The increase in precipitation this winter and spring in some areas of the state has advisors monitoring possible issues in almond orchards. “One that we are keeping an eye on is anthracnose in almonds. It causes some of the lesions, defoliation and gumming in the nuts and can be a big problem,” Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Dani Lightle says. “When we see it the worst is two wet years back to back. So we have wet year number one now and it’s basically laying the framework. We have a lot of the inoculum out there, we’ve detected it in some orchards. That means if we have a wet spring next year we could see an epidemic come out.”
Lightle says this is an issue growers haven’t had to worry about too much over the last several years. “It’s been pretty low with all of the dry springs we’ve had the last couple of years,” Lightle said.
Anthracnose can be a significant issue as Lightle says it affects the crops marketability. “Obviously it causes direct crop loss because the nuts that get the lesions and the gumming are not marketable,” Lightle said. Advisors have seen the inoculum in orchards this year and if growers notice the same they can help avoid major issues next season by simply removing that potential. “Right now if you are detecting anthracnose in your orchards this year, you really need to be proactive about pruning out any diseased fruit or leaves to remove the inoculum from the field,” Lightle said.