“We are limited in terms of treatment timing, with only two periods each year when we can address stink bugs – either now or mid-April. During the growing season, we try to minimize pyrethroid use, so it’s better to get ahead of the pest now.”
Aaron Heinrich PCA, AgriWest, Escalon
“Growers are putting together fungicide programs for the year. Deciding where, when and what we will be applying depends on the weather. I have recommended a five-application program. However, maybe only two of those will be necessary, depending on rain and temperatures.
“The first application will go out at pink bud, then at full bloom, petal fall, post petal fall and then two to five weeks after petal fall. Again, how many of those treatments we make depends on how weather conditions are developing.
“Growers are currently fertilizing with ammonium sulfate. After that, we will make a couple more applications of nitrogen just after bloom and leaf-out as needed. We want everything on before June in order to help prevent hull rot possibilities.
“Growers are still pruning walnuts in places. We have been monitoring scale, and 30% to 35% of our growers have had or will have to treat orchards for scale.”
Nathan Stewart PCA, AgVantage Consulting, Visalia
“Bloom looks to be a week ahead of last year. Exposure of pink tips is beginning and showing signs of bloom. We have had more foggy mornings this year compared to this time last year. Our chill hours have put us in a sweet spot. Stonefruit in our area is ahead of schedule by over a week and is an indicator of almond bloom timing.
“Beekeepers are moving in bees. Growers and PCA’s are more cognizant of applications now that bees are being positioned in orchards. A few last-minute pre-emergent herbicide sprays are going on in areas where bud swell hasn’t started.