Agronomic Minute: Combatting Orchard Pests

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orchard pests

Tree nut growers encounter a variety of orchard pests throughout the season requiring an array of preventative and curative actions. Technical Services Manager for Northern California for UPL, Katie Driver pointed out that navel orangeworm is one of the most critical pests for almond growers. Three to four generations can be generated each year, with nuts being the most susceptible during hull split.   

“The moths’ feeding can lead to severely damaged and unusable nuts affecting growers’ bottom line. There’s also peach twig borer,” Driver noted. “Experts recommend scouting for peach twig borer right now. You can do this by looking for shoot strikes when the pest burrows into the shoots and twigs causing them to wilt.”

First-generation larva typically develops in almond orchards in May and June, which will give rise to the next flight of moths between June and July. Driver explained that ZYLO insecticide can be a helpful tool for growers dealing with lepidopteran pests. “It provides consistent insect control and is an excellent fit for IPM programs because its pollinator and beneficial friendly,” said Driver.

Some of the most problematic orchard pests for walnut growers include coddling moth and walnut husk fly. Coddling moth infestations can be particularly destructive and can be found by scouting for frass produced by the larvae at entry points into the husk. While husk fly is generally found a bit later in the season, growers are advised to have a plan of action in place in the event of infestation. Driver said that are a variety of materials available for helping walnut growers address pest issues.

“ASSAIL insecticide – which is an IRAC 4A – is the leading go-to product for control of codling moth and husk fly in walnuts. ASSAIL is the standard recommendation by leading universities when it comes to controlling these two key pests and is trusted by walnut growers across California,” Driver explained. “We also have BIFENTURE insecticide, which is IRAC 3A and it is the most widely used insecticide/miticide products on the market…It’s got excellent contact and residual activity, controls a wide spectrum of insects and mites in walnuts including codling moth, husk fly, and spider mites.”

Listen to the full episode below.