Pest Archives - Page 4 of 8 - West Coast Nut



Managing Ants in Almonds Through Harvest

Protein feeding ants can accomplish a task few other insect pests even attempt. Given an opening in an almond shell, they can, in very small bites, eat an entire kernel, leaving an empty peel behind. Ant feeding, reports Blue Diamond’s Director of Grower Relations Mel Machado, can steal a good portion of an orchard’s crop yield in a short time – before a grower is aware of the problem. His advice to growers is to “look down.” “Growers tend to look up, at the trees, but they need to look at the orchard floors and see if they have an...

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Emerging as Significant Pest in Almonds

The good news for California tree nut producers is the brown marmorated stink bug is not widespread in commercial production areas. The bad news is, where it has shown up, crop damage can be severe. In one instance, in responding to a call from a grower in Stanislaus County, UCCE Farm Advisor Jhalendra Rijal said he was shocked to see the damage. “It looked like somebody came through with a shaker and shook these trees on the borders,” Rijal said. “All these almonds were on the ground like a blanket.” Later on, at harvest, Rijal said the orchard suffered losses...

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Gains Being Made in SIT NOW Research

Hopes that sterile insect technology (SIT) can offer a viable alternative for controlling navel orangeworm (NOW) in tree nut crops appear to have undergone a reversal of fortune as researchers were able to dramatically improve trial results between 2018 and 2019. “After the initial field trials in 2018, we realized we were facing a lot of challenges with these sterile NOW,” said Houston Wilson, a Cooperative Extension Specialist with the Department of Entomology at University of California Riverside, who is leading the research along with Chuck Burks, a research entomologist at USDA-ARS in Parlier, California. “As we go into 2020,...

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Identifying Rodents is the First Management Step in Tree Nut Orchards

Vertebrate pests chew the bark on young trees, create extensive burrow systems that pose problems with equipment movement and worker safety, damage irrigation lines and in extreme situations, affect crop yields. Roger Baldwin, UCCE wildlife specialist, said that correct identification of the problem species is the first step in controlling populations. What may work for ground squirrel control won’t be as effective against a vole invasion. Understanding biology and habitat of the target species will help with choosing the most effective control strategies. Identify the Pest California ground squirrels are a common pest in many tree nut orchards. They are...

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NOW in Walnuts

Contiguous acreage of nut crops in California is making navel orangeworm (NOW) a more pressing pest concern for walnut growers, according to Emily Symmes, Sacramento Valley area IPM advisor with the UC Statewide IPM Program and Cooperative Extension. “Navel orangeworm has a broad host range and availability in the state, with tree nuts among the preferred hosts,” Symmes said. “And we are seeing expanded, contiguous acreage in tree nuts of almond, walnut and pistachio, up nearly 50 percent in bearing acreage over the last decade.” The contiguous acreage makes NOW movement and spread a significant threat to nut crops. “What...

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