Agronomic Minute: Protecting Pistachio Orchards from Disease

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Keeping pistachio orchards healthy and safe from disease will be front of mind for growers with bloom around the corner. Technical Services Manager for UPL North America, Cassie Rieser said dormant disease spores could be moving through orchards. Depending on how the weather turns in the next few weeks, could determine how impactful those spores could be in pistachios.

Pistachio Orchards

“With the few days of rain, both in the past and upcoming, dormant spores can spread.  Warmer temperatures are needed to activate some pathogens. With the colder storms, it’s probably not a huge issue for pistachios but rain does spread diseases like Botryosphaeria spores and growers might need to treat for this pathogen sooner if we have a warmer spring,” Rieser noted. “If the orchard does have a history of Botryosphaeria panicle, or shoot blight, you really want to treat when the panicles or the flower clusters appear in the spring.”

The weather has remained cooler to begin March. However, temperatures are expected to rise in the coming weeks despite the continued rain in the forecast. As temperatures trend upward, so does the potential for infection. There are a variety of materials available to growers that can be effective in combatting diseases in pistachio orchards.

“Some of the solutions in our portfolio would include PH-D, Cuprofix Disperss, and ELEVATE. Some of the benefits of PH-D is that it has a unique mode of action that inhibits chitin synthase, a fungus, which really helps it act as a knockdown of the fungus and really helps to reset the clock on fungal growth. It’s best used as a preventative when conditions are favorable for the disease development,” said Rieser. “ELEVATE is labeled for the use on Botryosphaeria blossom and shoot blight and is best used at full bloom as it is a KetoReductase inhibitor, or in the KRI group of fungicides.”

Listen to the full episode below.