Almonds: Most growers are out of the woods for leaffooted bug (LFB) as nuts begin to harden. Weeds are being cleaned up and fertilizer applications will hopefully be finished up by the end of the month as kernel fill is completed. As temperatures warm up in the next week, be on the lookout for mites. PCAs and growers have spotted rust on the west side and in Madera. If you have a history of rust, be sure to contact your GAR Bennett PCA for treatment options. In addition to rust, be on the lookout for late season diseases such as Scab and Alternaria showing up as a result of the late rain followed by hot temperatures. As we approach June, we may consider pulling tissue samples to plan for post-harvest fertilizer applications. We will want to ensure potassium levels are sufficient before entering the period of bud differentiation.
Citrus: Some growers are wrapping up sprays for thrips with the exception of any slower growing varieties. PCAs are scouting for potential re-treatments for thrips due to reinfestation, especially with the upcoming heat wave. The first flight of red scale is currently happening, and pressures have been high. PCAs are checking trap counts and have already spotted white caps. Crawlers have also been spotted down south. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for appropriate treatment options if red scale is an issue in your citrus groves. Growers are addressing snail issues in the field, wrapping up nitrogen applications and doing some burn down sprays as well.
Grapes: Thompson raisin growers who applied gibb from April 20-28 for bunch stretch are seeing some great results. Rains earlier this week and the upcoming projected heat wave may create a breeding ground for powdery mildew. Stay in close contact with your GAR Bennett PCA to properly time applications for mildew control. Dust and wettable sulfur are being finished up this week to assist in preventing this disease. As of May 15, sulfur was moved to a 3-day R.E.I. Be mindful of this if you have plans to harvest leaves. Fertilizer applications will wrap up post-bloom. Some wine grapes that are not varietals are seeing a price increase in the market. Sales are up 30% on some of the lower priced wines as a result of the pandemic.
Stone Fruit: Harvest for early varieties is moving along, but there still isn’t a lot of volume. Many blocks are being treated with a pre-harvest fungicide along with an insecticide for worms and silvering thrips on nectarines. As we get later into the season on nectarines, keep an eye out for katydids as these pests will begin to migrate. Oriental fruit moth (OFM) degree days (DD) will be dependent on your biofix. We are looking for about 1500 DD for treatment window from biofix. Some growers are starting to treat this week. If you have a bioxfix of Feb. 28, treatment dates may be around May 25-28. If you extended to March 15, you may be treating around June 4. Be sure to consult your GAR Bennett PCA on materials for this first flight if you have had a history of this pest.
Cherries: We are close to wrapping up harvest on this crop, especially for those growers who got some rain. Growers will begin to shift into post-harvest mode, evaluating the timing of applications during dormancy in relation to chill hours and harvest date (i.e. applying earlier for an earlier harvest). Some growers will start gearing up to prune, clean up weeds and scout for canker issues. Focus will also shift to post-harvest nutrition as we want to try to build up buds and protect them. As we get into the higher temperatures, we may consider applying a protectant on younger trees to prevent sunburn on scaffolds. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Pistachios: Growers are currently scouting for Botryosphaeria (BOT) and Botrytis blight. Be sure to keep an eye out for these diseases and consult with your GAR Bennett PCA as the rains earlier this week may cause potential spread. PCAs spotted quite a few plant bug and stink bug hatches last week in some areas. You may consider asking your PCA about materials that can be combined with BOT applications if you have issues with these pests. Typically, BOT sprays are applied in the first part of June, or later in June depending on the amount of rain in your area. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Walnuts: The 1B flight for codling moth (CM) just wrapped up. In the middle of the 1B spray, rain occurred up and down the valley. For those growers who applied a fungicide during the application, timing was excellent in preventing the spread of BOT. It’s a good time to start thinking about irrigation timing for the 2A CM flight. This typically occurs 30 days after the 1B flight. As a reminder, be sure to take advantage of Bayer’s SNAP program for nematode sampling. Some growers are finding high populations of lesion nematodes in their orchards. Currently, the crop looks promising in most cases—Serrs, Tulares, and Ivanhoes seem to have average to above average yield, while Chandlers are still too early to tell. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Tomatoes: Some growers are applying CAN-17 through the drip tape. Second applications are being done to control for beet leafhoppers that carry curly top virus. Some areas have been experiencing heavy populations of thrips that carry spotted wilt virus. Top dressings are being applied to help control this pest. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Garlic: This crop is starting to wind down as we approach harvest. As garlic grows, it loses layers of skin. When it comes time for water cutoff, we want to ensure the garlic has a minimum of five skins. Otherwise the garlic may shatter, leaving cloves on the ground before harvest. Irrigation is finished on early garlic while late garlic is still finishing up. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Dehydrated Onions: Growers are currently controlling weeds with post-emergence herbicides. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
Cotton: Side dressings of UN 32 are finishing up. Some growers are getting ready to apply top dressings of Roundup for weed control. Beet armyworm has been spotted in some fields. Be sure to consult your GAR Bennett PCA on treatment options if you have issues with this pest.
Alfalfa Seed: Fields are currently being irrigated. Once the crop begins to dry down and bloom, we will begin to clean up pests (lygus, aphid, mite, armyworm) 8-10 days before bees are placed around the field. Contact your GAR Bennett PCA for expert advice.
During quarantine, GAR Bennett’s Worker Safety Team has been taking extra precautions to ensure farm employees are trained on the proper guidelines implemented by the CDC and Cal/OSHA. To stay up to date during this time, our trainers are doing in-house safety trainings and attending webinars provided by the UC IPM to gain further knowledge on safety protocols for your farming operation. A popular training that has now been fully implemented is snake and rodent safety. If rodents are a concern for you, be sure to contact your GAR Bennett Worker Safety team and PCA today to help with these “not so friendly” crawlers!