Budgets + Planning
We prepare fertility budgets based on the needs of the orchard using ag water suitability analysis sampling, tissue sampling, and soil sampling.
- We work closely with agronomists, PCA’s and academics in the industry to capture and execute on the best available information.
- We monitor, document and measure progress in the field against goals established during planning for the growing season. Planning occurs during Fall/Winter.
- We monitor the fertility budget-to-actual throughout the year.
- Continuous Monitoring: Changes are often made to the materials and quantities included in the approved budget.
- Data-driven Decisions: Changes are made using goal-oriented decision making based on field observations and sampling results.
Full Transparency: In such cases where there is a material increase in costs, we reach out to our clients for prior approval.
- We will approve and code invoices for clients who do their own bookkeeping.
- We offer bookkeeping and prepare tax paperwork for clients seeking a turnkey solution for managing their orchard.
- We have a longstanding relationship and outsource tax return preparation and planning to Conner Hering with Dunn, Jeffries, Hering & Wong LLP.
- We will manage bank relationships for long-term financing and working capital needs We can assist with reclamation forms that must be filed by March 1 each year.
- We will complete paperwork for grant and market assistant programs offered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
At West Hills, we work with irrigators who are trained experts on the irrigation systems they work most closely on (i.e. emitter spacing, emitter rate, pressure requirements in the field and at the filter station).
- We manage your irrigation scheduling using infield boots-on-the-ground approach along with soil moisture technology.
We execute the irrigation schedule using a team of skilled irrigators.
Our team of irrigators has years of experience opening and closing valves in the field.
We have an irrigation maintenance program which includes flushing hoses and treating the hose with hydronium acid 1-2 times per year.
Frequency will be based on the quality of water being used throughout the year.
Our irrigation maintenance program also includes servicing the well motors, booster motors and pumps along with oilers at the well.
Our hands-on approach allows us to use the important observations needed to execute equipment services.
- We provide timely application of pesticides, timely harvest and tailored pruning techniques.
- We offer cost savings for materials and equipment services by recognizing the needs of the orchard at any given point in time.
- Our hands-on orchard management approach creates an opportunity for an increased ROI.
The science of producing and using plants for food, fuel, feed, fiber, and reclamation requires specialized knowledge. West Hills can provide that skill in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science.
The right fertilizer, timing, and application can boost or cripple crop yield. Our agronomists are experts and have decades of experience determining the right combination for individual land types and plant stages.
The harvesting of tree crops generally requires a lot of special working procedures and equipment. Our full line of machinery provides everything necessary to harvest your crop and transport it to the necessary processing plant.
Training & Pruning
As pruning is essential for healthy crops, it is a job best left to those who are masters in the craft. The first three years of a tree’s life are critical and not all pruning/training is the same. Gregorio Jacobo and his team have decades of experience of applying proven methodologies.
Hedging & Shredding
Because of our advanced machinery (HD1100N dual boom, tandem rear axle, self-propelled narrow hedger/topper – ours is one of the very few sold in California), we can quickly and efficiently prune your tree crops for seasonal maintenance, and for other common reasons like removing diseased or storm-damaged branches. Shredding is a cost-effective way to eliminate unwanted or noxious trees and brush. Our equipment and technique allow for selective removal of specific trees and brush, while leaving the surrounding foliage unharmed.
Staking provides a young tree with the support it needs until the trunk is strong enough to hold its canopy upright. Careful attention must be paid to the way a tree is staked – if improperly done, staking can weaken a tree and cause serious damage and deformity.
Pest control methods date back to the first attempts at farming. In order to maximize yield, it is necessary to protect crops from competing rodents.
The success of a crop begins at the time of planting. There are a myriad of details to tend to before, after, and during the actual planting process.
Proper weed control is essential to a healthy crop. Weeds compete with your crops for resources and are sometimes responsible for hosting destructive pests and insects. Unwanted plants can cause serious damage to the crop and can result in critical loss of yield if not properly handled. Selective herbicides and fungicides kill specific targets while leaving the crop relatively unharmed, but as techniques for weed control vary, not all implementations involve a heavy herbicide program.
We have extensive experience working with federal and state water districts and know the ins and outs of developing optimal long-term water strategies. We have the necessary relationships for drilling and repairing water wells, maintaining detailed historical data, and monitoring each well's individual performance on a daily basis.
Before planting an orchard, we carefully analyze its soils to determine the best approach for a particular plot of land. Our agronomists utilize their soil science knowledge to formulate the best soil amendment program before planting your valuable investment. Our fleet includes the necessary types of equipment to complement the soil amendment applications resulting in optimal planting conditions.