California Almonds: Nov. Orchard Management Considerations

    Almond orchard with ready-to-harvest nuts on the ground. Photo: Sara Savary, AgFax Media

    Please note that the following are general recommendations intended to help you keep track of regular practices in a busy time; the optimal timing for management practices may vary based on specific location and conditions.

    • Join the UCCE Sac Valley Orchard advisors and UC pest and disease experts for our Sac Valley Fall IPM Workshop online November 4. More details can be found here.
    • Pests on Dormant Spurs: Between mid-November and mid-January, collect 100 spurs from 35-50 randomly selected trees. Evaluate them for scale and mite eggs. Check green shots for scab lesions. Use UC IPM to guide your pest monitoring work.
    • Potassium: If you plan on making a fall potassium application, apply banded potassium to the soil in November. For every 1,000 lbs of almond kernels harvested there are 80 lbs of potassium removed from the orchard or captured in new growth. Be wary of KCl if you have been irrigating with lower quality water that may have already loaded your soil profile with chloride, or if you are uncertain you’ll have ample water to leach chloride this winter or next spring.
    • Harvest Samples: Now that harvest has calmed down, take some time to evaluate the harvest samples that you collected and stored in your freezer. The results of these sample evaluations can inform your pest management strategy for next year. Use this guide to Harvest Damage Evaluation for Almonds to help with your evaluation process.
    • Bees: Plan ahead for the spring by ordering 2-3 honey bee hives per acre for self-infertile orchards, and 0.5-1 hive per acre in self-fertile orchards. Make sure you have a written contract with your beekeeper that outlines the expectations of each party. See our article on Honeybees, Colony Strength, and Beekeeper Challenges for best practices for using honeybees in your orchard.



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