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Prepare for spring disease pressures now

February 5, 2019

By John Wood, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager

Spring is just six weeks away and with it comes typical seasonal disease pressures. Now is the time to get your spring disease management plan in place. The first step is to maintain scouting diligence and ensure your fungicide program is current. Next, check with Extension personnel and consultants to find out about typical disease pressures and to learn if any atypical pressures are lying in wait. Review your orchard’s disease history to determine if it indicates potential problems that might occur this year.

Properly timing your fungicide sprays is key to achieving maximum disease control. Be ready to move quickly if it turns rainy or if rain is forecast for an extended period. As almonds enter the bloom stage, rainy weather favors some infections such as brown rot. Pistachios will start blooming in April and a fungicide program for Botrytis and Botryosphaeria should start then, as well.

Make sure resistance management strategies are in place for all of your tree nuts as part of your fungicide stewardship protocols. After your dormant Kocide® 3000-O + oil sprays, consider beginning your fungicide program with Double Nickel® biofungicide with its five multi-site modes of action. Afterwards, continue it in rotation or in tank mixes with fungicides that have different modes of action.

Combine contact and systemic materials

Consider using Double Nickel and Cueva®, a low-load copper octanoate flowable biofungicide as the foundation of your fungicide program. The two products are contact and broad-spectrum against several plant disease pathogens for maximum flexibility in your spray program. You can use both in combination with a systemic fungicide or use them alone as a contact material. Double Nickel and Cueva have a short, 4-hour reentry and are OMRI listed and NOP (USDA National Organic Program) approved.

You can also apply Cueva as a dormant spray for bacterial canker. Start when buds begin to swell and repeat at the bud burst stage. Then apply weekly, as needed, for up to six sprays.

To treat brown rot blossom blight, apply Cueva or Double Nickel at the bud swell, popcorn, full bloom and petal fall stages. To help control walnut blight, make the first applications when leaflets start to unfold before, but no later than 1 percent pistillate bloom.

Double Nickle 55 and Cueva are compatible with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bts) that are used to control peach twig borer (PTB) and other worms. Deliver® biological insecticide contains a strain of the Bt subspecies kurstaki as its active ingredient. It produces a higher concentration of the highly PTB-active Cry1Ac proteins than other Bts.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and feedback. Until next time.

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

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