Almond

Year-Round IPM Program

(Reviewed 8/17, updated 8/17)

Use these guidelines for a monitoring-based IPM program to effectively manage pests, while reducing the risks of pesticides on the environment and human health.

When a pesticide application is considered, review the Pesticide Application Checklist at the bottom of this page for information on how to minimize the risks of pesticide use to water and air quality. Water quality can be impaired when pesticides drift into waterways or when they move off-site. Air quality can be impaired when pesticide applications release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of almond in California. Details on carrying out each practice, example monitoring forms, and information on additional pests can be found in the Pest Management Guidelines. Track your progress through the year with this annual checklist form. Color photo identification pages and examples of monitoring forms can be found online.

Dormancy to delayed-dormancy

Why is this crop stage important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide effects on air and water quality

What should you be doing at this time?
Count mummy nuts in orchard.
  • If more than two nuts per tree remain, knock off and destroy mummy nuts by the initiation of bloom to reduce navel orangeworm and brown rot
Manage orchard floor vegetation:
  • After harvest, assess weeds present and identify those that were not controlled by a fall preemergence herbicide application.
  • Keep records (PDF).

In January, consider applying postemergence herbicides in tree row strips alone or in combination with preemergence herbicides.

Take spur samples for scale and mite eggs mid-November to mid-January.
  • Record results (PDF).
  • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Examine trees for peach twig borer hibernacula in the crotches of one-year-old wood.
  • Consult the Pest Management Guidelines to determine if treatments should be made during dormancy, bloom (Bacillus thuringiensis only), or in May.
In orchards with varieties that retain leaves, monitor rust for possible spring fungicide application and take a first-year twig sample (green shoots) to monitor for scab infections.
  • If scab infections are high, consider dormant or delayed-dormant treatments.
Other pests you may see:
  • Armillaria root rot (oak root fungus): mushrooms emerge during wet periods.
  • Pocket gophers (mound-building activity).

Bloom to postbloom

Why is this crop stage important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide effects on air and water quality..

What should you be doing at this time?
Manage navel orangeworm :
  • Ensure that mummies on the ground are destroyed before navel orangeworm emergence.
  • Put out pheromone traps, egg traps, or both:
    • Central and southern San Joaquin Valley by February 15 (pheromone) or March 15 (egg).
    • Northern San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys no later than the first week of March (pheromone) or March 15 (egg).
Monitor peach twig borer :
When rainy conditions promote disease, time pesticide applications according to the Pest Management Guidelines for:
Monitor for shot hole fruiting structures in leaf lesions as long as weather is wet. Apply fungicides if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Monitor San Jose scale:
  • Put up pheromone traps by March 1 and check according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
  • Record results (PDF).
Start to monitor for spider mites when mites are first seen in the lower center tree canopy.
  • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Monitor for vertebrates and manage as necessary.
Other pests you may see:
Insects:
  • Brown mite
  • European red mite
  • Forest tent caterpillar
  • Fruittree leafroller (possible nut drop)
  • Leaffooted plant bug (possible nut drop)
  • Obliquebanded leafroller
Diseases:
  • Armillaria root rot (oak root fungus)
  • Bacterial canker
  • Phytophthora root and crown rot
  • Wood-decay fungi (fruiting bodies)
Manage orchard floor vegetation:
  • Mow ground cover before bloom for frost protection and to remove competing bloom.

Fruit development (late April to start of shaking)

Why is this crop stage important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide effects on air and water quality..

What should you be doing at this time?
Monitor shoot strikes for peach twig borer and Oriental fruit moth; examine strikes to properly identify species.
  • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Monitor San Jose scale:
Monitor navel orangeworm egg, and pheromone, traps:
  • Keep records (PDF).
  • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Monitor ant mounds (once during April or May)
  • Keep records (PDF).
  • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
  • Monitor spider mites weekly:
    • Keep records (PDF).
    • Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
    Take leaf samples in April or July to make sure that nitrogen levels do not favor hull rot.
    Monitor for and manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines:
    Assess weeds in late spring:
    • Identify uncontrolled weeds to plan future management strategies.
    • Keep records (PDF) of monitoring.
    • Continue to maintain ground cover to facilitate cultural practices and pest management.
    Other pests you may see:
    Insects: Diseases:
    Identify beginning of hullsplit; regulate irrigation during hullsplit to manage hull rot.

    Harvest

    Why is this crop stage important in an IPM program?

    What should you be doing at this time?
    Harvest early to avoid third-generation navel orangeworm eggs and to minimize hull rot.
    Assess trunk damage to evaluate shaker or harvest operation for bark injury.
    Pick up nuts promptly to avoid ant damage.
    Take harvest sample to determine pest damage.
    • Store sample in freezer until nuts are cracked open for observation.

    Postharvest

    Why is this crop stage important in an IPM program?

    What should you be doing at this time?
    Look for nuts or leaves stuck on trees well after harvest, indicating hull rot or San Jose scale.
    Monitor for rust lesions. Manage according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
    Survey weeds:
    • Record results (PDF).
    • If use of preemergence herbicide in rows is planned, time it properly for the weed spectrum.
    Consider planting a cover crop if resident vegetation is sparse and orchard floor cover is desired.

    Pesticide application checklist

    When planning for possible pesticide applications in an IPM program, consult the Pest Management Guidelines, and review and complete this checklist to consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.

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