California Almonds: 4 Key Points To Remember In July

Almond tree with cotton rows in the background. ©Sara Savary, AgFax Media

#1. Irrigation: fill ‘er up

After 2 weeks of regulated deficit irrigation beginning at early hull split, return the orchard to full ET irrigation until dry down for harvest.

#2. Check your nutrient reserves.

Take leaf samples in July to measure nutrient status. Pull leaves from non-bearing spurs on representative trees across a block from one variety per sample. With differing crop loads between varieties, nutrient levels may vary by variety and sampling each variety in a block should provide important information.

Adjust your nutrient management plan for the rest of the season based on July leaf sample results.

#3. Adjust plans according to pest activity.

Keep tracking NOW and PTB populations. If hull split didn’t occur in June, consider an edge spray once sound nuts in the edge Nonpareil trees reach Stage 2C of hull split. Hull split in the rest of the Nonpareils in the orchard should follow in roughly a week.

Depending on the pollenizer(s) used, growers and their PCAs should decide if the first hull split spray (when 1% of nuts are at Stage 2C for Nonpareils) should be a full spray or just targeting Nonpareils.

Spray a second hull split spray ahead of Nonpareil harvest if trap counts, current field checks, and/or past damage suggest a need.

#4. Don’t forget mites.

Keep an eye on mites. Late season flare ups are expensive to control and hard to schedule by ground. Defoliation of mite damaged leaves at harvest can mean reduced flower numbers next year and slower nut drying on the orchard floor this year.

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