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Pest and Weed Expert Joins the Almond Board Team


Drew Wolter had his sights set on joining the Almond Board of California (ABC) long before he was hired as the Senior Specialist in Pest Management. As a graduate student at UC Davis, Wolter conducted research on almond production systems, much of which ABC supported, and his job with UCCE as a junior specialist in 2018 was also partially funded by ABC. These experiences gave Wolter an inside look at both ABC’s commitment to California almond growers and the broader industry as well as the people and culture that make up the organization. He was suitably impressed. “Since the beginning...

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Reports of Lower NOW Damage for 2020


Low numbers of navel orangeworm (NOW) at the start of the growing season has been cited as one reason for a trend of lower NOW damage across most of the tree nut sector this year. This is good news considering the complexity of having many more acres of nut trees coming into production across the state and different types of nuts planted in close proximity along with different management styles, including pest control, across all orchards.   Damage Levels Navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella, has emerged as the primary moth pest in California nut crops. Without control, successive generations grow larger...

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Be Aggressive with Red Imported Fire Ants


California’s arid conditions have slowed the spread of red imported fire ants since they were first introduced into the state in the late 1990s. But if you have them in your almond orchard – especially if you have microsprinklers that raise humidity – Extension entomologists recommend an aggressive baiting program starting in spring when temperatures warm. “We’ve seen some really good results with the baits that are available now,” said Kris Tollerup, a UCCE IPM advisor. “You have to be diligent with Southern fire ants and pavement ants, and it’s becoming a little more common with RIFA. “I’m not recommending...

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Planning for Spring Pest Management in Walnuts


Walnut leaf-out in late winter or early spring signals time to monitor for insect pest invasions. Species of insect pests vary depending on growing region, but growers and managers should be prepared with a plan for monitoring and suppressing populations before they cause economic damage to the crop. Jhalendra Rijal, UCCE area integrated pest management advisor in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties, and Rachel Elkins, UCCE pomology advisor in Lake and Mendocino counties, report very different insect pests that invade walnut orchards where they work. Rijal’s territory includes many acres of conventionally grown walnuts where codling moth and navel...

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Getting Proactive About Navel Orangeworm


Given its persistence and potential for crop damage, navel orangeworm is no longer just another problem that can arise; rather, it’s a problem that will arise, and management must be thought of as a proactive annual program like fertilizers, harvest or pre-emergent herbicides. That was the message at a recent webinar on Getting the Most Out of Your Navel Orangeworm Program. Peter McGhee, an entomologist with Pacific Biocontrol, outlined the key fundamentals of an efficient NOW management program and how best to incorporate pheromone mating disruption. He was joined by independent PCA Carla Youngblood and nut grower Chris Wylie with...

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