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Cultural practices support lowest almond reject levels in memory

Almond reject levels have dropped continuously from a high-water mark of more than 8 percent in the late 1970s to an industry-accepted standard of below 1 percent today.

Recent position reports on inedibles as a percentage of the 2011–12 harvested crop show that rejects are at an all-time average low of .68 percent.

The Almond Board's Bob Curtis explained that reject levels have dropped continuously from a high-water mark of more than 8 percent in the late 1970s to an industry-accepted standard of below 1 percent today, thanks in large part to almond growers' adoption of integrated pest management to reduce navel orangeworm pressure.

"We have been working diligently on this issue for more than 40 years, and continue to support ongoing research on integrated navel orangeworm management," Curtis said. "In doing so, the industry has developed a sustainable approach to pest management in general, and navel orangeworm in particular, the foundations of which are cultural controls coupled with monitoring to determine when judicious use of insecticides
is appropriate."

Data on pest management practices gleaned from the California Almond Sustainability Program show that growers overwhelmingly are already practicing sustainable best management practices for cultural control of navel orangeworm. A limited sample of participating growers indicates that 90 percent of them practice winter sanitation, including removal of mummy nuts and ensuring that mummy nuts on the ground are destroyed by March 15. All growers say they ensure a timely harvest to help reduce nut damage by navel orangeworm.

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