Manager of field development for Valent USA, Clay says there is a new tool available this coming season for California almond growers. “The new product for almonds is called ReTain California Plant Growth Regulator. It received registration in 2016 and we will be looking at it for almonds in 2017 coming up in bloom,” Clay said.
So what can growers expect from ReTain? “It works by delaying ethylene production. So what you’re going to see in the field is a longer bloom that has more opportunity to be pollinated and then increase nut set,” Clay said.
Obviously this is a bloom application, but Clay said Valent is seeing best results during a specific time. “The label allows for application anywhere from 10 percent bloom all the way to full bloom,” Clay said. “In our research studies, we are seeing the best results when the applications are made between 30 percent and 60 percent bloom.”
Clay said the product is performing well in trials. “Over the last three years, we have had about 32 commercial field trials located up and down California, and on nonpareil almonds, we have seen a yield increase average of 185 pounds of nut meat.”