By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley
We are in the final stretches of our 2019 crop season and I am hearing cautious optimism out there in our California orchards. Production on the trees is looking great for many of you and it is shaping up to be a heavy load come harvest time in early fall.
The only problem is that we aren’t the only ones noticing the bountiful harvest to come. Insects, worms and fungus are all aware, too, and getting ready to inflict damage by stealing profits from your harvests.
This is when you need to be doubling down on your crop protection and pest management practices. Work with your PCA for a heavy-handed approach in this critical time and it will pay dividends at harvest.
Since rainfall has continued well into May in California this year, many of us are struggling with wet conditions ripe with opportunity to grow plant diseases that can negatively impact growth or damage crops.
One of the best tools that you can have on your IPM tool belt is Double Nickel®, a broad spectrum preventive biofungicide for control and/or suppression of these fungal and bacterial plant diseases that rise up when the rains come down. Double Nickel’s superior formulation means it packs a powerful punch against foliar diseases even at low use rates and it can be rotated with most any other conventional fungicide product. You can even tank mix it with other fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides.
Approved for use in organic production, Double Nickel® leaves very little, if any, residue on fruit or plant parts, has a 4-hour REI and is recommended at 7-10 day application intervals.
If you believe that worms or insects might be targeting your crops, inclusion of a rotational Bt biolarvicide product is essential. Certis has a family of effective Bt products, including Agree®, Javelin®, Deliver® and Crymax®. Talk with your dealer or PCA to determine which of these will integrate best with your current IPM program.
We’ve talked a lot this season about our products PFR® and BoteGHA® for aphids and mites and Seduce® for control of ants. These are still great products to use prior to harvest because they provide superior control of pests that can do major damage once your nut crop hits the orchard floor and prior to sweeping.
Remember, a heavy-handed approach is best right now, so work with your PCA, explore all the options out there and then stay on top of management to keep your crops safe.
Also, as you can tell, Certis USA has a wide-ranging portfolio of products that can help you through any issue, from crop protection and pest management to resistance issues. We’re not resting on those laurels, though. The state of California just approved a new fire and harvester ant product, FireFighter®, that will be available to our tree nut growers very soon. FireFighter® is going to be a vital tool in the effective control of fire and harvester ants and I wanted you to be the first to know that it’s coming soon to an orchard near you.