Craig Calandra - SGS

Table grape grower Craig Calandra isn’t looking so much to separate himself from the pack as for all grape growers to join him at the top.

“I’d like to see all of us growers have good grapes,” Calandra said. “That way you don’t have multiple levels of pricing and the public will go through grapes a lot quicker.”

“One way for growers to achieve that pinnacle is to use On Target Spray Systems”, he said.

“On Target (Spray Systems) gives us better grapes,” he said.

Calandra started spraying his table grapes with electrostatic sprayers in 1998. A decade later he began using On Target electrostatic sprayers, and he hasn’t turned back. Today he uses strictly On Target Spray Systems on all of his table grape acreage.

“We don’t use the other machines,” he said. “They just didn’t get it done. There were a lot of misses, a lot of gaps.  “The On Target sprayers have a smaller micron size and better technology that enables us to get into the vine quicker and gives us better coverage and better uniformity,” he said.

Calandra said he uses far less water with On Target sprayers than with traditional airblast sprayers, but that’s not why he switched to the electrostatic technology.  “I didn’t buy it for saving on application timing,” he said. “We’re getting better first pick because we’re getting more color and more Number Ones, and we’re getting less passes through the field, so we’re able to lower our picking costs.”

Calandra also likes the fact that with On Target sprayers, he can treat for plant diseases up to one day before harvest and not worry about dust on grapes or chemical residue deterring buyers.

“Being able to put on the Serenade and the biologicals in late season and go in the next day is huge,” he said.

Asked if he would recommend On Target Spray Systems to other grape growers, Calandra said: “Oh yes. Definitely. The better grape you have, the easier it is to move, and that will help all of us.”