Almond Matters: Mite Management Starts with Prevention

Brian GermanAlmond Matters, News from our Sponsors

In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, mite management will be a central concern as temperatures begin to heat up. Mite populations can expand rapidly if growers are not actively monitoring for the pest. Preventative action is a critical factor in keeping orchards safe from mite infestations. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll explained just how quickly a mite problem can get out of hand.

Mite Management

“It depends on heat units and degree days, but they can go from one to a million in a couple of weeks, the growth is exponential. It doesn’t take very long,” said Burkdoll. “I’ve seen fields within 30 days from first seeing mites to just being completely webbed over and haunted forest type conditions because of the webbing and mites everywhere.”

Typically, when temperatures get into the high 80s and low 90s, it is a good indicator for growers to take action. Burkdoll also noted that if a grower has had a history of mites, it is likely there will be mite issues in the future. While there are contact materials available to make applications later in the season, mite management is far more effective when addressing smaller populations preventatively. Burkdoll said that applications of foliar nutrition and applications to address other pests in the orchard can be accompanied by miticide applications at this point in the season.

“Getting them before they get out of hand is the key. You can go on with ovicide materials to kill the eggs. Zeal works really well,” Burkdoll explained. “I do that every year, just start out early usually. It’s around mid- to late-May depending on heat units. For the last four years, that’s the only miticide application I’ve had to apply. So, it’s a good tool. It’s just a matter of monitoring them and getting them before they get out of hand.”

Listen to the report below.