Almond Matters: Early Summer Pest Management in Orchards

Brian GermanAlmond Matters, Almonds, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent U.S.A., as early summer arrives, growers are ramping up their pest management efforts. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent U.S.A., Todd Burkdoll said there are several pests to pay particular attention to. Mites can become a significant issue if populations are not managed early on in the season as temperatures heat up.

Pest Management

“Get them on the front side rather than the backside before they get you. They have such a high level of kind of fecundity the numbers are exponential once they take off,” said Burkdoll. “Zeal is a great tool for that. You get on them with Zeal early and you knock them out. The females are sterilized. The eggs don’t hatch; eggs that have already been laid. Then the nymphs don’t go into the next stage.”

As growers make applications to address mite concerns, Burkdoll explained that adding a product to manage navel orangeworm (NOW) can be beneficial. NOW has been a significant issue for the past couple of years. Several factors play into that including sanitation programs and proximity to hullers where there are a lot of nuts being stored. Burkdoll suggests getting ahead of the pest before it becomes a larger challenge.

“DiPel is a cheap alternative to some of the more potent materials, but it only lasts about five to seven days, so you need to keep that in mind. But if you’ve got activity out there, if there’s any activity at all, it’ll knock them out,” said Burkdoll. “I understand there’s a lot of cost and it’ll nickel and dime you to death, literally, to stay up on all these things. But if you just be shrewd about the way you tackle it, be on the front side rather than the back side, you can usually do a pretty good job of controlling them.”

Growers are also encouraged to consider leaffooted plant bugs are part of their pest management programs. Burkdoll explained that they can do a significant amount of damage if left unchecked. The pest also has a high fecundity and can populate an almond orchard pretty rapidly. “If you see any of those flying around, they’re like B-52s in the bug world, they’re pretty good size. Get on those early as well. And spraying for them, you could probably pick up any navel orangeworm adults that are flying around as well,” Burkdoll explained.

Listen to the report below.