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Almond Matters: Bloom Imminent, Disease Concerns Rise

Taylor HillmanAlmond Matters, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent USA Corporation, AgNet West got an update on almond bloom timing and the possibility of issues during bloom that growers haven’t seen in a few years.

“This past week we have seen a little more rainy conditions and a little cooler temperatures but it looks like we could see the earliest bloom toward the end of the week of February 13,” Valent Manager of Field Development Pat Clay said.

Almond bloom is on schedule for mid-to-late February but the continued rains raise concerns about diseases this time of year. “There are a number of diseases that will thrive under wet conditions particularly during bloom,” Clay said. “The one that comes to mind first for me is brown rot in almonds as well as all of the stone fruit.” Clay said growers need to be taking a really close look at making applications for managing that disease.

After six consecutive years of relatively dry conditions, this is something growers haven’t had to deal with for some time. “It seems like, at least in the last four years, we have had a pretty dry bloom period so this will be unlike anything we have had in awhile,” Clay said. “Last year we had some rains that started after bloom in the spring which brought on a different set of problems. As far as rains during bloom, this year has the potential to be a little different than we’ve seen in awhile.”

Fungal diseases aren’t the only complications rains can cause this time of the season. Simple access to orchards during these rains will make applications that manage the diseases difficult. “Growers are already planning for that. They’re already trying to get aerial applicators lineup to make those type of applications…To try to manage the diseases and get the applications out in a timely manner, (growers) realize they’re probably going to have to go by air on quite a bit of it this year,” Clay said.