In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, the 2019 season created some challenges for California growers early on with wet and cold weather in spring. Once the abnormal weather patterns passed, the rest of the year provided some generally favorable conditions during the growing season.
“What I’m seeing across California this year is a high degree of variability. On average our yields are up, but in some locations yields are down, other locations yields are way up,” said Pat Clay, Manager of Field Development for Valent USA. “What’s really interesting is if you look at data from a lot of our trial work, even within the same field there is a tremendous amount of variability as you move across the field.”
The weather over the summer for the 2019 season was also somewhat mild, bringing with it some beneficial conditions as it pertains to pest pressures. Exceptionally warm temperatures did not generally arrive until around the beginning of July. “We’re generally down this year for certain insects, in particular mites. Mite pressure didn’t move in until later this year and it was not as heavy as we’ve been seeing in previous years, so those were good conditions for the growers,” Clay noted.
The warm and dry conditions allowed growers to get through the harvest season without any significant rains to affect scheduling or the quality of nuts that may have been on the ground. The dry period directly after harvest created ample opportunity for winter sanitation programs and getting a strong start to the 2020 season.
“If you got your herbicides out ahead of the rains that’s a good thing. However, if you didn’t, there’s still an opportunity to get in and manage those winter weeds as well as residual control for some of those early emerging spring weeds,” said Clay. “Really the difference there is you’ll have to rely on some burndown chemistry going in the tank with that residual herbicide.”
Listen to the report below.