Citrus: Pre-bloom nutritional sprays are currently underway. Watch for citrus cutworm, green fruitworms and katydids and treat as needed. Be sure to complete treatments before bloom gets too far along, especially if incorporating an insecticide to ensure bees stay protected. The Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner declared the beginning of the citrus bloom period for citrus growing in District 1 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Friday morning, March 27, 2020; District 2 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Saturday morning, March 28, 2020; and District 3 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Wednesday morning, April 1, 2020*. The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner declared the beginning of the citrus bloom period for citrus growing in District 1 beginning at 1:00 a.m., Saturday morning, March 28, 2020*. Some farmers are still applying herbicides and fertilizers but are wrapping up soon.
*Citrus bloom statements for Fresno County can be found here
, and for Tulare County here
Almonds: Additional fungicides are being applied with continued rains. It’s advised to monitor for leaffooted plant bug (LFB) as there have been several reports of the pest being spotted. Applications for this pest are right around the corner and are typically completed by mid-April.
Table Grapes: With bud break underway and continued rains, it’s important to ensure the new crop tissue stays protected. We may consider treating to avoid Phomopsis with a combination of copper and sulfur or sulfur and ziram. Be sure to complete these applications before any rain event occurs to avoid the potential spread of Phomopsis.
Stone Fruit: Thrip sprays are wrapping up on nectarines as fruit sizing approaches. Applications for katydids are right around the corner for nectarines and some peach varieties as this pest generally shows up around mid-April. With the moist weather, keep an eye out for development of powdery mildew. It may be advised to apply sulfur (not on apricots) and a fungicide to prevent potential mildew spread. At this time in the season, a good nutritional program becomes essential to increasing pit size for greater fruit quality and size. We may consider developing a leaffeed program to assist with this process. Early bloomers are currently being thinned, but as the season progresses, we will soon need to focus on timing for nitrogen applications within the short window before fruit coloration. This is also a good time to clean up any young, tender weeds in the field left over from winter or early in the season. Heading into April, it’s important to assess your nutrient program. When your leaves reach full expansion, consider taking a leaf sample to get an early indication of your nutrient levels and address what adjustments are needed in your program.
Cherries: With the wet weather, mildew has become a major concern. Stay proactive and consider possible fungicides for control. We have also reached the threshold window for spotted wing drosophila.
Pistachios: It’s very important to get prepared for Botrytis applications in about 1-2 weeks. Be sure to have fungicides ready to help treat for this if needed. We are just starting to see buds push out and will begin preparing for fertilizer applications in the coming weeks.
Walnuts: Farmers are currently timing Retain applications on Serrs to assist with nut set. The recent rains have helped to knock down pollen which in turn helps to prevent pistillate flower abortion (PFA). The wet weather has also made catkins on Ivanhoes more susceptible to blight. Blight sprays are being applied to manage this disease. Tulares are just starting to break dormancy. Later in the first week of April, some blocks will be hit with Retain as well. Chandlers are still in dormancy. At this time, some growers are applying herbicides to help with weed control.
Garlic: Farmers are applying fertilizers and preventative fungicides for rust. A top dressing of 46-0-0 (Urea) is also being applied.
Onions: Like garlic, top dressing applications of Urea are underway. Herbicides are also being applied through sprinkler systems for late weed control.
Tomatoes: Crop transplanting is taking place as the weather permits.