In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, a critical factor in effective pest management is achieving good application coverage. With hull split closing in, growers are busy getting materials out in the orchard to address pest populations and prevent issues from developing come harvest time. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll said that coverage is one of the most neglected aspects of pest control programs.
“You can have the best product, but if you don’t get good coverage, you’re not going to get control. You can have the best timing, but if you don’t get good coverage, you’re not going to get control,” Burkdoll explained. “And you can use the best IPM methods around, as far as mixing and matching chemistries, but if you didn’t get good coverage, you’re not going to get good control.”
Speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting good application coverage. Burkdoll recommends keeping application speeds under three miles per hour. Taking a slower approach will allow materials to cover all the intended areas to maximize overall efficacy. “Keeping that ground speed really slow, blowing through the canopy, getting particle droplets to the entire canopy not just to the outside is really, really critical to getting good control,” said Burkdoll.
A common criticism of slower application speeds is the increased time it takes to complete the application, which increases the cost of labor required. Burkdoll acknowledged that labor is already expensive, but so too are crop protection materials. Getting good coverage will help to make the most of that investment and mitigate the need for further action later in the season.
“Going fast does not do you any favors, in fact, it’s a detriment of any good spray program is going too fast,” said Burkdoll. “If you don’t get good coverage, you’re wasting your time and you’re compromising the operation.”
Listen to the report below.