“Independence is starting to split and is catching up with Nonpareil timing. Growers will begin spraying tonight (7/9) for blocks with Independence. Monterey and later pollinator varieties are 3 to 4 weeks out on the earliest blocks.
“We don’t see many eggs on hull splits as compared to years past. I started our sprays slightly before the NOW flight timing, based on hull splitting.
“All Nonpareil orchards received a miticide along with their NOW spray. The only exceptions were a couple of blocks that we treated mites a few weeks ago.
“Growers are starting herbicide sprays to clean up orchard floors. Ant bait is still going out, and that will continue into next week. Growers also have started deficit irrigation in almonds.
“Pistachios hit the 1700-degree-day mark for NOW between July 1 and 6, and 20% of my growers sprayed then. The 2200-degree-day timing will hit in the next 10 to 14 days, and most growers will spray then.
“Based on cutting, pistachios are at 70% to 90% nut fill, which is behind last year by about five days. The most mature variety, Golden Hills, has a few nuts that are almost completely filled.
“The first signs of citrus flat mite are showing on pistachios. We will treat a majority of the orchards with the NOW spray. We did find a few mealybugs last week and again this week. Populations may warrant treatment where needed at this same timing.
“Pistachio growers continue to push nitrogen, potassium and irrigation. The AF36 applications on berms have almost all been completed, and growers will irrigate after those applications.
“Grapes continue to show more mildew than average, and growers are spraying to knock down the pressure. The late rains and cooler weather cycling in and out this spring probably helped mildew build. The earliest varieties are moving into veraison and are around a month and a half from harvest.
“The first fields of tomatoes will be harvesting early next week. Growers have been keeping on top of mildew sprays and sunblock treatments.
“Cotton looks good, and growers are pleased with how the growth pattern and fruit set have occurred. Growers have treated fields up to three times for lygus, and we applied Pix to a couple of fields or parts of fields to help control growth.”
Luke Milliron, UCCE Orchards Advisor, Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties
“Nonpareil hull split has commenced in only parts of the Northern Sacramento Valley. I am hearing reports on the west side about a few growers already on a second hull split spray. In the middle of the valley, I saw split just beginning at the tops of canopies in Tehama County, which perhaps amounted to a little less than 1% split on Thursday (7/9).
“On the east side, people report splits on edge trees. However, timing is significantly behind the west side.
“After the delayed leafing failure in Monterey, some growers say those canopies look better. Some significant new growth is obvious in orchards I’m monitoring in Tehama County in unaffected parts of the canopy. However, affected parts of the canopy have not recovered and shoot tips are dying back. I’m also seeing varying levels of anthracnose in these three orchards.
“In walnuts, I’m hearing reports of high pest counts, and some applications were going out. Certain fields are on a one-spray program for codling moth, while others are on a two-spray program. Some codling moth sprays went out last week, and high counts have been a hallmark of this season.
“Mite counts are picking up, too. PCAs are trying to carefully select materials and hold off on applications until needed, hoping they can suppress populations through harvest. I’m also picking up reports of high walnut husk fly counts, and some applications went out.
“I’m finding some leaf tip necrosis in young walnut leaves, which most commonly is a symptom of over-watering.”
Rodney Ratzlaff, PCA/CCA, Nutrien, Merced
“All of my growers with soft shell almond varieties began their hull split sprays over this last weekend (7/4-5), or in the first part of this week.
“Blanks became noticeable as they began to split late last week in most spots among Independence and Nonpareil.