Almond Matters: Another Rain Event Means Another Fungicide Treatment

Brian German Almond Matters, Industry News

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, growers are looking at another fungicide treatment for their orchards after the recent storm system brought varying levels of rainfall to much of California. Growers will need to understand what type of disease pressure may be in the orchard when contemplating the best course of action for treatment.

“When you water the trees from overhead rain, these spores of fungal pathogens germinate and start to go rampant and start to infect,” said Todd Burkdoll, Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA.  “Scab, Alternaria, they can really wreak havoc if there’s nothing in place to prevent them from geminating and if they’ve already germinated, then sporulate.”

The wet weather earlier in the week is being followed by warmer days for much of California.  The moisture coupled with increasing temperatures will create the ideal environment for germination.  The previous weeks of higher temperatures and dry conditions may have addressed latent infections, but the recent rainfall is likely to bring those issues back.  “That moisture basically kicks it into gear again.  It’s really a perfect storm; if somebody doesn’t go out and do some prevention there’s potential for real crop loss there,” Burkdoll noted.

As growers consider their options for another fungicide treatment, there are a number of materials that are available.  Selection is going to depend on individual orchard conditions, as different fungicides have different properties.  Some products are contact materials only and do not have any systemic activity, others have only curative properties, while some offer both curative and preventative activity.

“Just a preventative product may not suffice. You have to go with something that’s got a little bit of curative activity as well to knock out any infection that’s already started,” Burkdoll explained. “Quash has got really good reach-back activity, it’s broad-spectrum, it’s the highest-rated fungicide in the UC evaluation program.”

Listen to the report below.