How We Grow

2019 May/June How We Grow

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3 A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S PEST MANAGEMENT Mites, NOW, Hull Rot: IPM Critical During Hullsplit Integrated pest management (IPM) is not a "one and done" endeavor; it's a year-to- year, varied and integrated approach. "What worked last year or across the road is not necessarily going to keep pests managed effectively across your entire orchard," said David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) entomology farm advisor. "All decisions need to be made year by year, field by field and, sometimes, tree by tree." The season-long use of IPM tools is critical in the lead up to hullsplit, when insects such as spider mites and navel orangeworm (NOW), and diseases such as hull rot, threaten to diminish both this year and the next year's crop. What's more, one control option is not sufficient: IPM for each pest and disease truly encompasses a variety of strategies which, when used properly and season-long, complement each other and help growers reduce threats to their crop and livelihood. One key strategy to reducing some insects around hullsplit includes the use of cultural controls: using natural organisms such as predatory insects to control levels of insects. Haviland offers four basic IPM recommendations for growers to consider when it comes to implementing these controls: Maintain conditions to minimize pests Monitor for pests Monitor for predatory insects (biological controls) Be precise with your timing "These are key components of integrated pest management and can greatly impact almond quality and profitability in the months ahead," Haviland said. Control options for spider mites Spider mites are a key pest to look out for around hullsplit. They tend to be most prolific when temperatures are high, trees are water stressed and dusty conditions persist. Spider mites threaten overall tree health by causing "leaf stippling" when they suck cell contents from the tree's leaves. 1 In extreme cases, the tree will prematurely defoliate, reducing next year's crop. Continued on Page 4 that the individuals in this program bring to our industry. These men and women represent various vocations in our industry, from marketing to growing to food safety and everything in between, and after completing this yearlong program many of them go on to serve as members or alternates of various Almond Board committees, where their varying expertise and knowledge bring new insights to the table. These leaders have been and will continue to be instrumental in the future of our industry as they truly embrace the same mantra I had as a young boy: "There must be a better way." In this issue of How We Grow, you'll have an opportunity to learn more about this year's Almond Leadership class and hear the stories of two current Leadership participants. You'll also receive an update in the four areas of the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, including a deep dive into research around integrated pest management during hullsplit and recent work around Whole Orchard Recycling. And, be sure to check out this issue's "Movers and Shakers" section to see how industry leaders are giving back to their communities, supporting ag education and serving California ag at the legislative level. 1 Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, healthy and safe food product.

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