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Almond Growers Remain Focused on IPM

ABC’s Bob Curtis, right, presents Walt Bentley with a
certificate of recognition for developing effective
integrated programs for NOW, ants and mites, and for
reducing dormant sprays in almonds.
With California Almond growers on the brink of producing a 2-billion-pound crop, UC IPM entomologist Walt Bentley said integrated pest management (IPM) will be a key to continued boosts in productivity while maintaining crop quality.

The Almond Board of California (ABC)-funded pest management research has reduced insect-related nut losses statewide even as average yields have doubled over the last two decades. Bentley said growers should continue to focus on IPM as they strive for additional increases in productivity.

Almond growers have long demonstrated a commitment to integrated pest management. This commitment was validated during an interactive session on the California Almond Sustainability Program at the Almond Conference in December, which revealed a high level of adoption of IPM practices among audience member participants.

Bentley said at a panel discussion earlier in the day that winter orchard sanitation has significantly reduced navel orangeworm losses, though NOW continues to remain an important pest in almonds that requires an area-management approach.

Almond Board-supported research over the years has also helped bring to market a broad assortment of IPM-friendly products for web-spinning mites. These options provide mite control based on presence/absence sampling rather than prophylactic spring treatments.

For information on IPM monitoring guidelines and treatment options, go to the Almond Board website. UC IPM guidelines can be found on their website.

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