Pest | West Coast Nut



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Navel Orangeworm Rejects on the Rise

While the amount of Nonpareil almond rejects due to navel orangeworm (NOW) damage varies from season to season, Blue Diamond Growers has noted a concerning uptick over the past 10-plus years. With the upward trend comes opportunity losses from reduced or no grower premiums. UCCE farm advisors and Blue Diamond staff point to not one, but a combination of factors that likely are responsible for the increasing rejects. “It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on,” said Jhalendra Rijal, UCCE IPM advisor for Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties. “It could be multiple factors at play.” Among potential contributors are...

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Ant Management in Almonds

There are two main ant pests in almonds: the pavement ant and the southern fire ant. The pavement ant is about 0.13 inch long, dark brown and covered with coarse hairs. It has ridges on its head that are visible with a hand lens and prefers to nest in sandy or loam soils. It’s found throughout the Central Valley, but most commonly in the northern San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The southern fire ant is 0.07 to 0.25 inch long and has an amber head and thorax with a black abdomen. Compared to pavement ants, fire ants vigorously swarm from the...

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New Kids on the Block:

The trend toward self-fertile almond varieties continues as a handful of nurseries have new offerings that allow growers to reduce bees needed for pollination and manage orchards more efficiently. Following on the heels of the successful self-fertile Independence variety, Dave Wilson Nursery has introduced Liberty. Burchell Nursery has launched Pyrenees, the second release in its self-fruitful Summit Almond Series. And several businesses, including Duarte Nursery, Burchell Nursery, Sierra Gold Nurseries, Fowler Nurseries, Roos Tree Nursery, Tudor Trees Nursery and Agromillora Nursery, will offer Yorizane. From the breeding program of Dr. Craig Ledbetter with USDA-ARS, it is a public self-fertile variety...

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Five Things That Worked for Pest Control in 2021 — and a Few Things That Didn’t

PCAs interviewed at the 2021 Crop Consultant Conference and in the field emphasized nutrition, sanitation, tracking degree days and mating disruption as their major tools to keep crop damage low in tree nut crops this year. No surprise that navel orangeworm (NOW) and mite control were their two biggest challenges throughout a hot and dry summer, but they all had strategies that worked as well as some that worked less effectively. What Worked Their five most successful strategies for pest control in 2021 were: Sticking with a Plan “We had a good pest control plan,” said David Vieira, PCA for...

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IPM’s Role in Crop Quality

Quality expectations are high, market competition is intense and production costs are up. “Where does that leave tree nut growers and their pest control advisors?” asks UCCE Farm Advisor Franz Niederholzer. In a Yuba-Sutter counties webinar series, Niederholzer noted that while markets are generally strong, maximizing net returns per acre is especially critical to economic sustainability in the almond industry. Cost effective pest management, Niederholzer stressed, is the key to maximizing return per acre. Insect pests that can cause economic damage in tree nuts fall into two categories: mobile and immobile. Leading the way on the mobile list of annual...

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