“So far, insect activity has been moderate, nothing outrageous. With earlier rainy weather, everything started a little late this year, anyway. In certain cases, pest trends are running 2 weeks later than normal.
“The NOW are probably ending their first peak flight this week. One indicator of delayed development has been the timing of the May sprays, which typically happen in the latter part of April. This year, applications were mostly timed in the first week of May.
“I’m hardly hearing anything about mites, and with the current weather I don’t expect them to make much of an appearance for a while.
“In walnuts, codling moths started picking up. They were generally in the normal time range, maybe a bit on the later side of it. Based on trap counts in orchards we monitor, the 1B timing should be in the third week of May, around May 25. That timing can vary, of course, depending on the orchard.
“I was on one farm call this week where the grower had a relatively high level of damage in almonds by plant bugs or stink bugs. We weren’t able to find any insects that might have caused it. We are finding brown marmorated stink bugs in almonds and peaches. The first sightings were in April and that is continuing. Stink bugs have been active on the east side of Stanislaus County in almonds.”
Dale Deshane, PCA, Supervised Control, Bakersfield:
“Rain has been chasing me all day (5/16). Every time I get somewhere, it starts raining again. So far, the big rain came last Friday (5/10). In one location near Edison – which is east of Bakersfield – the total hit 2.25 inches. In other places south of Bakersfield, the amounts ran from 1.5 to 1.75 inches. Around Mettler down by the Grapevine it rained 1.5 to 1.85 inches. Again, that was a week ago. For this time of the year, that is a lot of rain, although areas north of Bakersfield didn’t get too much during that period.
“Showers today have been light and it’s been raining off and on, but rain is in the forecast for the next 4 to 5 days.
“Before the rain, mites had started moving into the middle of almond trees, and we sprayed quite a few blocks the week before the rain. We’ll see how things look next week. Also, we knocked down green stink bugs last week.
“Rust is starting to pick up a little more. Alternaria is, too, especially in the Montereys. These are ideal conditions for it – rain every few days. I’m afraid it will really take off once the weather warms up again and humidity sets in.
“We were putting out ant bait but then temporarily pulled back on that due to the rain. Herbicides have been going out here and there.
“In pistachios, we started our nutrient spray and the first spray for the little bugs. Most of our pistachios are in the Buttonwillow, Shafter and Wasco areas, and they missed the rain, so we didn’t include a fungicide. With this current round of rain, we’ll see what happens.
“The first alternaria spray in pistachios is going out where we had big blowups last year. But with all this rain, we’ll probably go across everything at least one time. That probably will happen in the tail end of June unless it rains a lot more before then.
“In cotton, we’re pretty much going across everything with a miticide and Roundup ahead of the first water. We saw a few spikes with worms and some people sprayed. But in my cotton, they seemed to cycle through. Mainly, we’ve found cabbage loopers and small numbers of beet armyworms.
“We’ve started sweeping some of our biggest cotton and are picking up lygus counts at 1 to 4, and that cotton isn’t even squaring yet. Some is pushing the sixth leaf and should be squaring next week.