Almond harvest in the central San Joaquin Valley got under way the third week of August, when growers starting shaking some Nonpareils.
More shaking was occurring a week later, says Mark Carter, PCA, Agri-Consultants, Inc., Los Banos, Calif., who works with growers in the Los Banos, Chowchilla and Madera areas. He expects the Carmel harvest to begin in September, followed by Monterey and other varieties.
“Most of our blocks had a good set and we’ve had a pretty good crop,” he says. “We’ve been in hull split since July 15 and the nuts are finally getting dry enough. We’re about three weeks late with harvest and the growers just want to get their crop off. The nuts should start drying off rapidly now. It will take a month for the shakers to get through all the orchards.”
This season’s delayed harvest adds to the threat of rain before all the nuts are in bins.
In the meantime, his growers have seen no more navel orangeworm hatches since making their hull- split insecticide applications.
Mite pressure this year has varied. “Depending on the block, some had more pressure and some didn’t,” Carter says.
He sprayed two out of a total of 10 blocks of almonds a second time to control mites. One of the\ose blocks experienced a great deal of dust from road traffic.
“The grower kept his roads watered to keep dust down, but his neighbor across the road didn’t.” For the rest of the blocks, border sprays kept mites under control.
The wet spring weather caused some rust on trees in wind-protected pockets where humidity levels built up. “We had a little rust here and there,” Carter says, “but nothing that required spraying for control.”