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Heat did not flare mites in almonds

Hot weather can bring on mite problems in almonds, but University of California San Joaquin County farm advisor Paul Verdegaal said the problem did not develop during the August hot spell.

“Fortunately there are several new miticides providing a choice in various modes of action, a long-awaited situation to help manage resistance and at the same time reduce overall chemical use,” said Verdegaal.

High temperatures also increase water use, but this year deep soil moisture was good in almond orchards and may have helped to avoid stress and related mite problems, he added.

While prices are good this season, it is a more expensive crop with increased prices for pollination bees and higher pumping costs, harvest will be more expensive.

Verdegaal said some old weed pests are making a comeback, such as puncture vine, horseweed or mare’s tail, and hairy fleabane.

‘We have more new materials to select from, but the best way to slow down resistance is to identify your pest weed and use the appropriate herbicides, before noxious or problem weeds can form seed,” he noted.

Lower Limb Dieback is back in some varieties like Padre, but not as severe this year as the last two, he added.

“The problem does seem to be associated with a species of Phomopsis and/or Botryosphearia, but a clear understanding and control strategies are still elusive,” he said.

The last few years have seen an increasing ant problem, but some alternative bait materials are available that can help in choosing a good course of action, the veteran farm advisor said.

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