In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, growers are evaluating their seasonal priorities as the temperatures begin to warm up throughout California. Two points of emphasis as the season progresses are optimizing tree nutrition and being mindful of disease pressures.
“If nutrition is optimized – coupled with adequate soil moisture and sunlight of course – you could maximize the photosynthetic potential of that tree and that’s putting that energy into the fruit, which is the nuts,” said Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA Todd Burkdoll. “As they’re filling out, if there’s something lacking there, then you’re going to compromise the growth and development.”
Soil and tissue analysis have already been performed by many growers to provide a good baseline for where the orchard is at. That information will help with the decision-making process as growers line up their seasonal priorities. “You fill in the gaps accordingly with whatever’s lacking or whatever you think is going to bring you the most benefit,” said Burkdoll.
The recent periods of rainfall in much of California combined with the warming temperatures that are forecasted will provide conditions that are conducive for disease development. Growers will want to make sure that their orchards are clean and stay diligent in their mitigation approach. High-density plantings are particularly susceptible, as the increased amount of canopy creates a favorable microclimate for pathogens.
“The trees are transpiring, they’re pulling water out of the ground, and putting energy into producing more shoots and more leaves and that’s always a recipe for potential disease development,” said Burkdoll. “With as much free moisture as we’ve had, you can definitely see some disease start to develop. Alternaria is right around the corner, I think. Scab is another one that is out there; I saw some the other day that was starting to develop, so it’s there.”
Listen to the segment below.