Almond Update: Mating Disruption Could Be ‘Backbone of Any IPM Program’

Brian German Almond Update, News from our Sponsors

Mating disruption is a critical component of an integrated pest management (IPM) program to address issues of navel orangeworm (NOW). A breakout session during the 2021 Almond Conference focused exclusively on the practice, with different options available to growers and incentives to help with implementation. The cornerstone to an effective IPM approach to NOW is winter sanitation, which can be coupled with several other practices and tools. Senior Specialist in Pest Management at the Almond Board of California (ABC), Drew Wolter noted how important mating disruption tools can be for growers.

Mating Disruption

“Really the backbone of any IPM program for managing navel orangeworm is mating disruption. That’s how you’re going to get to the point of bringing down the population size, year in and year out,” Wolter explained. “One of the key resources we’ve put together is the non-biased comparison of the different mating disruption units that are out there which really gives growers a basis to understand some of the cost, who’s hanging it, who’s distributing it, and going from there in terms of whether or not you have organic options.”

Growers have shown to be successful in addressing NOW populations when implementing the practice. The resource from ABC presents information on a variety of different options that are available but also notes the importance of monitoring and trapping. Wolter noted that growers and PCAs have raised concerns about trapping numbers in relation to the practice. Questions have been asked as to how to effectively track NOW populations using traps when mating disruption has been deployed in the orchard.

“If you don’t have a PPO or a Peterson trap in the orchard, and you’re using mating disruption, you’re going to see a trap shutdown phenomenon. That’s what folks are calling it. All that means is that’s your negative control,” Wolter explained. “That’s your way of seeing and knowing that mating disruption is working. The fact that no moths are being caught in a trap means mating disruption is working.”

ABC has a variety of resources available to assist growers in managing NOW.

Listen to Wolter’s interview below.

About the Author

Brian German

Facebook Twitter

Ag News Director, AgNet West