Author Archives: Sacramento Valley Orchards

Weed Technology Survey

A team of weed scientists from UC Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey (link below) about your current weed management practices and your interest in novel technologies, like vision-guided sprayers and cultivators, and electric, steam, and pressurized water weeders. This will help us plan research and extension projects that will address stakeholder concerns regarding the future of weed management. Continue reading

Ant Management is Especially Important in a Heavy Crop Year

Because the percentage of ant damage is related to how long the nuts remain on the orchard floor, planning for ant management this season is vital. The size of this year’s crop will likely translate into longer periods of almonds sitting on the orchard floor waiting for pick up – especially for growers that depend on contract harvesters. Continue reading

Managing Walnut Orchards for Insect-eating Birds

Codling moth are challenging to control during the growing season because the larvae burrow inside nuts to feed, keeping them safe from natural enemies and insecticides. However, during winter months, larvae are more vulnerable to predators, offering opportunities for biocontrol by natural enemies, including insectivorous birds. Continue reading

New EPA Paraquat Restrictions

As the 2020 growing season approaches, California growers, PCAs and handlers will have new regulations to take into consideration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the new requirements for handling paraquat (paraquat dichloride). The new EPA restrictions on paraquat aim to help protect Restricted Use Pesticide handlers, and others who may come into contact with these pesticides. However, these requirements will have a ripple effect on growers, distributors and the California agriculture community. Label changes emphasizing paraquat toxicity, restrictions and safe handling were completed November 2019. Continue reading

Young Orchard Weed Management

Weeds in young orchards compete with trees for orchard resources such as sunlight, water and nutrients. This can lead to reductions in growth and future yields. If weed stands are allowed to mature, not only are they harder to control via chemical and mechanical methods, but they can also create cover for voles and gophers, which can then damage tree trunks, root systems and irrigation systems. Continue reading

Pruning wound protection: How to reduce the impact of canker diseases

As we approach winter in the Sacramento Valley and almond trees enter dormancy, pruning becomes a top priority for many growers. Rain events are strongly correlated with the spread of fungal canker pathogens whose primary infection sites are pruning wounds. Results from sampling over 140 almond orchards found 21 different fungal pathogens associated with these canker diseases. While the pathogens differ in biology, there are common approaches to prevent infections. Continue reading

Increase Your Return on Investment with Post-Harvest Weed Scouting

Post-harvest scouting offers an opportunity to evaluate the current year’s orchard floor management plan, allowing you to see what weed species have escaped that year’s management plan, where they are, and how severe the infestation may be. These are all valuable pieces of information, which help design a management program that can meet the specific needs of the orchard from year to year. Continue reading