Navel Orangeworm Prevention Critical

High Navel Orangeworm Numbers Statewide

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
mycotoxins
Bob Klein

Almonds are deep into hull split, and it is absolutely critical to control any damage from navel orangeworm (NOW), the number one pest in almonds and pistachios. California Ag Today spoke with Bob Klein, manager of the California Pistachio Research Board, about the issue.

“One of the big control strategies for NOW should have happened many months ago during the winter, such as cold sanitation,” he said.

Pest programs start with orchard sanitation. Many growers are lax on sanitation or spend low amounts.

“Those who do stringent jobs are spending $200-$250 an acre on sanitation. And so growers need to be prepared to pay that as far as insecticide applications,” Klein said.

Critical questions that need to be addressed are what you are going to choose to apply and how you are going to time it. When growers are gearing up to put on protective sprays, there are things to remember to increase efficacy. There are always ways in which application can be improved.

If you have a ground rig with fan sprayers, you can get a high kill rate on the lower canopy. You may have to make multiple applications to be able to penetrate the higher portions of the trees.

“You need to look at where your NOW is and maybe make multiple applications. So you can cover both the lower two-thirds of the tree and the top third,” Klein said.

Mycotoxins are Serious Business

Sanitation Fights Mycotoxin Infections

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

In nature, there are fungal metabolites called mycotoxins, and some of them can infect crops. However, certain cultural practices can eliminate them. California Ag Today recently spoke with Bob Klein, manager of the California Pistachio Research Board, based in Fresno, about the topic.

“We see mycotoxins as a result of fungal infection that comes from the Navel Orange Worm. It is damaged predominantly, and if a crop is contaminated with possible mycotoxins, such as one known as Aflatoxn, it can hurt exports. Over 70 percent of our crop is exported, and some of our major markets are very sensitive to a mycotoxin contamination,” Klein said.

“The best programs start with orchard sanitation. Many growers are lax on sanitation or spend low amounts of money,” he explained. “Those who are frugal are spending $200-250 an acre on sanitation, and so growers need to be prepared for that.”

As far as insecticide applications, look at the growers’ data, not what is published in replicated field trials.

“More sprays are better than fewer sprays,” Klein said.