- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
‘Tis the season for baking lots of tasty treats. Breads, cookies, cakes, and candy are just a few that come to mind. What makes many of these treats so tasty is the addition of almonds or walnuts to the list of ingredients.
In California, we are lucky to be at the center of almond and walnut production. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA's) latest Agricultural Statistics Review, more than 99% of the almonds and walnuts produced in the United States are grown in California.
Almond and walnut growers work tirelessly to supply enough nuts to not only satisfy domestic demand, but also for export. Worldwide, almonds rank as the largest specialty crop export. California is the top almond producer in the world, accounting for about 80% of all almonds grown. For walnuts, California ranks as the second largest producer in the world. To keep up with this demand, almond and walnut growers must be constantly aware of pests, diseases, and abiotic problems that can affect the tree and growing nuts.
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) has recently published revised Pest Management Guidelines for almonds and walnuts, helping growers prevent and manage pest problems with the most up-to-date information.
Revisions in the Almond Pest Management Guidelines include:
- A new section on bacterial spot, a new disease of almond in California found in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys
- A renamed section on fruit russeting, revised from the old powdery mildew section
- Significant revisions made to the management section of navel orangeworm, one of the major pests attacking California almonds
- Improvements on how to do dormant spur sampling section with easier-to-understand information on monitoring and thresholds
Revisions in the Walnut Pest Management Guidelines include:
- Updated information on the association between walnut twig beetle and thousand cankers disease
- New sections for Botryosphaeria and Phomopsis cankers, branch wilt, and paradox canker
- Significant changes to the walnut husk fly management section
Both the almond and walnut revised Pest Management Guidelines also include updated information on fungicide efficacy, weed management, and vertebrate management.
Authored by University of California specialists and advisors, the Pest Management Guidelines are UC's official guidelines for monitoring and managing pests in California crops. For more information on pest management in these or other crops, visit the UC IPM website.
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
- Editor: Themis J Michailides
On May 10, 2016, Kearney researchers, Kris Tollerup, UC ANR cooperative extension advisor at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, specializing in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for almond, pistachio, tree fruit and grape crops; and Themis Michailides, UC ANR plant pathologist and lecturer in Plant Pathology at UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center, conducted a workshop to help attendees learn more about leaffooted bug monitoring, damage, management, and its involvement in spreading Bot of pistachio and other diseases on pistachio and almond.
Tollerup discussed the different Hemipteran pests (leaffooted bugs and stink bugs). A PowerPoint handout was provided. The handout covered what the bugs look like; the stages of the bugs' growth; diagnostics for identification; the host crops; overwintering, what the damage to almonds and pistachios looks like; when the damage occurs; what we know, and what we need to know.
In the field, Michailides showed how the insect damage can lead to an increased incidence of pathogenic infections. Field research by Michailides and Dave Morgan has shown that there is an “association of Botryosphaeria panicle and shoot blight of pistachio with injuries of fruit caused by Hemiptera insects and birds.”
Michailides concluded that the disease in almonds caused by insect damage “is a new disease of almond and it is very similar to the stigmatomycosis reported on pistachio.” Early insect damage can result in the nuts dropping from the tree and later damage can render part of the crop unmarketable due to decay and black spots on the kernels.
The photograph shows: Infection of pistachio fruit by Neofusicoccum mediterraneum (initially identified as Botryosphaeria dothidea, thus the name Bot of pistachio disease) initiated from insect-punctured fruit and spread into the main rachis of the cluster [A and B; note a leaffooted bug (Leptoglossus clypealis) on the rachis of pistachio cluster in B]; C, fruit infected by the pathogen and covered with pycnidia surrounding the sap exuded from the insect's injury; D, fruit infections initiated from injuries caused by birds and spread into the main rachis of clusters.