Almond Board: Winter Sanitation in Almonds

Taylor Hillman Almond Update, General, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

Winter Sanitation in Almonds
Looking ahead to the 2016 crop, now is an important time for preventing navel orangeworm infestation, and winter sanitation in almonds is key. Sabrina Hill has more.

Almond Board Director of Agricultural Affairs, Bob Curtis says winter sanitation is very important.

Winter Sanitation in Almonds

The navel orangeworm (NOW) is the primary insect pest of almonds in California. It poses a high risk to an almond crop because the worms bore into the nut and feed on the nutmeat. Not only is the nut damaged, but the feeding opens the door to Aspergillus molds, which can produce aflatoxin contamination. Aflatoxins are considered a serious food safety issue and are regulated throughout the world.

Growers must take four critical steps in their IPM program to minimize navel orangeworm damage and risk of aflatoxin:
Winter sanitation to remove and destroy mummy nuts
Monitoring of NOW populations and timing of adult NOW moth flights
In-season control of NOW with insecticides or biological control agents
Prompt harvest before a third generation of NOW develops

In addition to navel orangeworm, almonds are subject to an array of insect and mite pests, including peach twig borer, San Jose scale and web-spinning mites. Information on these pests is included in the above resources.