Almond Matters: Pest Pressures Low, But Activity Likely to Pick Up

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent U.S.A., pest pressures appear slow this season. Wet and cooler weather has helped curb pest development compared to previous years. Field Market Development Specialist with Valent U.S.A., Todd Burkdoll said that could change as summer begins.

Pest Pressures

“Mites like hot temperatures and as the degree days heat up then also the navel orangeworm kicks in too. So far, I was checking some traps yesterday looking for navel orangeworm and I didn’t see much pressure,” Burkdoll noted. “A lot of guys are using mating disruption this year, which makes sense based on previous years. Mating disruption actually does a pretty good job, but it’s not 100 percent. So having a contingency plan is also pretty good. I’m a firm believer in using Dipel basically as an insurance policy.”

Growers are encouraged to stay vigilant with their scouting to prepare for the likely increase in navel orangeworm activity. Other pests such as mites will also become more of an issue with warming weather. Burkdoll said that thus far, in orchards he has looked at, mite populations have been minimal. “I found a couple blocks with history of high pressure with one or two mites, but nothing to really get excited about at this point,” Burkdoll noted.


While the weather has kept pest pressures low, it has also contributed to disease problems. Burkdoll explained that Alternaria has been showing up, typically in areas with high-density plantings that have had a lot of moisture. The wet and cold conditions in late winter into early spring also appear to have taken a toll on crop load.

“I don’t see any really heavy orchards this year. Primarily I think that was due to the pollination conditions during bloom. It just wasn’t ideal,” Burkdoll explained. “Bees don’t fly, and pollen tubes don’t grow when it’s down below the 50-degree range. So, I think that’s the problem.”

Listen to the report below.