Almond Matters: Addressing Scale Management in Orchards

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent,  the dormant season allows growers time to put their scale management plans into action. A solid dormant control program can play a significant role in success later in the season. Dormant spur collection and sampling is the first step in assessing what kind of scale issues a grower may be dealing with.

Scale Management

“It’s a good time to check things out. Typically, you probably have already seen something from last season in the summer,” said Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll. “Typically, it can be scattered. It may not be completely across a whole block or whole orchard; it will be in pockets. If you leave it unchecked it will spread thick over everything, especially people that have organic blocks where there really isn’t any good treatment for that other than oil.”

Growers can sometimes get effective management with oil alone when addressing low numbers of scale. When medium or large populations are present, it can require an application of an insect growth regulator. “Seize is a really good product to use…spraying it on with dormant oil, or some guys will even put it out with their copper sprays in the wintertime. You can tank mix it and it’s very effective,” said Burkdoll.

Applications can be made at any point in the season, with springtime applications often being effective in suppressing infestation. However, to achieve the most success with scale management Burkdoll suggests making applications now. Dormancy allows for maximum coverage when it comes to material applications.

“Getting it on now when there’s not a lot of interference out there for the spray to get through the tree. You can do a really good job in getting 98, 99, 100 percent spray coverage depending on how fast you go,” Burkdoll noted. “Going slow and getting good spray coverage, distribution, and uniformity through the trees, you’ll see excellent control of scale.”

Listen to the segment below.