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Right now, let’s beat the blast

February 19, 2020
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By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

Ideal conditions for bacterial blast to grow include cold temperatures, wet and rainy periods and even frost during bloom. Does that sound familiar to anyone? 

Bacterial blast hit the tree nut industry really hard last year; and, at its worst, I saw it significantly reduce crop load. Some of the most veteran growers out there tell me that they’ve never seen blast as prevalent.

As we ramp up into the 2020 growing season, I believe that the key to beating the blast this year will be early and diligent controls.

I’ve seen some growers already laying down late and delayed dormant/pre-bloom copper sprays to get out ahead of blast that could be lying in wait in our trees. That’s the MO of this pesky bacteria—it just hangs out in trees and waits for them to be stressed. Frost during bloom is the biggest stressor for trees, so bacterial blast will just hold tight until a frost and then it will come out in full force, ready to wreak havoc on our trees.

For your early copper dormant and pre-bloom sprays, I highly recommend our Kocide® family of copper products. Powerful and potent, Kocide® delivers the maximum concentration of biologically-active copper ions while preserving the safety of your trees. These features contribute to Kocide ® being the most technologically advance copper fungicide/bactericide products on the market today.

Kocide® is trusted, proven and reliable for the safe and effective treatment of bacterial blast in tree nut crops. It is simply the best product you can apply right now to head off an attack. 

Even better, Kocide® boasts two formulations (Kocide® 3000-O and Kocide® 2000-O) that are NOP-Compliant and OMRI-Listed®, so they ready to be used on conventional and organic acreage.

Once you’ve got your Kocide® application done, I’d also recommend that you come back with a delayed light copper dormant spray before pink bud. For this application, I’d try Cueva®, Certis USA’s patented fixed copper fungicide. Cueva® stays strong with less copper because it’s made by combining a soluble copper fertilizer with a fatty acid to form a soap.

Just like Kocide®, Cueva is NOP-Compliant and OMRI-Listed® and flexible enough to be used on all trees and in all orchards.

The true beauty of a Kocide®/Cueva® partnership is that the two products can be rotated safely, meaning you’ve got maximum power to go at bacterial blast with all that you have, keeping your trees safe and your bottom lines even safer.

If your PCA hasn’t already discussed bacterial blast treatment with you, talk with him or her about including the Certis USA copper products into your IPM to fight it. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

If you are fighting bacterial blast, give me a shout and let me know what’s working for you. I always love hearing from you at asktheexpert@certisusa.com.

And remember before when I said that Certis USA had some great news coming up? That’s inching closer to the finish line and man, am I excited to let you know about it?!

In the meantime, stay strong against bacterial blast and enjoy as the blooms start popping up around California. It’s the start of a new growing season, and nothing is much better than that!

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

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