Monday, April 9, 2018

Warm April Showers Prompts Growers to Protect Almond Trees from Disease

The Pineapple Express rolled into the Central Valley at the end of last week, delivering warm rain to our region.
Variable weather hit almonds, including a hard freeze.

Like we mentioned last month, this wet stuff during the late winter and early spring continues tobewitch almond growers who are still trying to assess any damage from the freezing weather in February. 

David Doll, a UC Cooperative Extension pomologist and almond expert in Merced County, says the April showers may prompt almond growers to make another fungicide application.

“If a spray has not been made within the last seven to 10 days, consider making a spray with a rotating chemistry to reduce the occurrence of the spring time diseases of Anthracnose, scab and shot-hole. If there is a history of bacterial spot, a copper-manzate application should be considered,” Doll wrote in a recent Almond Doctor online column.

So far this season, Doll has observed cases of leaf lesions caused by bacteria. This condition, which is evident by a yellow halo on the leaf, could be compounded by more rain. Trees eventually recover after losing some leaves.

Almond growers need to protect trees from scale.
On the pest front, Doll recommends growers putting out traps and monitoring for navel orangeworm (NOW).  Orchards with a lot of mummy nuts are likely to need treating for NOW in the spring. Those growers who did a good job with orchard sanitation “are not going to have much value in a spring spray,” Doll told growers attending a recent almond field day.

Meanwhile in the fields, field scout Damien Jelen says the rain has slowed some cotton planting. A lot depends on the soil. Some soil will dry faster and allow growers to get back into the field and finish planting.

Alfalfa growers are finishing the first cutting of the season.

In alfalfa, growers have completed[ their first cutting. Now, Damien says, they are waiting for the cut alfalfa to dry more on the ground before baling the crop.

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