WCN Almond Dust Control 903

(originally published July 2017)

Good, thorough dust control has many benefits from reducing  topsoil erosion, to mite control, to safety. 

Dust control is not just at harvest.  It goes through the entire season, according to David Doll, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor for Merced County.

“I think many people focus at harvest because of how much dust you throw out just through the harvesting process,” Doll said, but if good practices are employed earlier, it will also reduce dust at harvest, which is better for the trees.

Franz Niederholzer, UCCE farm advisor for Colusa, Yuba, and Sutter Counties, said, dust control is an environmental, safety and even a pest control issue.


May Spray

(originally published June 2017)

As almond growers prepare for hullsplit sprays, it is time to review best practices for the most effective treatment program that follows an IPM approach and resistance management for treating navel orangeworm (NOW) and spider mites.

David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomologist in Kern County, said this approach includes monitoring to determine navel orangeworm treatment timing, monitoring of mites and natural enemies to determine the need for a miticide, using selective chemistries, and rotating among pesticide modes of action to minimize pesticide resistance.

Navel Orangeworm

Cultural practices are the first line of defense against NOW. Prompt harvest and pickup, followed by removal and destruction of mummy nuts, is an essential first step in controlling NOW; hullsplit sprays are generally only about 50% effective because larvae are protected once they enter the hull to feed. Growers may have gotten a boost in their cultural control this year following unprecedented moisture through spring.

WCN walnut 3

(originally published December 2017)

There was a time when people thought the world was flat. There was also a time when people thought walnuts could only be grown in class one soil. Both “facts” have been proven wrong.

According to Bill Krueger, emeritus University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Glenn County farm advisor, “research and grower experience has shown with the right preparation and planting system, walnuts can be successfully grown on less-than-ideal soils.”

He went on to say, in the process of planning and planting a walnut orchard, soil evaluation is the place to start.

Katherine Pope, UCCE area orchard systems advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties, said, whether planting a new orchard or replanting, getting things off to a good start is essential when considering the investment cost required to develop a successful orchard.


(originally published November 2017)

Pecans are the only native nut crop in North America. California pecans, compared to other nut crops like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are a minor crop, but pecan acreage is making slow, continual growth.

Wet Feet

Karlene Hanf, an orchard specialist with Linwood Nursery in La Grange, California, said they have seen an increase in pecan plantings in California.

     “In 2019, I’ll have more pecans going in the ground than I have historically. Every year it grows a little bit. Is it a huge volume? No,” Hanf said, but growers are learning that pecans do better near rivers or areas with a high water table.

During the drought many growers planted walnuts or almonds near rivers or where there was a high water table, and this year they found out that was not a good idea, Hanf said.

     Richard Heerema, pecan specialist at the University of New Mexico, agreed. “You go through a few years of drought and everybody starts planting almonds and walnuts in low lying areas, and then you go through a year like California had last year, and that’ll change opinions pretty quickly.”