In the San Joaquin Valley, summer approaches with the promise of fat, juicy peaches. While out around Plover, Wisconsin, green bean fields stretch to the horizon. And in Blue Earth County—that’s in Minnesota—the corn is growing up so sweet, we never have to add sugar.
“Growing crops for Del Monte is really a partnership. It’s a longtime effort.” —Steve Balling, Director, Agricultural and Analytical Services
Del Monte® fruits and vegetables are raised on farms that altogether span thousands of acres of land. And although we don’t own any of these farms, we support and partner with our growers in several important ways.
“We require that any new variety be tested for at least three years in our research plots.” — Steve Balling
We provide growers with seeds for all sorts of vegetables, including peas, corn, spinach, carrots, beets and Blue Lake, Italian green and wax beans. Vegetables we developed naturally to be tastier, more nutritious, disease resistant, higher yielding and easier to harvest.
“Higher yields are an efficient use of our very limited natural resources.” — Steve Balling
Did you know that too much fertilizer could be worse than not enough? It reduces crop yields and washes off into our streams, rivers and lakes. We’ve found that many crops need much less fertilizer to flourish than expected. And we work with our growers to identify just the right amount.
“It’s extremely valuable to us to better understand what our overall ecological footprint is.” — Steve Balling
Without pesticides, fruits and vegetables would be hard to get and enormously expensive. But we help our growers use the least amount possible by applying the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a commonsense approach to pest control. We provide them with pest-resistant varieties whenever possible. And we ask them to rotate their crops, which controls soil insects.
Facts & Figures
Some farmers have been growing Del Monte® fruits and vegetables for 40 years—and many farms have been with us for four, even five generations.
Our new Blue Lake green bean varieties, along with innovative growing practices, have increased yields by nearly 200%, which is super planet friendly because we’re conserving land, water and energy.
Del Monte® pea and green bean growers have reduced their fertilizer use by more than 25%.
Our new seed treatment provides 30 days of pest protection for sprouting green beans, eliminating the use of 3,700 gallons of insecticide every year.
Our spinach operations in Texas are able to use 42% less land, 82% less pesticide and 18% less fertilizer just by converting to a high-density configuration—a fancy term for spacing the plants closer together.
Out around Plover, Wisconsin where we have a research farm, people watch out for their neighbors. So when a resident was in trouble, everybody got together to help.
You see, the Karner blue butterfly eats lupine, a once abundant wildflower in the area that was disappearing faster than a bowl of Del Monte® Blue Lake green beans on a Sunday dinner table.
The little blue guy we used to see flitting through glades and along roadsides was in danger of becoming extinct.
So we partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture to grow lupine, distributing the seeds to volunteers for planting.
Guess when you’re Del Monte, you’re always feeding somebody—from five generations of families to the Karner butterfly.
Read more about the Karner blue butterfly and habitat restoration
efforts at ua.dnr.wi.gov.
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