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Preparing orchard floor before harvest by cultivation.

Preparing the Orchard Floor Before Harvest

Preparing the orchard floor before harvest is important in an almond IPM program. Rapid and efficient nut pick-up after tree shaking reduces the time the nuts are exposed to pests such as ants. Rapid pick-up and hulling or on-farm fumigations, prevents damage by navel orangeworm and peach twig borer. The ground should be smooth, dry, and free of weeds, ants, trash, and other debris. Orchards that are regularly cultivated should be disked to break up clods and then rolled to make the surface smooth and firm.

Take these actions before harvest:

  • Flail-mow weeds growing in between the trees close to the ground so that they will sufficiently decompose before harvest.
  • Make sure your last preharvest irrigation takes place 1 to 4 weeks before harvest, depending on the soil texture and depth.
  • Collect shaken nuts immediately after ground drying.

After harvest:

  • Monitor for mummy nuts and remove from orchard if damaging levels exist.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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