Western Farm Press has launched its 21st online continuing education course this year for California licensed agricultural professionals.

Ant Control in Almonds” is live at pentonag.com and approved for 1.0 hour “Other” credit by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for Pest Control Advisers, Qualified Applicators, Private Applicators/County Certificate Holders and Aerial Applicators.

The course is sponsored by BASF. It covers not only ant control, but the importance of vegetation management/broadleaf weed control in controlling ants. The direct link to it is http://www.pentonag.com/ants. It is also accessible via the Western Farm Press home website, www.westernfarmpress.com.

Experts say a grower can lose as much as 20 percent his crop by failing to control ants at harvest. According to the University of California, even a mild fire ant infestation can cost an almond grower more than $102 per acre in just 14 days.

BASF is marketing the latest ant control product into the almond market. It is Altrevin fire ant bait insecticide.

"Altrevinfire ant bait insecticide is an excellent  tool for almond growers fighting the many problems fire ants cause,” said Steven Broscious, technical market manager, BASF. “The insecticide has demonstrated the ability to eliminate fire ant activity in as few as seven days, compared to the current market leader, which can take two months to impact the colony.”

Doug Haller, Altrevin fire ant bait insecticide product manager, said BASF is sponsoring the online CEU to provide detailed information about fire ant control and to offer CE credit.

“We realize everyone is busy and it is often difficult to attend classes to earn all the credit necessary to renew their licenses. We have partnered with Farm Press and Penton to provide this course as a convenience to our valued partners to earn hours and as an important educational tool to help growers control damaging fire ants,” said Haller.

“Identifying the different ant species is very important in ant control,” said Haller. “Also, timing is critical in getting maximum control.  These and other related subjects are covered in this excellent CEU.”

The Western Farm Press online CEU team developed the information with the cooperation of the University of California specialist, Bradley D. Hanson, Extension weed specialist, University of California, Davis; and Walter Bentley, UC IPM emeritus entomologist. Additional resources and assistance were gleaned from and provided by UC IPM Almond Production Manual UC IPM Guidelines, David Doll, UCCE farm advisor, Merced County; David Haviland UCCE farm advisor, Kern County and the Almond Board of California.

Haller said “BASF has had a successful Altrevin fire ant bait insecticide launch season this year. The fast-acting control and five day pre-harvest interval of Altrevin fire ant bait insecticide gave growers the flexibility to time applications when they want, including treatments prior to harvest to protect workers.”

Almonds are California's largest tree nut crop in California with a total dollar value of approximately $4.35 billion at the farm level. Almonds have ascended to the No. 2 agricultural commodity in the state in terms of value. There are approximately 835,000 acres of bearing and non-bearing almonds in the state, only slightly less than vineyards.

“The value of almonds is very high this year and growers and PCAs are very keen on protecting their investment. It has been a good year for Altrevin fire ant bait insecticide,” he said.

Haller is also product manager for Treevix, a broadleaf herbicide. Vegetation management is the other educational element of the newly launched CEU at pentonag.com.

The course is free and accessible via pentonag.com.

 

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