“We are monitoring for leaf diseases. Most of our growers only applied one fungicide spray this year, and a handful haven’t sprayed at all. Last year was an extremely wet year but we didn’t have any main disease outbreak. We don’t anticipate rain being a problem unless we see over an inch, which would trigger a fungicide for most growers.
“This is the time of year when leaffooted plant bug starts showing up. They can do significant damage in a short time, so it’s essential to monitor and treat when found. So far, we’re seeing them in historical areas, and they aren’t widespread.
“We set out navel orangeworm egg and pheromone traps ten days ago. Counts appear normal, which we’d expect with with the colder weather.
“Pistachio female and male flowers are both out at the same time right now. Golden Hills buds are one to two inches long. Kerman is 4 to 5 days behind Golden Hills. The timing of varieties appears to be closer this year. We experienced hardly any frost this year, and more foggy days helped with development.
“Traps were also placed in pistachio orchards for navel orangeworm monitoring. Irrigation and weed spraying are underway across the area.”
Franz Niederholzer, UC Farm Advisor, Colusa, Sutter and Yuba Counties
“Very little rain fell during the storm last weekend in the south Sacramento Valley. Since then, temperatures have been in the 60s to low 70s.
“A wet storm is in the forecast for this weekend, with the possibility of showers into early next week. The National Weather Service predicts anywhere from three-quarters to two inches of rain across the North State.
“Fungicides have been going out ahead of this storm in almonds and walnuts.
“Mating disruption puffers and navel orangeworm strips will be going up at Nickels Soil Lab in different blocks next week.
“We’ll be taking spring leaf samples next week to determine how overall nutrition looks across the orchards and a prediction of July leaf nitrogen levels using the UC Davis ESP protocol. Our second nitrogen fertilizer application will start in the next couple of weeks. We may adjust the May nitrogen application – up or down — based on the leaf sampling results.”
Aaron Beene, PCA, Simplot Grower Solutions, Merced
“Everything is still rolling along. We are preparing for over an inch of rain Sunday to Monday.
“The last fungicide application went out 2 to 3 weeks ago, and we are still within the 5-week post-petal-fall window. Where we’re finding signs of scab, rust or shot hole, I’m recommending a fungicide for those leaf diseases.
“Growers who are seeing an increase in leaffooted plant bug should consider mixing a control material with their fungicide. The general lack of cold weather could increase movement, and it’s crucial to monitor for them.
“Obliquebanded leaf rollers are showing up in hot spots where they’ve built in the past. Growers are adding an insect growth regulator to their fungicide to knock down pests inside the tree canopy.
“We are optimistic this year. This appears to be a better crop than we’ve had in the past two years. Growers are concentrating on April fertility for nut fill. Next week, they’ll add a round of nitrogen and follow up in the next ten days with potassium.
“The remaining growers are finishing up with weed sprays. Most have completed strip spraying.
“We’ve caught low populations of navel orangeworm in traps over the past one to two weeks. Counts continue to be sporadic., but warmer weather will likely cause an increase in numbers.