Almond Matters: Controlling NOW Populations Early

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In this week’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent USA Corporation, good sanitation is key to controlling navel orangeworm (NOW). Coupling sanitation with an early treatment will help control populations before they grow. Valent’s Field Market Research Development Representative Tino Lopez said it’s not too early to be thinking about NOW treatments.

“That is correct and especially for organic growers that need to get on top of the pest before it builds any kind of populations,” Lopez said. “Many organic growers, and some conventional growers, will apply products that use bacillus thuringiensis and are easy on beneficials…that way the pest pressure is kept somewhat under control.”

Clearing as much of the mummies in an orchard remains the best way to keep NOW pressure down. Wet weather this season created some access issues, but Lopez said growers didn’t miss this important step. “Sanitation is one of the most critical practices. I think growers are relatively diligent about getting mummies out of the trees and incorporated into the soil,” he said. “That cultural practice, in combination with early sprays, can make a big difference for growers down the road.”

The uncommon weather California has seen this winter and spring has pushed pest timing back, but Lopez said growers aren’t thrown off by the delay. “We tell (growers) things are later this year but they kind of think the past two seasons have been early, so this year is more back to normal,” he said.

Listen to Lopez’s report.