Here is this week's issue of AgFax Tree Crops.
Our thanks to BASF’s California team for once again sponsoring our coverage of tree crops in the Central Valley.
Owen Taylor, Editor
Shaking has started on a wider basis.
Applications continue for spider mites and also for NOW.
Mite pressure has been particularly heavy in young trees, something we have been hearing for several weeks. Some blocks are on their third application.
LAST REPORT FOR 2017
This will be our last issue of AgFax Tree Crops for 2017.
Our thanks to:
> Our “contacts” – the PCAs, agronomists and Extension workers who provide the reports that go into each issue. Their observations, insights and knowledge are the basis of every edition we publish.
> BASF and its California team – for once again sponsoring AgFax Tree Crops. Be sure to thank your BASF rep for the company’s support over the last 3 years.
Chris Morgner, PCA, Agri-Valley Consulting, Merced
“Harvest is underway in almonds. We don’t have a lot of blocks with nuts on the ground yet, maybe 5% to 10%. We’re just getting rolling.
“We’ve had to spray spider mites a second time in some young trees, mostly first-leaf blocks but also a few at second leaf. The first-leaf blocks have been a challenge and we’ve maybe treated two-thirds of those twice.
“NOW moths are flying around. Worms are variable.
“In pistachios, we’re gearing up to spray for NOW in 7 to 10 days (from 8/11), which will be around the 2,700-degree-day mark. I’ve written the recs. It’s just a matter of working out the schedule.
“We did spray some walnuts last week for spider mites. Through the season, mites haven’t been an issue in walnuts but then they started building. These are 6- or 7-leaf trees where we’ve treated.
“Tomato harvest is underway in the processing crop. No particular problems in tomatoes.
“In cotton, lygus aren’t ferocious but immatures numbers have built. One ranch PCA said they put on a lygus spray and won’t do another treatment unless it’s for aphids or whitefly. We’ve been battling aphids in cotton all season. They’ve been present from the get-go. Where possible, we’ve gone with a treatment to cover both aphids and lygus, as necessary.
“How much we’ve had to spray lygus has varied. At Dos Palos, we’ve only treated once except for a field or two that needed a second application. All of my cotton is Acala with just a small amount of Hazera. We have treated the Hazera twice.
“We’re spraying some aphids in alfalfa but it’s not any kind of huge pressure. Worms required attention in alfalfa. We have to make an application on every cutting during part of June, through all of July and then into August.”
Franz Niederholzer, UC Farm Advisor, Sutter/Yuba Counties
“Things are happening in almonds, although not as soon or as fast as they have in recent years. Small stockpiles of almonds are beginning to appear at the hullers. Right now, it’s just a trickle before they’re really slammed as we move into the fall. Shaking increased much more this week than what we saw last week and the pace should up next week.
“We’re beginning to see some NOW eggs from that third generation. We could never get a good biofix, so it’s hard to know where we are with this. The second generation in our area was a faint blip in late June and early July. More eggs are turning up now.
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“It’s close enough to harvest with some of these blocks that decisions are probably being made about whether to spray or go ahead and shake early to get nuts on the ground. In places, growers haven’t started shaking only because the shakers haven’t gotten to them yet.
“A limited number of treatments are probably going out to protect pollinizers or where growers are holding Nonpareils a little longer.
“In walnuts, mites have been sprayed a second time in some blocks, nothing widespread. The hitch this time of the year is that growers with walnuts and almonds can get so immersed in almond harvest that they get bushwhacked by something in the walnuts.”
John Moore, PCA, Growers Crop Consulting, Bakersfield
“So far in almonds, about 70% of my Nonpareils have been shaken. The Butte-Padres are all split, so we’ll jump right into them as soon as we finish the Nonpareils. I saw some Independence last week that had been shaken.
