Almond Matters: Implementing Disease Management Programs

Brian GermanAlmond Matters, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, developing a disease management program is essential for ensuring the health of trees. Making adequate preparations will help with the efficiency and effectiveness of management plans. It is also important to remain flexible as weather conditions may warrant a different management approach.

Disease Management Programs

“Thinking about the almond diseases, I like to think about them in stages of when they occur and when you need to be attacking them. Certainly, cultural practices through the winter are very important,” said Pat Clay, Manager of Field Development for the West for Valent USA. “Then moving into the spring probably the biggest one is brown rot blossom blight for bloom spray applications. Then a couple of other diseases as well and then you move into your spring and summer diseases that you want to have a plan of attack against.”

Growers are paying close attention to their orchard conditions as the bloom period is quickly approaching. There has been a decent number of chill hours this season so far despite a relatively mild winter overall. Having a plan in place and all the necessary materials on standby will allow growers to make those critical timely applications.

“Moving into bloom, generally you think about full bloom sprays for making a fungicide application. Quash for example is an excellent material for managing brown rot blossom blight. But that may not be enough depending on the weather pattern,” Clay noted. “You may have to consider additional fungicide applications after that and really think about rotations to other products.”

Weather conditions in California have been relatively dry so far this winter, with minimal rainfall in most areas. The daytime temperatures have also been fairly mild, creating quite a bit of fog in many areas of California. Implementing disease management plans will still require growers to be flexible in adapting to changing weather patterns. “Even if it’s dry during the bloom period you want to pay attention to that weather factor such as fog where you can have those wet conditions. That’s certainly going to impact your disease management program that you put in place,” said Clay.

Listen to the report below.