“Cotton is moving along. On one ranch, it’s at 8 to 11 nodes and squaring, with really good retention. On another ranch, we found lygus and felt like we had to go after it or at least line up a treatment because the ditches were down. So, we’re applying mepiquat chloride and including a lygus material.
“We’re not dealing with mites yet in cotton. Across everyone in our group, I’ve only seen one miticide rec and that was as a preventive in corn because they could go by ground right now.
“In tomatoes, we came across our first armyworm eggs and hatches this week. They were hard to find and probably don’t amount to more than a drop of water in a gallon jug. Alfalfa is quiet, just an occasional armyworm.”
Kris E. Tollerup, IPM Cooperative Extension Advisor, Kearney AREC, Parlier:
“We’re still not detecting much NOW activity where I’m monitoring.
“Ant control should be on the radar now. Start monitoring by putting hot dogs or corn chips in 15 or 20 places around the orchard and then see which species turn up. Southern fire ants and pavement ants are our two main problem species, of course.
“In terms of baits, we’re now into June, so it’s a little late for baits based on insect growth regulators, and we’ll have to go with one of the baits that carry stomach toxins. Something like Clinch is an option right now but it’s still a little early in this area for Altrevin. If you put on an IGR bait earlier, like in the middle of last month, you could come back with Clinch about now. Check our IPM guidelines for more information on scouting.”
John Moore, PCA, Growers Crop Consulting, Bakersfield:
“Spider mites are laying low but they are present and getting ready to jump, I suspect. I’ve written several recommendations with the expectation that they will blow up in hot spots.
“With all this rain, you would think they would have washed but they are still in the trees. Over the past couple of days (from 6/7), we’ve been seeing both eggs and immatures and already were noticing slight webbing on leaves on those small shoots in the crotches of trees.
“As mites move up the trunk, those leaves are generally the first they reach. As pressure increases, mites begin moving to the tree’s outside canopy. Once they’ve transitioned to the outside canopy – and that can happen fast – you’ve missed the opportunity to spray. All it will take now is a couple of 100-degree days to put all that into motion.
“The trees look absolutely fabulous. The rain, I think, came at times when they weren’t stressed, and this appears to be a huge crop. Pistachios are growing well.”
Brian Gogue, PCA, Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC, Hanford:
“I’m dealing with all the complications caused by hail damage on May 19. I think I’ll lose about 450 acres of cotton and tomatoes but another 3,000 acres suffered some degree of damage from minimum to significant. It wiped out thousands of acres altogether. I don’t think anyone has ever seen hail damage to this extent.
“In almonds, we wrapped up the final nitrogen applications last week. Things look really good, overall. We had brown mites in a couple of fields but got those cleaned up. No twospotted spider mites have appeared yet.
“With all the rain, I figured we would find more rust. But it’s only developed on one ranch, and we treated those trees the week before last. Otherwise, disease in almonds is pretty much in check. I think we’re 4 to 5 weeks out from hull split. That’s close to last year’s timing and close to what is considered normal.
“In pistachios, we’ve cleaned up a few more bugs here and there over the last 3 weeks. We’ve included a foliar with the applications. Also, we’ve treated a couple of problem blocks for mealybugs. In general, pistachios look pretty good, aside from one block pounded by hail – and it happened to be my best looking block this year.
“A few guys are putting sunblock on walnuts ahead of the heat in next week’s forecast. We’re planning the next spray in walnuts, and it will fall around the middle of the month. It’s the timing for the 2A codling moth flight but they aren’t much of an issue for us, so we’ll go with a miticide and a fungicide for botryosphaeria.
“Most guys will do one fungicide spray on walnuts this year with just a few making a second. It’s a light crop and prices haven’t come up much, so most will minimize that input.
“Much of my cotton was right in the heart of the hail damage. I lost some cotton – it’s dead, dead, dead – and we’re making decisions on some of the other acres. Lygus are coming into every acre I’ve got and I’m hearing that from everyone else. I’m writing recs on any cotton that’s still surviving.