By Deborah J. Meier, Ph.D., Technical Development, Kocide LLC
What are the key considerations in planning dormant sprays for tree nuts?
- Evaluate the 2017 season. If you experienced high amounts of foliar or insect damage, include dormant sprays in your upcoming crop management plan. Even if insect pressure is moderate to low, a dormant spray often is a cost-effective way to provide an extra level of protection for your valuable trees. Dormant sprays are your first step in protecting trees from pests and diseases in your next crop.
- How healthy are my trees? If trees are stressed they are more prone to upcoming insect and disease problems. Root systems weakened by the last drought are more susceptible to insects, nematodes and disease pathogens.
- What weather is predicted for this winter? A weak La Niña has developed, but it is mainly affecting the Pacific Northwest. La Niña weather patterns can bring less rain than normal years, and this winter parts of California are drier than normal. Less rain can cause more stress to trees in the months to come. Since exact weather conditions can’t be predicted, dormant sprays are your first line of defense for disease and insect control. A dormant spray with Kocide® 3000 or Kocide® 2000 copper fungicide should be made late dormant.
- Dormant spur sampling for almonds can be done once a year between mid-November and the end of January. This sampling can determine if there is a need to use a dormant treatment to control almond scab, mites, San Jose scale and European fruit lecanium. The numbers from sampling can also help determine the products you choose for your dormant sprays. Kocide dormant sprays reduce and delay sporulation of scab twig lesions which can reduce next season disease incidence.
- Spray timing and products: A dormant spray combination of a copper fungicide and oil is common practice to control many insects and diseases. Kocide 3000 or 2000 should be applied prior to fall rains and then again in the late dormant period. Crop history and environmental conditions will help dictate the best timing for a second dormant spray. Full orchard sprays should be done for maximum protection.
- Not all copper products are identical. Kocide 3000 and Kocide 2000 are developed to have optimum dispersion in water along with excellent rain fastness and tenacity. Kocide products are easy to use. Kocide 3000 provides more disease fighting copper per pound, has a caution signal word and is user friendly in regard to personal protective equipment.