By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley
There are exactly two times in the almond growing season when it is BEST to apply Certis USA’s MeloCon® WG to fight and control nematodes. Sure, there are many times when it is great to use MeloCon® WG, but applications at pre-bloom and post-harvest are the times where you get the most bang for your buck with this biological nematicide.
Since harvest is wrapping up for most of us in the California almond market, it’s time to start planning your post-harvest activities and, if you’ve had nematode pressure this season or in seasons past, that plan needs to include an application of MeloCon® WG.
MeloCon® WG is nematicidal and works because it contains a naturally-occurring fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus, which is a highly effective parasite of all stages of development of common plant-infecting nematodes, especially the eggs and infectious juveniles.
For application, there are several options that easily fit into your control program. MeloCon® WG is a wettable powder that mixes with water and is applied to nematode-infested soil either as a soil drench or through a drip (trickle) or sprinkler (microjet) irrigation systems. Don’t worry, though. Melocon’s formulation dissolves quickly in water to avoid risks of plugging or altering your irrigation system or drip tape.
I always recommend to customers that they include a soil-penetrant with MeloCon® WG to help it spread in the soil, giving you the coverage you need for maximum control. If you want to pack your application with a punch, consider also adding a soil wetting agent to help the spores move easily in the soil to the root zone, especially in deeper-rooted crops. The key is to get movement down in the deeper part of the root to form a first line of defense against nematodes attacking roots in your orchards and vineyards.
Remember in the past where I’ve said it’s important for your pest control options to all play nicely together, saving you the time and energy of multiple applications? This is part of MeloCon’s power. Even if you plan to include a fertilizer in your post-harvest deep water already, you can, and should also still include MeloCon® WG, too.
Just like many of Certis USA’s broad portfolio of biopesticide solutions, MeloCon® WG is approved for use on organic crops, making it another tool for organic producers. It even has a 4-hour REI and a zero-day PHI.
Even though harvest is wrapping up, it doesn’t mean the work is. Keep protecting, keep planning and keep up the good work. Us almond eaters out there are counting on you!