“I’ve been cracking some nuts but have turned up almost nothing as far as NOW goes. I cracked 110 to 120 nuts today (8/11) that I collected from different ranches and came up with exactly one worm. I can’t believe how little worm activity we’re finding in almonds at this point.
“I’ve been checking for nut fill in pistachios, too. It’s been kind of strange in places -- I’ll pick a cluster that’s at 100% nut fill but then the next one is only at 50%. Overall, I think pistachios look considerably better than last year’s crop. Last year at this point I was finding a ton of blanks. This year, the percentages are quite low.
“What I am finding are a lot of pistachios at 70% to 100% green nut fill. I am seeing some pea splits. Overall, though, I think this is going to be a good crop.”
Brian Gogue, PCA, Helena Chemical Co., Hanford
“We’re really just getting started this week with shaking in the almonds. They began last Friday or Saturday in a somewhat stressed field. Then on Monday through Wednesday, a lot of shaking started up in better blocks.
“The rest of my Nonpareils are 7 to 10 days out. I have an Independence block that’s really holding green and is probably 2 weeks out.
“I’ve seen a little increase in orangeworm pressure, overall, and NOW treatments will be going out in places between shakes. Also, I’m still treating some mites.
“In pistachios, we’re spraying NOW. We’re getting toward the tail end of the 2,700-degree-day spray. I started spraying a week ago in some of my earlier areas and the last spray will go out at the very first of next week. My Golden Hills blocks are really splitting and slipping a lot this week. In some of those very earliest blocks, we might start harvest in 2 weeks (from 8/10), maybe 3.
“In cotton, we’re still treating aphids and lygus. I saw my first whitefly this week on a couple of edges.
“Tomatoes are moving along really well. Harvest was kind of slow a couple of weeks ago. They weren’t getting many loads out per day, but that has increased a good deal this past week. Yields look pretty good.
“Pest pressure in tomatoes is down quite a bit. I haven’t treated worms in a few weeks. The last time I did treat, they weren’t bad and we mainly were cleaning up in places prior to harvest. Worms also slowed down in alfalfa. I’m still treating a few fields here and there, but it’s nothing like what we were dealing with in July.”
Aaron Beene, PCA, Simplot, Merced
“Some growers have already started shaking almonds and others will begin next week. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been applying last-minute ant bait and making some insect sprays.
“It’s been pretty hot here, with a greater-than-average number of days at 100 or above. That has pushed things. Mites started blowing up on young trees and most of those have been treated twice and a few are on their third miticide. I’m even going in and knocking down mites on some bearing trees ahead of shaking.
“A NOW flight has been going on and a few guys made a hull split spray last week on some pollinators.
“In walnuts, we’re cleaning up weeds and keeping an eye out for walnut husk fly. We’ve sprayed for codling moths a few times, but those numbers haven’t jumped up in the last 2 to 3 weeks. In pistachios, we sprayed on the 2,200-degree-day flight and we’re doing the last application of nitrogen potassium for nut fill.”
David A. Doll, Pomology Farm Advisor, Merced County
“Nuts are starting to hit the ground. Shaking is becoming more generalized in the county. Shakers are running in almonds pretty consistently in the southern part of the county, on the west side and in northern Merced County.
“A lot of NOW egg laying has been going on, based on reports, so moths are still pretty active. That’s not surprising with this year’s hot weather, which would have pushed insect pressure.
“Mites are pretty bad, and this is a similar situation to what we contended with last year. They held really well through June and into July but then blew up in August. Start assessing mites and take note of things you might do differently next year. Look at the timing of miticides, which materials you used and when you might have applied pyrethroids. It’s been hard to time mite applications lately due to reentry and harvest intervals.
“Due to the prolonged bloom, I do expect a really long harvest period in almonds.
“We’re seeing some early splits in pistachios, which is kind of odd. When you study the kernel in these nuts, though, it looks pretty big, so it might have had enough degree days to pop a little early. That provides a food source for NOW, which pushes NOW development 30% faster.”
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