty spray that has a half life of a few days is better than some nasty worms that have a half life of a few months and a way to bring a recall to the customers for years.
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Offline moonhill

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 10:07:03 PM »
I prefer not to talk about "he who must not be named".  I do understand your fly issue.  I have also seen fields that were sprayed and they still have had issues, wrong application time I suppose.  I spray 0 pesticides, and have no problems, no one has ever complained.  We live on the fields as well and would not want to be shut out for certain times.  I misspoke, we do have self pickers, I saw one this morning, he was on all fours, jet black with a golden nose, it didn't hang around long.

All our berries go through our fresh pack line, in the line there is a tilt table, this removes the clusters and odd things which don't roll including soft berries compromised by the worm.  Our finished product is very high quality.  There is also a blower, two graders/sizers, and a pick over belt with at least 4 people.  

I am assuming your berries are cultivated hybrids?

Tim
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Offline Bruce Hopf

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 10:08:52 AM »
There is a thing in Today's World, that says one thing. Cover Your butt. You have posted signs, stating the Danger of the spray. What else can you do? You have already done it, by posting the signs, warning of the Danger.
Since you have done that, you have Covered Your butt, and you have taken the Liability off of yourself, of what happens to other people, that are Stupid, and Ignorant enough, to ignore the signs, that you have posted in the first place. Just my two cents worth. Bruce.
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2009, 08:16:33 PM »
Bruce Hopf, That is how it should be but the courts often side with the poor stupid so and so who crawled under the chain, past the sign and picked when we were closed.
Moonhill, Yes, our blueberries are cultivated and were planted by me and my wife over a period back in the mid 80's.  They are in rows 10' apart and spaced 4' within each row. This gives about 1 acre per 1000 bushes, or 4500 bushes planted. Our berries are all sold on a upick basis.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 08:26:16 PM »
How about a sign that reads "Unauthorized picking results in lifetime ban from patch." 

Of course, you need to catch them in the act.  A game camera near the chain and signs would be a good way to get their mugshot.  That might keep the "honest" ones from crossing over. ::)
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Offline olyman

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2009, 09:13:55 PM »
malathion is BAD news to humans. :(

Offline Onthesauk

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2009, 09:29:05 PM »
Years ago, when California was spraying for some fruit fly, I saw a news clip where the head of the spray program drank a water glass full of the malathion mix they were using at the time.  Probably not the best stuff for you but maybe the least harmful of any of the sprays out there.
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Offline farmerdoug

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2009, 09:50:25 PM »
malathion is BAD news to humans. :(

I think you are thinking of Marathon.
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Offline Toolman

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2009, 10:09:07 PM »
Metalspinner has a good idea about that game camera. Put one about 50ft in front of chain also. Good way to get a reg. tag number on vehicle. Besides, would'nt you like to find out what size buck you got running around?  8)They work well at night, infra red  replaces the flash bulbs.
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Offline Coon

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2009, 11:46:53 AM »
If you do get a game cam make sure it is an infared one.  The regular digital game cams give off a flash, that can be seen by the human eye, when it takes the pictures.  The cam would end up missing and your losses would be even greater.  I have just recently purchased one of these infared game cams due to thefts and vandalism of private property that is valued in the thousands of dollars.  We have to swallow the losses with no insurance because we are not residing on the properties that the losses occurred on. 

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Offline maple flats

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2009, 07:41:42 PM »
Onthesulk is correct. The then head of the California Dept of Agriculture did drink a glass of the chemical mixture to show how harmless it is. I found that hard to swallow (the story that is) He must have been a real piece of work. Malathion is NOT good for humans during the first 12-24 hrs after mixing. I can't see any reason why he would have gotten the idea to drink some. His widow must be lonesome, that trick might not have killed him then but I would wonder if he died of cancer or some blood disorder some time after. When used properly and when all label directions are followed it is a good chemical to use and is safe.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline asy

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Re: Big Problem?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2009, 08:24:15 PM »
Maple,

Some people are just really, really STUPID...

All you can do is HOPE that whatever chemical you use causes sterility, so they don't breed more STUPID people... :-X  ;)

Seriously, though, I hope you find out that posting a DO NOT ENTER sign is enough to remove your liability, I'm pretty sure it would be here, but then we aren't *quite* as litigious as you guys...  yet    :-\

I'm going to wander off to see if you have any photos of your blueberries in your gallery, if you don't, could you post some? I LOVE Blueberries, even just photos of them...

asy :D
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