Author Archives: Sacramento Valley Orchards

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

Maximizing walnut quality to improve value in a low-price year

Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Farm Advisor, Tulare County; Carlos Cristosto, CE Specialist, Postharvest Physiology; Bruce Lampinen, CE Specialist, Plant Sciences The overall value of a walnut crop is based on yield and nut quality. Commodity prices are depressed, improving nut quality … Continue reading

Walnut Blight Bud Sampling

Depending upon weather conditions, pathogen population and walnut variety, walnut blight caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis (Xaj) can cause significant crop loss. Blight damage in later leafing varieties largely depends on how high the overwintering population of inoculum built up on bud scales. Initial inoculum in dormant buds can be used to predict subsequent disease severity. Continue reading