“They are calling for warmer temperatures next week. Beekeepers started putting hives out this week in orchards. As soon as temperatures go up next week, the bees will be arriving even faster.
“I’m only seeing a little bit of green in the buds. Things are still pretty dormant, and we are on the early side to see any bloom. The majority of bloom is expected to be on schedule, probably around February 10-12.
“Several hullers called this last season concerning brown spot. They’re thinking that the brown spot was associated with stink bug damage. The treatments we are applying now seem to be knocking down stink bugs pretty good, and you can find plenty of dead bugs under the trees after treatment.
“Many growers got away from dormant spraying in the last few years. But with this stink bug damage, it’s better to kill them during dormant season than into the growing season and risk flaring mites. Most growers would rather get on top of it now than wait until later in the spring.”
Gary Gliddon PCA, Treevine Consulting, Modesto:
“Mummy shaking has wrapped up. Some growers had a fair amount of crop still on the tree before that shaking. We do have some really clean orchards but in places have had a hard time getting mummies off. Growers are waiting for rain or fog to help with moisture now.
“Some growers are making copper sprays, but I am unsure if it will be effective at this point. The copper runs out, breaks down and goes away. I recommend waiting for dormant spraying until the end of the month and closer to when the buds are swelling.
“I don’t see scale as a problem right now, and most blocks are very clean. I don’t worry about peach twig borers, either. A lot of predators are out there that can take care of them.”
“Bud swell is starting in some Sonoras, with just a little white. Bloom will start at about the normal time this year. Some bloom probably will begin in early February, with more of it likely underway in the middle of the month.”
Franz Neiderholzer, UC Farm Advisor Colusa, Sutter & Yuba Counties:
“I haven’t seen much dormant spraying underway. A few growers have asked lately about dormant or delayed dormant copper and oil sprays. Prebloom copper can help manage some diseases, particularly bacterial spot and almond scab. Oil helps the copper stay on the tree and also helps suppress low to moderate scale population.
“Growers should weigh the possible benefits of copper and oil now against the value of using that money in a later spray or fertilizer.