In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, as temperatures start to heat up its important for growers to be prepared with their mite control programs. Diligent monitoring for mite populations as warmer weather comes will allow for better control of the pests and better efficiency with control materials.
“With the weather pattern we’re having, you can anticipate that mite populations are going to be slow to develop over the next couple of months and as it heats up in May you’ll start to see the populations, particularly of twospotted spider mites, start to build,” said Manager of Field Development for Valent USA Pat Clay. “A good warm spell can start things moving along pretty quickly, so if we get out of this pattern you can see them develop earlier, it just depends on what happens with the weather.”
The most concerning mite pests in almonds include twospotted spider mites and Pacific spider mites. Individual orchards may need applications under different conditions, but Clay noted that it is always best to be out in front of the issue. “The thresholds for mites are going to vary from PCA to PCA and really with an insect growth regulator like Zeal, you want to be on the early side of a threshold,” said Clay.
If populations develop at a rapid pace before a grower is able to address the issue there are alternative methods for management. “If you do get behind you may want to consider applying a knockdown type miticide that’s going to take the population down more quickly. And in some cases, you may even consider tank-mixing that knockdown material with Zeal,” Clay noted. “If you do have to go in with a tank mix with a knockdown product, generally those are broader spectrum and start to impact those beneficial populations. So that would be sixspotted thrips and some of the other major beneficials that are helping with mites.”
Listen to the interview below.