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It’s time for post-harvest chores

September 15, 2021

By Curt Nelson, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager, CA San Joaquin Valley

Your orchards have been in full-swing all growing season long, with lots of activity going on. Think of it as a nice, long backyard barbecue that’s lasted for most of the year.

Now that the party is over and your friends have come and gone, there’s plenty of cleaning still left to do, right?

All jokes aside, making sure that your orchard is fully cleaned and well-maintained at post-harvest can be pivotal to ensuring that your trees can winter well and be ready for a great growing season next year. 

There are some post-harvest chores and cleaning that the Certis California Team and I highly recommend you start thinking about now. These are all very important steps when closing out one growing season so that you can remove issues before the next. 

Take care of any late pest infestations

Sometimes the pests you’ve spent all season battling will rear their ugly heads the minute you start focusing on harvest. Specifically, it seems that worms are prone to a late-season infestation attempt. As part of your post-harvest chores, do some scouting for signs of worms. If you see any, you will be wise to consider an application of a Bt product. Certis has several effective Bt options, including Agree®, Deliver® and Javelin®. These products offer you flexibility during this busy time, with zero-day PHI, 4-hour REI and residue exemption. They’re even OMRI Listed® and can be used in organic and conventional production.

Control the mummies

While you are scouting for signs of worms, be on the lookout also for mummy nuts. Navel orangeworm eggs are laid in mummies during the winter and The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program says that sanitation of these mummy nuts in fall or winter is essential to effective navel orangeworm control. NOW is a major pest problem in tree nuts, so proper sanitation methods starting now and lasting through early winter are critical to reducing infestations in your next growing season.

Provide as much water as you can

The drought that’s plaguing this growing season is very real and we’ve been feeling it especially hard this season. Providing irrigation right now has its challenges, but it’s important to water as much as you can to support the root activity going on in your orchards. Irrigation can support your trees’ process of storing carbohydrates, nutrients and water for emergence next season.

Clean your floors

Taking a good, hard look at your orchard floor for weed issues is a major priority as you are closing out this growing season. First, be sure to look for weeds that were missed by your control program this year and make a note if they were grasses or broadleaf weeds. This will help you prepare for better control of them next year. While you are looking for those, you might see some winter weed species coming up. If you do, remember that Homeplate® is an effective broad-spectrum non-selective herbicide control.

Finishing out this growing season strong will be a huge asset to you in the winter and the next growing season. We know how important it is, so if the Certis Team or I can help you in any way as you are wrapping up harvest and doing your post-harvest chores, please reach out to us at We are here for you!

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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