Overall, California saw an increase in rain this winter. The state hasn’t seen weather like that for several years and it could have some benefits when it comes to pest pressures. “One of the ones that I am seeing that looks more normal, at least relative to last year, is navel orangeworm (NOW) in almonds,” Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management Advisor Emily Symmes says. “We are seeing a bit more normal flight patterns at least in the Sacramento Valley area where the onset of spring activity was more inline with what we are use to. It was early to mid April timing. Last year it was back in March and made things difficult to track.”
Symmes says navel orange worm pressure looks a lot tamer than it has been in previous seasons. “Overall with navel orangeworm in almonds, this year it looks like the numbers are down,” Symmes says. “That makes sense because we did have a real winter with more moisture. That can lead to an increase in winter mortality.”
This of course is good news, yet Symmes advises growers to not get complacent with the their pest management. “It’s really important with NOW in almonds to not take our eyes of the ball, so to speak,” Symmes said.