Curt Nelson, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager, CA San Joaquin Valley
It may be technically still winter here in California, but with things moving faster than ever, we all know that spring will be here before we know it. And, spring means the start of the 2021 growing season!
It’s an exciting time to be joining this team of “experts” that help make sure that you get the most out of your trees and the solutions you use to protect them. Right now, just before the season starts, is the perfect time to take a hard look at your plans. At Certis, we work with growers like you and our channel partners for this type of planning and it’s one of my favorite parts of the job.
Because of that, I thought I’d bring some of that insight into my first Ask the Expert column. Here are some of my best tips for how to best kick off a new growing season:
Scout and Learn
As we come out of winter into early spring, those early pests and diseases are going to start appearing in your orchards. Pests like peach twig borer (PBT) will to be among the first for you to start looking for as you ramp up scouting efforts. PBT overwintering is especially important in young trees that are more susceptible to damage than their mature counterparts. Look into your orchard’s pest and disease history to see what else you need to be looking for early. And, always, ask the experts! Your local extension specialists will be able to tell you what is cropping up around so you know to have on your radar. Those specialists are even nicer to have if you run across something you don’t recognize. Get to know them today if you don’t already.
Don’t assume that even though it’s early, you need to wait on treatment. If you start to see evidence of PBT and leafrollers hatching out early, I recommend Deliver® for just that control. It is formulated with a higher concentration of Cry1Ac proteins than the average Bt, and because of that, it has the potency needed to control the toughest Lepidopteran pests.
If you’ve not already, get an appointment with your crop consultant or PCA to study your IPM plan for this year. It will most assuredly be different than what you’ve used in the past and you’ll need to give it a strong look going into this new growing season. Be sure that you are rotating the active ingredients you use to prevent resistance issues and make sure that you are using chemistries that complement each other.
Bring it with Bio
Which brings me to my best piece of advice for you this year: don’t forget all the benefits that biologicals can bring to your orchard and your IPM plan. My favorite benefit of bio is the flexibility that it offers. Whether you grow conventional, organic, or you are in transition, we can meet you with a solution that works for you. And if you grow both organic and conventional, we’re even better for you because you don’t have to stress over cleaning your equipment between applications. Speaking of things that make your job easier, our bio-based solutions can be successfully tank-mixed with many conventional chemistries, which means you spend less time applying. Even better, sometimes those tank-mixes work together to complement each other and increase potency, which is a win-win for everyone. In the case of Double Nickel, tank-mixing with its powerful modes of action can be just what you need for shot hole control.
Another win-win: biologicals can be rotated with conventional chemistries, which means they can actually work to fight resistance in your IPM programs. And, products like Certis Biologicals' Double Nickel® and Trilogy® offer different and multiple modes of action necessary to break the resistance cycle and continuously deliver control.
Always remember, if I or the Certis California team can ever be of help to you in planning, we are always just a phone call or email away. You can reach us at email@example.com.
I look forward to sharing even more as we head into this exciting new growing season together!