August 2022 - 1

High-Tech Tools
University of Idaho
researchers help
develop solar-powered
weeding robot
SC farming family
legacy passes century
ultimate farm market
Great Lakes EXPO:
Delivering the
August 2022 | Volume 56 |
Issue 8
From left: Rusty, Brett and James McLain of McLain Farms in a field of Vidalia onions in 2016. The brothers and their father James, who died in 2018, began growing Vidalia onions in
1986. Photo: Shuman Farms
By Doug Ohlemeier
Assistant Editor
Family, dedication fuel Georgia onion grower's success
" This year, the supply chain crisis
Exponentially rising costs, however,
Hard work and a do-it-yourself
attitude helped make McLain Farms
Inc. a successful grower of Vidalia
sweet onions.
press the business, which has grown
onions since the mid-1980s.
Brothers Brett and Rusty McLain and
their spouses run the Lyons, Georgia,
farming operation of 400 acres of
conventional and organic Vidalias.
has thrown a huge curveball in the
price of everything, " Brett McLain said.
A forklift has remained on order
since July 2021 and isn't expected to
arrive until October. Standard parts
for electric motors, breakers and
gearboxes used to arrive the next day.
It now may be a month to two months.
Brett McLain said that farming
takes dedication and sacrifice.
" We dedicated our lives to this farm, "
See MCLAIN, page 5
West Coast growers battle water shortages
By Doug Ohlemeier
Assistant Editor
Growers on the West Coast are facing
their toughest water challenges in
recent history. Declining water tables,
lack of spring rains, historically low
snowpacks, and reservoirs and stream
flows at historic low levels are keeping
water a scarce commodity.
Farm ponds are drying up as extreme
summer heat produces water deficits.
Growers are trying to water crops as
water use restrictions increase.
Though the fall brought record rainfall
in limited portions of California, it was
followed by the worst three months in
the state's history: January to March saw
the smallest amounts of rain.
" The whole state is dry, " said Don
Cameron, vice president and general
manager of Terranova Ranch Inc.
" Everyone's affected this year. "
The Helm, California, operation
grows 6,000 acres of conventional and
organic crops including processing
tomatoes, peppers, onions, nuts and
grain in the Central Valley. Access
to water is being severely reduced in
some areas.
" Couple that with no surface water,
and it's extremely bleak throughout
the state, " he said. " There's just no
water in the state. It's difficult to plan
and to make long-term investments.
It's hard to know where we will be
See WATER, page 6
A water sprinkler system irrigates a field
in the southern region of the San Joaquin
Valley in Kern County, California. West
Coast growers are battling the toughest
water challenges in recent history. Photo:
California Department of Water Resources

August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2022

August 2022 - 1
August 2022 - 2
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August 2022 - 4
August 2022 - 5
August 2022 - 6
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