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Pack your toolbox

March 31, 2021
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John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

The beginning of each new growing season is full of anticipation and excitement but we all know that there’s also a level of stress in trying to protect your trees and your investment while disease and pests are threatening.

As you ramp up your season and start to work on your IPM plan, remember that Certis USA’s portfolio of biological solutions can pack the power, efficacy and flexibility you need to maximize control and minimize stress.

Here are just a few that I recommend to all growers at this critical time in our growing season:

Deliver® -- Bloom fungicide sprays are well underway right now, and I always recommend adding a Bt biolarvicide product into your tank-mix with those. This is when Bt’s can show their value as the most proven, widely used and most successful of known biological pesticides. These products are highly specific, so you won’t need to worry about their effect on beneficial species, but you can be sure they will deliver great control of lepidopteran pests you don’t want in your orchards. Not all Bt’s are the same and Deliver is an excellent example of that. Deliver is formulated with a higher concentration of Cry1Ac proteins than the average Bt and has the potency you need to control pests like Peach Twig Borer and leafrollers that may be hatching out now. It’s also OMRI-Listed®, so it’s flexible enough for use on conventional or organic acreage.

Seduce® -- I’ve seen many young saplings in the Valley this year and they often are covered with trunk wraps or carton protectors. These are prime places for earwigs to hide out. Earwigs are nocturnal feeders that prey on young shoots and new growth and their potential for damage or death for a young tree is great. At the very least, if earwigs are left unchecked, they can impact tree growth resulting in yield losses over the life of the tree. Seduce Insect Bait is the best attack against these pests. You can apply it right into the cartons and wraps and the highly compressed granules are effective for up to four weeks. The potency of Seduce can also be deployed if you see early evidence of ants in your orchard floor. When you do, simply spread Seduce on the soil around or near the base of your trees. Because spring weather can be unpredictable, it’s important to note that Seduce can withstand rain and irrigation - so you can be flexible about when you apply it and not worry about the wet weather affecting it. But, if it’s dry, lightly wet the soil for maximum potency.

Double Nickel® -- With two formulations, Double Nickel 55® WG and Double Nickel® LC, these broad-spectrum biofungicides can pack the one-two punch you need for fungal, bacterial, foliar plant disease management when combined with a contact material. Because fruit set is coming on quickly, disease potential is increased and so is the damage that can be done to your bottom line. Double Nickel brings five modes of action to the spray tank, making it ideal for resistance management. Even more, its 4-hour REI and zero-day PHI make it easy to work with and it’s NOP-approved and OMRI-Listed® so you can use it on all your acreage without worry.

LifeGard® -- In my opinion, LifeGard is one of the most innovative biological products on the market. LifeGard doesn’t control the disease by directly attacking the fungus, bacteria or virus. Instead, it triggers the tree’s built-in immune defenses, causing a cascade of plant metabolic responses that limit infection and disease development. This immune response is known as induced resistance (or IR) and it’s proven to be a highly effective mode of action for battling plant diseases. In almonds, LifeGard can be a powerhouse against Alternaria. Even better, because of its novel mode of action, you can incorporate LifeGard into your IPM all season long to help guard against resistance issues. 

ManKocide® -- ManKocide is our latest biological tool in the almond grower toolbox, having just received a label expansion for California tree nuts last year. I know many of you were eager to hear that and started utilizing its combination power right away. Mancozeb and copper have been longtime tank-mix partners but the concentration in ManKocide really brings out the best that each of those actives has to offer. Plus, it’s convenient for in-field use. No more mixing--just open and pour the flowable powder formulation for proven control of walnut blight, bacteria canker, bacteria blast, Alternaria and powdery mildew.

If you pack your spring toolbox with these Certis USA products, I’m confident that your IPM program, your orchards and your bottom line will benefit greatly. Perhaps your greatest Certis tool, however, may be the expertise in biologicals that my team and I stand ready to share with you. The Certis California team is on your side and we are just a phone call or email away if you need help this spring season. 

You can always reach out to us at asktheexpert@certisusa.com.

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

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