Why is the harvest stage important in an IPM program?

Harvesting practices showing machine removing almonds from orchard floor.
Harvesting practices showing almond shaker machine.

Harvesting early and removing nuts rapidly from the orchard floor is important for managing navel orangeworm, peach twig borer, hull rot, and ants. Almonds should be harvested when 95 to 100% of hulls have split. The longer the nuts remain in the orchard after hull split, the more likely you are to have pest damage. If navel orangeworm infestation is severe, the orchard can be harvested twice; once to remove early ripening nuts and a second time for later ripening ones. Once nuts have been shaken to the ground, remove them as soon as possible to protect them from ants.

Sampling harvested nuts for pests and their damage allows you to assess the year's pest management program and start to plan for the following year. A harvest sample can give you information about levels of navel orangeworm, peach twig borer, oriental fruit moth or ants.

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

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