Almond Matters: Hot Summer Brings Pest Challenges Ahead of Hull Split

Brian GermanAlmond Matters, Almonds, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent U.S.A., growers are working to address pest challenges ahead of the coming hull split. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent U.S.A., Todd Burkdoll said that mites, navel orangeworm (NOW), and leaffooted plant bugs are of particular importance. Mites can be especially troublesome come harvest time.  

Pest Challenges

“I’ve seen years where there’s almost complete defoliation because of mites that were running rampant later on during harvest,” Burkdoll noted. “If you haven’t done a miticide application, if you’ve got any mites at all that have shown up, I would say treat them right now. Preferably, spray at night, get a slower drying time, and get good coverage.”

The cooler spring and start to summer have been atypical compared to the past few years, augmenting many growers’ pest management timelines. With consistently high temperatures now, Burkdoll said it brings “a higher fecundity” of orchard pests. Many growers are having success mitigating NOW issues by implementing mating disruption. Burkdoll said he has seen positive results in orchards that have used the practice. However, the approach is still not 100 percent effective.

“I know fields that I looked at last year that were inundated with traps of navel orangeworm, I went out last week and there were very few if any of the traps had any navel orangeworm in them. So, I’m thinking ‘Wow this stuff is really working well.’ But there’s still a few that escape it,” Burkdoll explained. “That’s the justification for a pound of Dipel with a miticide spray. It really works well to keep those populations even lower.”

Burkdoll said he has seen many orchards this year where the fruit set is not very heavy, making pest challenges even more of a threat. “Saving what you’ve got is really key. You don’t want to take a bunch of damaged nuts to the processor,” said Burkdoll.

Listen to the report below.