Almond Matters: Pest Management Preparation

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, with temperatures forecasted to rise again growers will want to be ready with their pest management preparation.  Manager of Field Development for Valent USA, Pay Clay noted that the season is generally past the point of peach twig borer concerns and growers are mainly focusing on the future with potential issues with Navel orangeworm and mite pressures.

pest management preparation

“Certainly, this time of year is a great time to start preparing for Navel orangeworm; starting to look at those models for the first flight and monitoring for the pest are very important,” said Pat Clay, Manager of Field Development for Valent USA.  “It’s also a time, as we start to warm up, that you need to really start paying attention to mite populations to see if they’re building.”

Twospotted spider mites and Pacific mites are going to be the most problematic mites for almond growers.  Adopting an integrated pest management approach that incorporates beneficial insects can help address mite pressures.

 “One of the best predators for mites is the six-spotted thrip and it does a nice job of keeping those populations at bay.  So, with that in mind, if you can preserve those populations you’re going to get a better result out of all of your miticides,” Clay noted.  “You have to pay attention to what impact those materials are going to have on that thrips population because that’s going to kind of change the game on how you consider using these miticides.”

Growers working on their pest management preparation have a number of materials available to them.  Clay noted that some of the materials used for combatting certain pests can also be detrimental to thrips, so growers will need to make individual decisions as to what the most appropriate material may be based on what types of pests are most problematic.  “In the case of Zeal, it’s very soft on the thrips populations, so it’s a really nice choice for an early-season miticide when you’re wanting to maintain those beneficial populations,” Clay explained.

Listen to the report below.