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May sprays are being made or at least are on the schedule. A material for leaffooted plant bugs (LFPB) is being included in some tank mixes where the insect and/or damage became apparent. Our contacts continue to report that LFPBs are turning up in areas where they have never been a problem but have been light to nonexistent in historic hot spots.


Temperatures took a sharp upward turn over the last week, moving into the 90s for the first time in places and scooting into triple digits in others. Rain is in the forecast for the weekend across a wide part of our coverage area. That may trigger additional fungicide applications in the new week.


High winds were a factor in most areas in the last week.



The 2017 Nickels Soil Lab Field Day is set for Wednesday, May 10, and will cover a wide range of walnut and almond topics. The lab is located on Green Bay Road at Arbuckle. Connect to more info in our Links section.


A walnut pruning and management field day is set for Wednesday, May 31, in a research plot east of Atwater. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. Connect to more details in our links section.


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Tony Touma, PCA, Bio Ag Consulting, Bakersfield

“We’ve had windy weather and stronger gusts the whole week and now the forecast calls for rain, with a 20% chance for the next 3 or 4 days (from 5/5). This wind has been good for alternaria in almonds because it dried up the leaves, but it also has deposited plenty of dust on leaves, which works against good spray contact.


“If it rains more than a quarter of an inch over the weekend, everyone will be applying fungicides next week. It’s gotten hot. The high yesterday was 103, and the nighttime low was 76.


“Early this week we sprayed a couple of locations for leaffooted plant bugs (LFPB), and these were places that had no history of that insect. On the other hand, we haven’t had to treat LFPB on ranches where they’ve been bad in the past. What we’ve considered hot spots haven’t developed what we’d consider a treatment situation. It’s been an unusual year for LFPB.


“So far, we’ve found less alternaria than predicted. We have seen bad rust on trees that were planted in November. It makes you wonder if rust was on the trees when they were delivered. Rust has been bad in places for 4 or 5 years, and a nursery wouldn’t be immune to it.


“In pistachios, everybody is going through with foliar sprays and including an insecticide. Starting next week we’ll begin some applications for mealy bugs in pistachios.


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“I’ve expected to see loopers and armyworms in cotton because in a wet year like this they can develop early in the crop, and we did find some this week. I don’t know if they’ll be a problem or if they will only turn up in patches. We found both loopers and beet armyworms, and that was at Buttonwillow. Alfalfa is still very quiet.”


Mark W.F. Carter, PCA, Agri-Consultants, Los Banos

“It was really windy all last week. Winds were hitting 20 to 40 mph, but that didn’t appear to cause any damage in our orchards. Until this week it hasn’t been hot, but the high reached 99 yesterday (5/4).


“The almond May sprays for NOW and PTB will begin next week. Highs are supposed to drop to 80 to 85 all next week, with minimum wind in the forecast, so it should be a nice week for spraying. Nuts are just starting to fill on the ends, maybe a fifth to a sixth, so far.


“We finally planted all of our cotton, and 90% has emerged. Even with all the rain, it looks good and ranges from cotyledon to first true leaf. Nothing is going on in alfalfa, just fertilizer work. The first cutting has just been baled and growers are coming back with water. Tomatoes in our area have mostly been planted. The furthest along are into bloom.”


Franz Niederholzer, UC Farm Advisor, Sutter/Yuba Counties

“We’ve at least gotten a hint of summer in the Sacramento Valley. On Tuesday the high moved into the 90s, which is the first time it went above 90 all season. Now, though, things are cooling off again, and we’re expecting temperatures this weekend in the mid 70s.


“At least some chance of rain is in the forecast, too. It’s always difficult this time of the year to make any decisions about fungicides. If you don’t spray, it will rain for sure. But if you put money into a big fungicide spray in almonds, the rain will miss you altogether.


“I haven’t seen much in the way of mites. Scattered treatments continue for leaffooted plant bugs (LFPB). It’s on a location-by-location basis, and LFPB haven’t necessarily turned up in places where they’ve been a problem in the past. In fact, a lot of treatments have been going out in areas where LFPB were never sprayed in the past. In certain areas, people have found quite a few.


“I’m hearing about NOW counts coming up in the last couple of weeks as the weather has warmed up, but that’s still a very site-specific situation.


“Growers on lighter soils probably began irrigation last week on a wider basis, and this week I suspect that people with heavier ground have started. I’m not seeing much happening in walnuts.”


Nick Groenenberg, Independent PCA, Hanford

Almonds are doing pretty well. I saw a little bit of plant bug damage, so we’re spraying for that, along with applying a miticide and foliar nutrients.


“You can find leaffooted plant bug damage. It’s not a lot, but we don’t want to let it keep going. We’re really not dealing with big problems or mite outbreaks. Everything looks pretty good, actually.


“In pistachios, we’re finding plant bug damage. I’m not sure which plant bug is specifically doing this. We are adding something for them with our foliar nutrient sprays. Pistachios look pretty good. In places, they appear to be a little light and must be in their alternate year, but others are carrying a pretty good crop.


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Cotton is all up and is starting to grow pretty well. No problems yet. Herbicides are going out.


Alfalfa is pretty calm. Our first cutting came off and we’re close to the second cutting. We can find a few worms in tomatoes, mostly cabbage loopers, plus small counts of stink bugs. We treated a few fields for bacterial speck.


“Rain is in the forecast for the weekend, so who knows what we’ll have to do Monday or Tuesday? The forecast jumped from a 20% chance of rain to 70%, so we’ll just have to see what happens when it gets there.


“When I changed out my sticky cards for sugar beet leafhoppers (SBLH) in tomatoes, the counts went from zeros and ones last week to 10 to 25 this week. The numbers have clearly gone up, although I’m not entirely sure what that will mean. I don’t know where they’re coming from or if they’re infected. Imidacloprid went out on all of our tomatoes, so some systemic protection is in place, but we’ve certainly seen a surge in SBLH.”


Dwaine Heinrich, PCA, Stanislaus Farm Supply, Modesto

 “The forecast says we have about a 20% chance of rain today (5/6). We went through a little heat spell last week, and for 3 or 4 days the highs ran in the low 90s, then it cooled down on Thursday, and it’s actually very pleasant this morning at 65 to 70.


“In almonds, we’re just finishing the last of our May sprays. Most applications included something for PTB or NOW, and most carried a fungicide for spring-summer diseases, such as rust and scab. I’ve noted a little anthracnose on Fritz. We’ve had rain and warmer temperatures, so conditions are right for some of those diseases.


“In a couple of blocks I’ve detected leaffooted plant bugs, so in those cases we’ve included an insecticide that controls them.


“People are irrigating trees – some for the very first time this year. Until now, we’ve had enough rain that we could hold off.


“We’re fertilizing walnuts. A round of walnut blight sprays went out in the last week or so. We’re pretty much finished with the 1A codling moth flight in walnuts and the 1B will happen around May 15-20. In some varieties we’ll do a 1B treatment, while in other cases farmers will wait and treat in the second cycle of flights.


“A lot of dairies are baling or chopping forage. Most have gotten their first alfalfa cutting off.


“The rivers are coming up. Plenty of snow is still there, and we’ve got a snow pack that they’re saying is twice as large as normal. So, a lot of that water still has to come down, and the rivers will remain pretty high.” 




Nickels Field Day Set For May 10, Arbuckle 4-23


California Walnuts: Atwater Field Day Set For May 31   5-6


California Cotton: 2 SJV Cotton Production Symposiums, May 16, 17 5-2 


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Leaffooted plant bug on an almond.

Photo: Andrew Moore,

Growers Crop Consulting, Bakersfield.

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