By John Wood, Regional Manager, Certis USA
With harvest at an end, we need to turn to those post-harvest chores that done now will pay dividends next year. Here are some late fall management practices you will want to consider adding to your to-do list.
• Irrigate after harvest. Root activity increases after harvest and continues through the winter months. Trees are beginning to store carbohydrates, nutrients and water in reserve for next season’s emergence.
• Irrigation system maintenance. Be sure to refer to Almond Board of California’s Spencer Cooper’s excellent article in the October 21 issue of Western Farm Press. Cooper outlines key elements of post-harvest irrigation chores that include 1) cleaning and flushing irrigation lines, 2) examining nozzles and wetting patterns, 3) installing and/or checking flow meters and moisture sensors, 4) checking pressures, 5) consulting experts about your distribution uniformity, and 6) taking time to determine if winter irrigation or leaching is required. Please consult the article for more information.
• Control earwigs now. Those of you with new plantings are finding earwigs are a problem in your orchards now. Earwig populations are at damaging levels in many new orchards that are using cartons and other trunk wraps. Applications of Seduce insecticidal bait will help you eliminate earwigs before they damage your young trees.
• Apply zinc if needed. If you suspect zinc deficiency, an application after harvest can provide the zinc necessary for fruit set in the spring.
• Plan your dormant sprays. Plan for dormant sprays that will control insect and disease pests.
• Think about nematode control. As roots are flushing post-harvest, if you have nematodes, consider applying Double Nickel® LC. As I reported in my last column, Double Nickel recently received a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation by the U.S. EPA for the suppression of root knot (Meloidogyne spp.), cyst (Globodera spp.), lesion (Pratylenchus spp.), ring (Mesocriconema spp.) and spiral (Helicotylenchus spp.) nematodes.
• Conduct a post-harvest and winter weed survey. Survey for persistent weeds, and identify grasses and broadleaf weeds. It is important to select a winter herbicide(s) with the weed spectrum necessary to cover your needs. Use a contact herbicide to control those weeds that emerge between now and your next herbicide application date.