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Thoughts on being "essential" and what to do now to protect crops

April 1, 2020
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By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

What a time we are living in these days? In many of our lifetimes, I don’t think we’ve ever experienced something quite like this.

As a result, our economy and the folks that collectively drive it are being segmented out—those that are “essential” and those that aren’t. In a move that should come as a surprise to no one, farmers were granted “essential” status and told that we need to keep doing what we can to grow the crops that feed the world.

Some things may change on our farms and in our operations at the start of this 2020 growing season, but the fact remains: Farmers are going to keep doing what we do. Even in the face of this new threat, we’re going to put on our boots and get to work.

To that end, my colleagues at Certis USA and I know that right now, protecting your crops is as critical as ever. We want you to know that we are here for you the same as we’ve always been. If disease and pest pressure rises, if you need product or if you have questions, we are just a phone call or an email away. In addition to that, we’ve started sharing some resources for you on our social channels. If you’re not already following us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn, now would be a good time to do that. 

And since your crops are more “essential” than ever, let’s talk about what you can be doing now to help protect them from diseases, pests and weeds.

It has been such a rainy spring for us so far that bacterial disease pressure is going to something that puts some severe stress on both you and your trees. To limit that stress, consider using Double Nickel® biofungicide and Cueva®, a low-load copper octanoate fungicide/bactericide, as the cornerstones of your fungicide program. These products offer multiple modes of action, protecting your trees via direct contact and systemically. They both also feature a 4-hour REI and a 0-day PHI and are ready to be implemented into IPM programs on conventional and organic acreage – giving you maximum flexibility.

Alternaria, powdery mildew and blights are almost always a threat, and with this recent weather pattern, I’d say that we are going to start seeing them rear their ugly heads soon. The good news, you’ll remember, is that we recently received label registration for our copper product ManKocide® to be used on California tree nuts. As part of our Kocide® family of coppers, ManKocide®  packs a true punch with its partnership of mancozeb and copper hydroxide in one convenient package. These dual modes of action maximizes protection from diseases and minimizes the potential for resistance. 

This is also the time when you are going to need to deploy the action of our Bt products to prevent and control PTB, Leafroller and worms. The good news—Double Nickel® and Cueva® are compatible with our Bt products Deliver®, Javelin® and Agree®.

Because spring is upon us, our trees have gotten the message from Mother Nature that it’s time to start growing a bit. When that happens, tree roots flush with new growth and that new growth is a great attractant for nematodes. I tout the efficacy of MeloCon® biological nematicide a lot because it offers great control and flexibility.

And last, but certainly not least, right now we need to be scouting for earwigs inside trunk protectors. If you have them, get them knocked out with an application of Seduce® spinosad before they cause damage to young trees. Seduce® is economical, lasts a long time, has a short REI, is residue exempt and is OMRI Listed® and ready to be used in organic and conventional orchards. Combine Seduce® with Buggo-N-Sluggo® and you can knock out snails and ants too. 

It’s certainly an unsure time in our world right now, but it’s also a time when your crops are most vulnerable. Remember, Certis USA stands ready to help protect those crops, no matter what.

If you need us, we’re a short call, email or text away.

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

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