Monday, June 2, 2014

Windy Weather Puts May Sprays for Almonds on Hold

 Every season, almond experts will talk about applying May sprays for controlling pests such as peach twig borer or San Jose scale. Timing can be critical.

But as the month of May wound down last week, some growers were having a hard time getting their treatments done thanks to Mother Nature, field scout Jenna Horine points out.
Windy weather put a damper on May sprays in almonds.

 “A lot of people were trying to get their May sprays in,” Jenna says. But it was too darn windy. That forced growers to play a waiting game. Jenna adds that one grower started spraying his orchard when the winds picked up and forced him to call it a day.

During the week, winds averaged 11 to 14 miles an hour across the Valley, according to National Weather Service stats.

David Doll, a pomologists and almond expert with UC Cooperative Extensive in Merced County, says peach twig borer (PTB) is one of the pests that growers tackle in their May sprays. The timing is based on degree days. For PTB, the sprays are based on the accumulation of degree days (400 to 500) after the first few moths are caught in traps.

Alfalfa growers are irrigating their fields for a third harvest .
Growers want to do their May treatment before the weather starts getting hotter and the pest populations start to increase.

Meanwhile, Jenna sees some growers getting a jump on orchard preparations for the fall harvest. Many say the dry winter is pushing almond development about three months ahead of time. We could see the harvest starting in September.

In the fields, alfalfa growers are irrigating fields and looking toward a third harvest. All have finished with the second cutting of the season.  So far, Carlos reports no major pest problems in alfalfa.

Field Day Alert: Alfalfa growers will have an opportunity to receive valuable tips about pest and crop management from leading ag experts during a June 9 field day in Dos Palos. The event features Dr. Pete Goodell of UC IPM, Fresno County ag specialist William Griffin and pest control advisor and agronomist Francisco Parra. The field day runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Scout Hut, 1910 Marguerite St., Dos Palos. The speakers will update farmers with a follow-up on the blue alfalfa aphid outbreak this year, non-fumigant VOC regulations, vertebrate pest control and drip irrigation in alfalfa. Directions are available in the events section of the Sustainable Cotton Project’s website. Two hours of continuing education credits are available, including one hour of rules and regulations.

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