“We’re still putting on fertilizer and keeping the nitrogen going. Some herbicide applications are being made, too.
“In walnuts, the first codling moth flight is coming on, the 1A timing. The only people who’d spray would be those who sustained a lot of insect damage last year. A few people will treat the 1B flight to kind of reduce moth populations, and the degree-day model projects that timing around May 23.
“The weather has warmed up and the forecast for the net 10 days indicates we’re on the way to summer. With these higher temperatures, not too many people will be considering a walnut blight spray now.”
Tony Touma, PCA, Bio Ag Consulting, Bakersfield:
“In almonds, we’re starting on our second alternaria spray where we have a history of it. Also, we’re finding a little bit of rust here and there, nothing significant. Mites continue to be very light, with no indication of issues.
“Probably the main thing in almonds right now is stink bugs. They built into high numbers a couple of years ago. Stink bugs aren’t that heavy right now but they’re spread all around. We’re detecting some damage that seems due to stink bugs, not leaffooted bugs.
“Some leaffooted bugs are around edges but nothing significant. Right now (5/3) we’re doing just limited treatments for stink bugs and leaffooted bugs.
“Over the last 10 days, the so-called June drop started. The trees are adjusting their crop load, and we were expecting it, especially in the Montereys. The crop is heavy on those trees and the adjustment has been more noticeable on them, too.
“Overall, the crop still looks very promising. The temperature right now is 86. Trees look happy, not stressed. The forecast says we’re in for a cooling trend in the next few days, down in the low 70s.
“My feeling is that NOW moth trap counts – up to this point – are significantly lower than up during that period last year. In pistachios, trap counts are a lot higher than in 2018 during the same period. That’s kind of crazy and runs counter to what we would have expected.
“In pistachios last year, we ended up with one of the cleanest crops in the 15 years. There were no NOW in pistachios but it’s a completely different situation this year.
“Nuts are sizing up in our pistachios. Most growers are finishing their first nutrient spray, and there’s no sign of problems. It looks like most of my growers will have an off year, which is predictable, considering the strong pistachio yields last year.
“Cotton is doing well and is almost at the second true leaf. Most of the stands look good. A lot of people are making Roundup applications. A few cabbage loopers are turning up in cotton. In a lot of years, they come into cotton but just kind of trickle out and go away.
“We usually expect more worms in a number of crops in a really wet year like this. If anything, worms could be quite bad this season. Last year, we hardly sprayed any alfalfa for worms. We probably won’t get by like that this year, although nothing is going on in alfalfa yet.”
Nick Groenenberg, Independent PCA, Hanford:
“Almonds are doing pretty good. We made a mummy spray 2 weeks ago around April 20 or so. The spray included a NOW material, a miticide and something for nutrition. The timing on that mummy spray may be a little better with some guidance that Joel Siegel (USDA entomologist, Parlier) has been providing.