Almonds – Waiting For Shaking – Splitting, Spraying Progress – AgFax

Image from David Doll, University of California Cooperative Extension

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  • Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Tree Crops.
  • Our thanks to BASF and its California team for sponsoring this coverage.
  • Got questions or comments? Let us know.
Owen Taylor, Editor

OVERVIEW

Hull split sprays are well under way. Second sprays, where planned, have been made on a wider basis, too.

Spider mites are building in places in the lower San Joaquin Valley and scattered follow-up miticide applications may be in the cards. Hotter weather is in the forecast, which could increase mite pressure.

Bugs aren’t completely out of the picture in almonds.

LAST REPORT FOR 2019

This will be our last regular report for the year. We will spot-check conditions and field activity over the next month and will send special reports if needed.

This marks the end of our eleventh season of publishing AgFax Tree Crops. Our thanks to:

  • BASF and its California team for once again sponsoring this coverage. When you have contact with BASF personnel, please thank them for their continued support.
  • Our contacts – the PCAs and Extension workers who provide the content that goes into each issue. We value their insight, knowledge and patience. The people we call are remarkably generous with their time. In a sense, they are the real editors. Our role is simply to pass along what they see.

We’ll be back in January 2020. If you’re not already on the list, consider subscribing to Tree Crops After Hours, our nightly listing of articles related to permanent crops.

I hope the remainder of your season is productive and safe.

— Owen Taylor, Editor

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CROP REPORTS

Kris E. Tollerup, IPM Cooperative Extension Advisor, Kearney AREC, Parlier:

“Hull split kind of started out with a bang but maybe not so much this week. The weather had been really hot but now it’s not quite so hot and the progression of splitting has perhaps slowed. That’s what I’m observing but other people say they’re finding the same thing.

“Time sprays based on what is actually happening in the blocks because splitting may not be moving as fast as it was a week ago.

“Leaffooted bugs are turning up in pomegranates. Even at this late stage with almonds, leaffooted bugs might still cause discoloration on the nut’s skin. They won’t necessarily be able to reach the nut, but their feeding enzyme seeps through the shell and can cause a stain.

“So, check closely for leaffooted bugs or indications of them where almonds border any concentration of pomegranates.”

Gary Gliddon, PCA, Treevine Consulting, Modesto:

“I have orchards with Nonpareils that are 30% to 50% split, although certain blocks aren’t that far along, maybe 5% to 20%, depending on the tree. However, that’s likely to change pretty quickly in the next week. Things are rolling right along.

“So far, no mites. I sprayed one small block for rust. Everything looks good so far and we seem to be heading towards harvest with no major problems. Moths are flying and I’ve been cracking nuts but haven’t found any worms yet.

“Almost everyone did a hull split spray. I don’t want mites at harvest and always include abamectin. At this point in the season I don’t think it will affect predators that much. I usually include a fungicide for hull rot and rust. We’ll come back with a second spray in specific fields that have had bad damage in the past.

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“In walnuts, codling moths have been hard to figure out this year. All my blocks were sprayed, mainly because of botryosphaeria. That started last week and continued this week. A miticide was in the tank and I also included Assail. It’s not that good on codling moths but works pretty well on husk fly, which we started catching this past week.”

Franz Niederholzer, UC Farm Advisor, Colusa, Sutter and Yuba Counties:

“We’re moving through hull split and plenty of people are spraying. Numbers remain low in our NOW moth traps, and I don’t quite know what to make of that.

“The crop looks good, people are guardedly optimistic and conditions are pretty mild. The high today (7/19) is 91, which is just a little below the average. Things can drastically change, of course, but this has been the nicest July I can remember in recent years – so far. We’re several weeks out from the earliest shaking.

“In walnuts, we’re still not catching husk flies in our traps.”

Sara Savary, PCA, Crop Care Associates, Fresno:

“Two weeks ago (from 7/19), a big flush of stink bugs came out of citrus, then ran through an almond orchard and caused a crazy number of strikes. They also jumped into a peach orchard next door, and we had to treat there, too. It was very disconcerting.

“At Firebaugh yesterday, I found them in almonds and also in tomatoes, so we’re still treating pop-up instances of stink bugs. With the almonds, we were just about to begin hull split sprays, so we added something for stink bugs where needed.

“These were green stink bugs, so it was hard to spot them on green leaves and green nuts, but we were finding the stings and they were obvious on the brown ground after we sprayed.

“All of our early varieties are in early hull split. Splitting in the Nonpareil and Independence is 2% to 5%. We included a miticide with the first hull split spray and added a fungicide in most cases. The younger trees are a little more open, so I’m not as concerned about disease in those blocks. But rust was starting up pretty good in some trees at Firebaugh, and we included a fungicide there.”

Dan Prentice, Prentice Ag Consulting, Bakersfield:

“We’re well into hull split and the second spray has gone out where we planned to make 2 applications. In some cases, we included a miticide with the first round. With other blocks, the miticide was in the tank the second time.

“Mites are really coming on strong now and we’re just hoping that the miticide with the hull split sprays at least holds them down. But in a couple of locations where the miticide went out with the first spray, we probably will come back with a miticide yet again.

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“That first miticide went out about 2 weeks ago (from 7/19) and control has not been adequate. I don’t have any major problems with mites yet, but they could still develop. Temperatures are supposed to hit 105-plus for several days next week, and that won’t help with the mite situation.

“Pistachios are really quiet. I haven’t seen many citrus flat mites and it’s too early for any NOW problems. We made fungicide sprays earlier in the year during all that rainy weather. In a couple of blocks, we can find just a tiny amount of alternaria showing up, nothing bad.”

Nathan Stewart, PCA, AgVantage Consulting, Inc., Visalia:

“We’re 100% finished with the first hull split spray on Nonpareils but haven’t sprayed the pollinators yet. We’re just beginning to see a little split in those trees but not enough to warrant a spray at this point.

“Egg counts are picking up a little on the west side out toward Interstate 5, and I anticipate a second spray in a week or so (from 7/19).

“Mites have been mostly quiet. We included a miticide with the first hull split spray where I thought it was needed but I’m still not detecting activity.

“I’m emphasizing to my growers the need to reduce irrigation to help start drying down the nuts a little, which also should help with harvest timing. I don’t anticipate any shaking until at least the first week of August in our earliest blocks, but that may be more like the second week of August.

“Where growers didn’t cut back on irrigation, the start of splitting lagged and we’ve just finished the first hull split spray in those blocks. With the relatively mild spring and summer, this crop will be on the later side, as it is.

“Pistachios are really quiet. We just passed that 1,700 degree-day point but only did a limited amount of insecticide applications then.

“We tried the flowable mating disruptor where blocks didn’t have puffers. That will be our approach to population reduction, then we’ll come in with an insect growth regulator (IGR) at pea split and hull split timing. Some IGRs seem to be in short supply, so we’ve been holding them in reserve for critical timing.

“In walnuts, codling moth sprays went out on the 2A flight. Traps did pick up codling moths this week, and we’ll determine if another spray is needed. Husk fly have turned up and we’re making applications in several locations in Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties. We’ve seen them for a couple of weeks and are catching females now.

“In citrus, we’re looking for red scale. We just got through the last flight and began finding crawlers around July 10-15. Applications are going out where necessary.”

ALSO OF NOTE
walnut_trees_walnut_board_of_california-150x150%5B1%5D(1).jpg
This nut drop, widespread with the Howard variety, was similarly noted in 2003, 2011, and 2013. 
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