In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, bloom is a few weeks away and growers are finishing up their dormancy programs in orchards. Sanitation efforts and dormant applications are wrapping up as pollinators begin to move into the state and growers prepare for the bloom season. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll noted that the weather has been largely cooperative for setting the stage for a good bloom period.
“The trees are still dormant. It’s been cold and wet, so its keeping things in sleepy time mode, which is good,” said Burkdoll. “You need that chilling to get a good uniform bloom. It also helps with physiology within the tree for setting fruit.”
Crews have been in orchards knocking down mummy nuts to help address any overwintering navel orangeworm populations. Other efforts have included applications of oils and other materials to get in front of pest populations prior to bloom. “My preference is Esteem going out right now to knock out any scale. Actually, it has an inhibitory effect on navel orangeworm as well,” Burkdoll noted.
Many growers take care of their herbicide treatments sometime during the Fall. While a lot of preemergent applications have already been performed, Burkdoll noted that some growers take a different approach. “Some guys do a split application and go out in the Spring as well; the early winter and late winter, which would be right now up until bloom.”
As growers work to complete their dormancy programs, the next phase of the season is underway with bees being prepped for almond pollination. “I saw bees moving in last week actually up and down Highway 99, bees coming in from out of state being placed. They just started though, so the next couple weeks will probably be pretty busy with bee placement around the orchards,” said Burkdoll.
Listen to the report below.