In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, an aerial application of materials to extend the bloom period may be necessary this year depending on how the weather shapes up leading into bloom. If periodic rainstorms continue through February, it could put a time constraint on getting the necessary materials applied in orchards.
“One of the major benefits is you can cover a lot more orchard in a short period of time,” said Manager of Field Development for Valent USA Pat Clay. “The application window for extending bloom is relatively narrow, so an aerial application offers that benefit of being able to cover more acreage.”
Clay noted that aerial trials of ReTain initially began back in 2016 and showed promising results before being approved in almonds last year. The plant growth regulator has generated quite a bit of interest from growers with applications being approved for using fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft. “With a narrow bloom period you’re able to be more precise with the application timing when using aerial equipment,” said Clay. “The other benefit is we tend to see slightly improved performance with ReTain using those aerial application methods…not only is it as good as a ground application, in a lot of cases it can provide a better response.”
Growers will need to work around the weather to achieve the maximum efficacy of the application. The best results are seen with applications made at times which allow for the material to dry slowly. “You do want a period of time after the application where you do not get rainfall,” Clay noted. “An early morning application or a late afternoon-early evening application where the humidity is up, and the droplets are drying out more slowly can be beneficial to performance.”
Listen to the interview below.