Yearly Archives: 2020

Ethephon in a Straggled Leaf-Out, Lean Price Year

Given this spring’s prolonged leaf-out window, it is likely that there will also be a wide window in the timing of hull split and a need for two shakes in some varieties. Ethephon is a commonly used tool for advancing hull split and harvest-readiness in walnuts. Remember that there are two potential timings of ethephon, based on different goals. 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

Hull split Hull Rot Management

Infections by Rhizopus stolonifera and Aspergillus niger occur after hull split because these are wound pathogens that require an opening to enter and infect the hull. The best, current approach to managing Rhizopus hull rot management includes three parts. The first two steps help to manage the environment, with respect to the disease triangle, while the latter seeks to control the pathogen. 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

Hull Split Timing and Sprayer Practices for Best Pest Control Results

If you wait too long to put on the first hull split spray, it doesn’t matter if it’s done by air, ground or robot, what’s in the tank, how slow you drive or what spray volume you use – you are too late to get the best control possible and it will cost you in both lost crop and quality incentives. Once you get the timing right, you have to get excellent coverage when you spray or you will not get the best control possible and the best net return. Continue reading

Rootstock Trial for Boron Tolerance – 2019 Update

Excessive boron in soil or irrigation water is not widespread in the Central Valley, but where present, it can be a substantial obstacle to almond production. A rootstock trial in Yolo County was designed to find which almond rootstocks do better or worse under high boron conditions. What follows is a summary of findings to date. What follows is a summary of findings to date. Continue reading

Observations on Butte County Rootstock Trials

Over a dozen different rootstocks have been observed in various orchard situations with local growers in Butte County over the past twenty two years. The complete results of these trials can be found in past Annual Rootstock Project Reports to the Almond Board of California. The following article summarizes what the author believes are the most useful results and conclusions. Continue reading

Update on Rootstocks for Prune Production – 2019

Two rootstock experiments in grower orchards were planted in Northern California in 2011. One site in Butte County and a second in Yuba County. The two sites are evaluating the performance of Improved French on 14 rootstocks planted in replicated randomized trials. We previously reported in this newsletter on the results from this trial in 2015 and 2017 issues. Here, updated results are given. Continue reading