The Almond Board of California (ABC) has announced the winner of the 2020 Mummy Shake Video Contest. This year’s winner is the Kennard-Hall family of Rancho Viejo Farms in Lindsay. The Halloween-themed campaign is designed to highlight the importance of winter sanitation in almond orchards. Other honorable mentions for this year’s contest were the Fields family, the Holtermann family, and Turlock Unified School District FFA.
The 2020 Mummy Shake Video Contest marks the third year of the creative campaign. Submissions were made throughout the month of October using the song parody of “Monster Mash” provided by ABC. The song reminds growers about the link between mummy nuts and navel orangeworm (NOW). Winter sanitation efforts, which includes “mummy shaking,” is a critical aspect for keeping the pest from inflicting damage in the orchard.
FUN CAMPAIGN ADDRESSES SERIOUS ISSUE
While the Mummy Shake Video Contest is a fun reminder about the importance of winter sanitation, the practice itself is a serious matter. NOW larvae can overwinter in mummy nuts left in the orchard and wreak havoc come springtime. Growers have a better chance of mitigating NOW damage when they remove the nuts and thereby eliminate the shelter and food source for the pest. ABC has a list of tips that can help growers address the issue of mummy nuts.
All mummy nuts should be off of all the trees by January 15. Hard- and soft-shell varieties can both harbor NOW. Wet mummy nuts are heavier and tend to fall off the trees easier. A wet orchard floor can also help to increase NOW mortality rates. Growers should have fewer than two mummies per tree before bud swell. The issue is a bit more problematic in the San Joaquin Valley, which is why ABC suggests having fewer than one mummy per tree. By March 15 all the fallen mummy nuts should be swept or destroyed by flail mowing or disking.