By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager
With the erratic weather we experienced in last 30 days (a warm week, a wet week and then a cooler week all within a 3-week period), we can expect disease pressures to be erratic as well. All the bees are out of the almonds now, so your disease program should be in full swing for diseases like shothole, Botryosphaeria (Bot), brown rot and occasionally Alternaria. Fieldmen will want to prevent and/or cure those diseases this spring. You’ll want to look at using both a contact and a preventive fungicide/bactericide in your tank mix. That’s where I recommend the use of Double Nickle 55 fungicide/bactericide which is tank mix compatible with most conventional or soft fungicides on the market.
Last issue, we talked about the importance of nematode control now, post bloom, when your trees’ roots are flushing and starting to push new growth. Nematodes are highly attracted to the rich environment of new root growth. Now is the perfect time to protect these new, valuable roots from damage. To control nematode populations on non-Nemaguard rootstock and high populations of nematodes on Nemaguard genetic rootstock, I recommend MeloCon biological nematicide. MeloCon’s active ingredient is the spores of a naturally occurring fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus, that is a highly effective parasite of all stages of development of common plant-infecting nematodes. MeloCon is particularly effective on eggs and infectious juveniles. Once it is applied to soil, spores of the MeloCon fungus adhere to the bodies of nematodes as they move through the soil. The spores germinate and penetrate the nematode, killing it by feeding on the nematode’s body contents. MeloCon is brutal to nematodes, it’s highly effective, and now is great time to use it.
Next issue, I’ll visit with you about Seduce (spinosad) for earwigs and ant control and PFR-97 contact miticide. Until next time.