Almond Board: Winter Sanitation for NOW Control

DanTree, nut & vine crops

almond update logo2Almond growers are focusing on winter orchard sanitation, which is a key to controlling navel orangeworm (NOW). Sabrina Hill reports.

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Navel orangeworm is a primary pest of almonds and can cause major damage. And stopping that damage can start this time of year. A first step is to shake mummy nuts from the trees. In fact, UC pest management guidelines say there should be no more than two mummy nuts per tree for orchards in northern parts of the state. In southern areas, new guidelines say you’ll want an average of only a half a mummy per tree. That’s because there’s more warm days, less rain to knock the nuts off, and there’s more navel orangeworm pressure due to nearby pistachio crops.
But Almond Board Associate Director of Agricultural Affairs, Bob Curtis says it doesn’t stop with getting the mummies off the tree.

As Curtis pointed out, navel orangeworm can infest mummy nuts left on the ground and later move to the trees. Therefore, the mummies on the ground must be destroyed or removed.

Nuts on the ground need to be destroyed before March 15. The ultimate goal is to have less than 2 percent damage from navel orangeworm at harvest time.