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Spring Monitoring and Control of Leaffooted Bug

Spring is a critical time to monitor and control overwintering leaffooted bugs that are moving into and feeding on developing almond nuts, resulting in crop losses from fruit drop. This is particularly important in more susceptible almond varieties such as Fritz and Aldrich, and when the orchard has a history of leaffooted bug infestations. Adult leaffooted bugs overwinter in sheltered areas such as palm trees, junipers, pomegranates, citrus, olives and other popular overwintering food sources. Growers should monitor orchards postbloom and treat as necessary with a good contact material to knock down adult leaffooted populations. UC Berkeley Extension entomologist Dr. Kent Daane said the key to understanding the potential for leaffooted bug damage in 2014 is to look back at 2013. If overwintering sites had large leaffooted bug populations in the fall, it is likely the pest will crop up in neighboring almond orchards without the benefit of a winter cold snap to kill off those overwintering pests. Cold temperatures and rainfall from December to February can reduce overwintering leaffooted bug populations. Still, where there is a history of the pest, growers from postbloom through April should monitor their orchards for presence of the pest and treat early to prevent fruit drop. “Early control is absolutely vital to get those overwintering populations so that nuts don’t drop,” Dr. Daane said. Monitoring in the south San Joaquin Valley typically should begin in mid-February and continue through April farther north into the Sacramento Valley. There are not yet pheromones on the market to monitor leaffooted bugs, and sweep or beating tray samples are not reliable because adult insects scatter before they can be detected. Daane suggested using a long pole in mature orchards to beat the side and top of the canopy and watch for adult flyers. “If you are near an overwintering population source and are worried based on past history about leaffooted bug, it is a good idea to sample once a week for four or five weeks once bloom is done and nuts are set,” he said. Varieties such as Fritz and Aldrich are more susceptible to leaffooted bug damage, although the exact reasons are not understood. Growers with those orchards should be particularly vigilant this time of year. If pole sampling reveals adult flyers, treat immediately with a newer generation pyrethroid or neonicotinoid. A single application of these newer materials will usually control the pest. “Most importantly, use a material with good knockdown activity because if you keep them alive, it can quickly result in crop damage,” Dr. Daane said.
Nov 07, 2017 // Orchard Management

MRL Workshop to Focus on IPM and Export Issues

California Almond growers, PCAs and handlers who ship to export markets must constantly be aware of the maximum pesticide residue levels allowed by each market. A workshop to provide a practical overview of maximum residue levels (MRLs) science and policy issues is being offered to help attendees understand the evolving regulatory requirements of our global trading partners. The April 2 meeting, to be held at the Visalia Convention Center, will provide practical insights on how MRLs are developed and how they drive pest management programs, export business and what the future looks like for global trade. The program is organized by AgBusiness Resources and meeting sponsors. Presentations will include MRL basics, constraints and challenges to integrated pest management, why MRLs differ in various parts of the world, complexities of using residue decline curves, MRL database tools, GlobalGAP and trade agreements. Speakers include Barbara Madden, U.S. EPA; Becky Sisco, IR-4 Minor Use Registration Program at UC Davis; Nirmal Sanai, CDFA; Bob Mills, GlobalGAP; Mickey Paggi, CSU Fresno Center for Ag Business, Kimberly Berry, Bryant-Christie, Inc.; a registrant panel and others. The 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. program includes lunch, and 4 hours of PCA credit will be offered. Online registration is available at $125. Onsite registration will be $150. For meeting information and online registration go to
Nov 07, 2017 // About the Almond Industry

Back to School on Nut Tree Fundamentals

For an almond tree to produce the most nuts at the highest quality, it needs proper nurturing and maintenance. Achieving this standard requires sound orchard management and business decisions and a deep understanding of almond tree biology. In many cases, however, the information needed to make these decisions can be hard to find.    Again for 2018, the University of California, Davis, (U.C. Davis) plant sciences department and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) are offering a two-week pomology course to fruit and nut growers seeking to learn the fundamentals of tree biology and create improvements in the orchard. Through a series of lectures, hands-on exercises and in-field demonstrations, the course aims to educate growers on basic plant biology and how core biological principles intersect with managing fruit and nut orchards.   The course is titled “Principles of Fruit & Nut Tree Growth, Cropping & Management” and will take place February 19 to March 1, 2018, beginning on the U.C. Davis campus.    The course is broken into two week-long segments. The first week dives into agronomy, showcasing research from industry leaders on topics such as tree growth, development and pruning, dormancy and chilling, flowering, pollination and fruit set. Course participants will then put their learnings to practice via in-field exercises and demonstrations.    "The pomology short course is a great opportunity to dive deep into tree biology, and that’s important to almond growers, because it helps explain how the trees make decisions throughout the year and across their lifespan,” said Danielle Veenstra, senior specialist, sustainable farming communications for Almond Board of California and attendee of the 2014 course. “The trees’ biology is hard wired, so a grower’s opportunity for success lies in understanding those realities and managing the orchard with those things in mind.” Course instructor and U.C. Davis professor Theodore M. DeJong (left) explains root excavation to course participants. (Photo Credit: UC Davis) The second week, while optional, offers a valuable line of sight into the wider California agriculture industry. Course participants will embark on a four-day field tour throughout fruit and nut tree growing territory in northern and central California, stopping at current U.C. Davis experiment sites, processing facilities and various orchards along the way.   "Attendees will walk away with a deeper understanding of almond trees, as well as how that biology can impact management decisions,” said Veenstra. “It’s also a great networking opportunity with plenty of time to interact with speakers and other attendees between lectures, hands-on field demos and the field tour.”   Upon completing the course, attendees will be treated to a graduation dinner and will receive a certificate. Scholarships are available for qualified California growers. Industry members of all experience levels are encouraged to register for the course no later than January 24, 2018. To register for the Principles of Fruit & Nut Tree Growth, Cropping & Management course or to learn more about course instructors, registration fees and scholarship information, please visit  
Oct 02, 2017 // Orchard Management
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