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Mind Your Ps & Qs with Almond Insecticide Program

June 26, 2021
almond in tree

What does it take to plan a cost-efficient insecticide program for almonds that is also an effective program? You have to mind your pennies to protect your almond quality, sort of a mind your Ps & Qs situation.

Fortunately, growers have programs available that can do just that.

According to the Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds, an effective pest management program is based on good monitoring protocols.

Once you’re at 1% hullsplit and navel orangeworm (NOW) flights are present, it is time to put a cost-effective insecticide program in play to protect almond quality and yield. Otherwise, damage can range from larvae in the nutmeat to nut consumption and even fungal infections.

The University of California IPM program says hullsplit begins, “when sound fruit in the top southwestern quadrant of the trees just begin to split.” The suture is not yet wide open, and nuts at eye level will be less mature than those at the top. “Blank nuts (usually 3-5% of the crop) will split 1-2 weeks ahead of sound nuts and should not be confused with new crop hullsplit.”

The first spray should take place at this time and is the most critical spray. We recommend 2 highly effective and cost-efficient program options, depending on what other insects may be present.

  • If you not only have NOW, but also spider mites at hullsplit, you can treat for both pests together. Minecto Pro® insecticide is the best product for the job. Not many insecticides can control NOW and spider mites like Minecto Pro, which is why we call it the all-in-one insecticide for the first hullsplit spray. You can add another miticide, if needed, and can knock down NOW adults during evening sprays. Consider it the one-stop-shop for solid cost efficiency.
  • Besiege® insecticide is the other option to manage NOW. At a lower cost than Minecto Pro, it has 2 active ingredients that provide control of all NOW life cycles. You will need to add a miticide, if mites are present, and it is compatible with oil to smother mites through hullsplit.

While effectiveness of the first spray will last more than 30 days, a second spray 10-14 days after the first when nuts are starting to open is generally required to maximize control. You need coverage for nuts already open and coverage for nuts yet unopened when NOW lays eggs on the suture. Since another flight likely will be coming, newly exposed flesh is also vulnerable to infestation.

One of these cost-efficient programs can help you manage insects in almonds this summer. The most cost-efficient program is the one that works, so the best way to mind your Ps & Qs is with a program that includes Minecto Pro or Besiege.

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