“With these warmer days, I’m expecting to see chinch bugs and other things coming out of the weeds as they dry down. The caterpillar for the painted lady butterfly is obvious and is causing some problems. It’s migrating out of its main host, malva.
“We had to spray some in alfalfa and also in pistachios where they were eating the leaves, plus we’ve had to deal with them a bit in carrots and tomatoes. I think we’ll have more problems with it, too.
“They usually don’t like alfalfa, and that’s the first time I’ve sprayed them in it. They’re not in every field but we can find them on certain edges. Where I treated, they came out of the open desert and crossed a road to get into the alfalfa.
“The painted lady butterfly migrates from Mexico and I can tell you for sure that they’ve been on the move. Two weeks ago, I was skiing with my grandson and we were on a chair lift at about 10,500 feet. Suddenly, I saw several painted lady butterflies in front of us.
“Looper eggs are all over the place, and we’re spraying them in a lot of potatoes and watermelons and just began treating some peppers. They’re also laying eggs all over the tomatoes and I imagine they’ll be laying eggs on cotton as soon as it puts out any leaves.”
Sara Savary, PCA, Crop Care Associates, Fresno
“Where needed, we’re spraying for leaffooted bugs, mostly in scattered almond orchards on the east side of Fresno and Tulare Counties. On the west side of Fresno County, we had to treat a few blocks for stink bugs.
“In orchards where we have a lot of mummy nuts, we included something for them. Where we’ve had alternaria or rust issues in the past, we applied a fungicide and included a material for leaffooted bugs with some of that.
“In walnuts, the early varieties are in full bloom and nuts are about a quarter-inch in diameter. The late varieties are just going into bloom. We’ve only done one walnut blight spray. It rained maybe 2 tenths of an inch on Monday and that dried up pretty quickly, so we haven’t gone in with another fungicide. We usually don’t deal with blight in Chandlers because they’re later and not as susceptible.
“My cotton is just emerging.”
Nathan Stewart, PCA, AgVantage Consulting, Inc., Visalia
“Nuts are starting to size up pretty good. We’re beginning to find some leaffooted bug strikes here and there, nothing prevalent. We’re treating on an as-needed basis.
“Quite a bit of drop was noticeable last week on the Montereys and we’re to the point now that what will stick for the season is on those trees now. Yield potential looks pretty good, generally speaking, with some light spots just here and there. With all the recent wind and rain, growers have been cleaning up debris and fallen trees.
“Now that temperatures are warmer, trees have jumped and look greener and healthier, and we’re trying to keep up with fertilizer. I’m talking with growers about May spray timing. We have slowly started spraying for alternaria and rust, based on the history of specific blocks. These are locations where we had rust in the past, although not necessarily last year. The same goes for alternaria.
“In pistachios, we’re significantly into bloom. From north to south, trees are pushing nicely and the bloom looks pretty good. Bloom seems to be syncing okay, although males are light in some areas.
“We made a few nutrient bloom sprays in bearing pistachios this week just to get ahead of things and we will start into more of that next week. Unless something drastic happens with the weather, we’ll leave fungicides out.
“In walnuts, irrigation is under way. We completed the ReTain spray in Tulares where we’ll do that. Chandlers are pushing nicely. Blight sprays are on a ‘here and there’ basis, depending on an orchard’s history and other factors.”
Jhalendra Rijal, Area IPM Advisor, Northern San Joaquin Valley
“We’re starting to detect NOW activity – eggs on egg traps and also females on mummy pistachio bait. Male moth activity started around March 20 in pheromone traps.