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Review and Prepare for 2020 CA Tree Nuts Season

November 4, 2019
This agronomic image shows tree nuts

California tree nuts face pest pressure year-round. Because threats come from below and above ground, a well-rounded management program is essential to produce a high-yielding crop with optimum quality. We talked with agronomists Garrett Gilcrease and Don Lewis about pressures they saw this past season, and what to expect in 2020.

What is the current state of the almond and nut industry, and what can we expect moving forward?

The nut industry overall is pretty good, though the trade wars have impacted grower and processor confidence. Pistachios have been solid, but the walnut industry has been hit hard the last few years by the trade wars. The almond industry continues to be successful because the U.S. produces the most almonds in a concentrated area, so fewer countries can backfill this crop.

What types of weeds, insects, and disease are growers facing?

The biggest insect on everybody’s mind is naval orangeworm. It is a tough pest to control. It’s a direct degrader of the economic yield potential, as it feeds on the actual nut itself. Other insects don’t have the same direct impact.

To help combat naval orangeworm, growers a few options. Minecto® Pro and Besiege® insecticide help kill the insects, but should be rotated with other products because they share the same mode of action.. It’s important to utilize products that have different modes of action to help combat resistance. Proclaim® insecticide is a good fit within a rotational program to introduce a different mode of action.

As to weed control, the focus in almonds is to keep the rows clean so weeds are not a problem during harvest.  As we approach post-harvest, we’ll start to apply a preemergence herbicide application. Another application of preemergence goes on in January or February.

For broadleaf weed control, Broadworks® herbicide is an excellent preemergence product. Its strength lies in broadleaf weed control.

What key pieces of advice do you have for growers going into next season?

Essentially, take stock of what happened in your orchards this past year. Review the strong and weak spots of your management program then adjust and make solid plans for the upcoming year. Every year is different, but review, find what worked well, and talk with others about what to do differently.

For more insight into your tree nut orchards and how to manage disease and insect pressure, contact your Syngenta representative.

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All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

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