Avocado

Year-Round IPM Program

(Reviewed 9/16, updated 9/16)

These practices are recommended for a monitoring-based IPM program that enhances the use of IPM practices to reduce 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 avocados in California. Details on carrying out each practice, example monitoring forms, and information on additional pests can be found in the Avocado Pest Management Guidelines. Track your progress through the year with this annual checklist form. Color photo identification pages and example monitoring forms can be found at forms and photo ID pages.

Bloom (pre-bloom, open flower, pollination, and fruit set)

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.
What should you be doing during this period?
Monitor for diseases and conditions that promote disease development.

Record the date and location of problem trees or sites. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Monitor invertebrate pests, including:

Record results. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Survey weeds, especially weeds near trunks, during spring through fall.
  • Record results (example weed survey form PDF).
  • Manage vegetation if needed, especially weeds near trunks.
Look for vertebrates, especially during spring and summer. Manage if needed.
Promote pollination of flowers:
  • Place honey bee hives in groves during bloom.
  • Manage pesticides to avoid killing bees.
Provide proper cultural care and good growing conditions to improve fruit yield and control pests.
Apply gypsum and mulch to reduce avocado root rot and improve soil.
Manage irrigation:
  • Inspect irrigation systems by late winter.
  • Monitor and adjust scheduling to meet trees’ varying water needs.
  • Test irrigation water quality.

Early fruit development (fruit are less than 2 inches long)

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.
What should you be doing during this period?
Identify and manage the causes of damage to fruit.

Monitor for diseases and conditions that promote disease development:

Record the date and location of problem trees or sites. Manage if needed according to the Pest Manage-ment Guidelines.

Monitor invertebrate pests, including:

Record results on a monitoring form. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Look for other invertebrate pests such as snail, ants or orange tortrix. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
Provide proper cultural care and good growing conditions to improve fruit yield, reduce insect damage, and control pests.
Look for vertebrates, especially during spring and summer. Manage if needed.
Survey weeds, especially during spring through fall.
  • Record results (example weed survey form PDF).
  • Manage vegetation, especially weeds near trunks, as needed.
Manage irrigation:
  • Monitor and adjust scheduling to meet trees’ varying water needs.

Late fruit development (fruit are greater than 2 inches long)

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.
What should you be doing during this period?
Monitor for diseases and conditions that promote disease development, including:

Record the date and location of problem trees or sites. Manage if needed according to the Pest Manage-ment Guidelines.

Monitor invertebrate pests, including:

Record results. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Look for vertebrates, especially during spring and summer. Manage if needed.
Reduce pest problems and manage tree growth by proper pruning.
Manage nutrition:
  • Test foliar nutrients and fertilize if needed.
Provide proper cultural care and good growing conditions to improve fruit yield and control pests.
Apply frost protection when warranted through March, especially if growing on flat land.
  • Test frost control system by November.
Inspect trees or sample foliage or soil during late summer or fall before winter rains to assess salinity from alkaline soils, poor quality water, and fertilizers.

Harvest (until fruit arrives at the packing house)

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.
What should you be doing during this period?
Mow or manage weeds that may interfere with harvesting. Reduce vegetation cover in cooler areas to reduce chance of frost damage to lower leaves.
Check preharvest intervals for all products used.
Use pruning and other cultural practices to minimize anthracnose and branch canker diseases in groves as well as postharvest fruit and stem-end rots.

Size pick fruit. Thin clustered fruit and prune to reduce protected sites, thereby culturally controlling greenhouse thrips, leafrollers, loopers, and mealybugs:

  • Thin by selectively harvesting only larger fruit, which increases market price to the grower.
Minimize fruit injury and postharvest disease.
Educate and supervise workers regarding fruit handling Best Management Practices (BMP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and food safety.
Inspect fruit quality before bins are moved from the picking site to identify grove areas where management practices need improvement.
Take steps to prevent fruit contamination and theft.

Pesticide application checklist

When planning for possible pesticide applications in an IPM program, consult the Pest Management Guidelines, review and complete this checklist to consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.
  • Choose a pesticide from the UC IPM Avocado Pest Management Guidelines for the target pest considering these factors:
  • Before an application:
    • Ensure that spray equipment is properly calibrated to deliver the desired pesticide amount for optimal coverage.
    • Use appropriate spray nozzles and pressure to minimize off-site movement of pesticides.
    • Choose sprayers and application procedures that keep pesticides on target.
    • Avoid spraying during these conditions
      • Wind speed over 5 mph
      • Temperature inversions
      • Just prior to rain or irrigation (unless it is an appropriate amount, such as when incorpo-rating a soil-applied pesticide)
      • At tractor speeds over 2 mph
    • Identify and take special care to protect sensitive areas (for example, waterways or riparian areas) surrounding your application site.
    • Review and follow label for pesticide handling, storage, and disposal guidelines.
    • Check and follow restricted entry intervals (REI) and preharvest intervals (PHI).
  • After an application:
    • Record application date, product used, rate, and location of application.
    • Follow up to confirm that treatment was effective.
  • Consider water management practices that reduce pesticide movement off-site.
  • Consider practices that reduce air quality problems.
    • When possible, reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by decreasing the amount of pesticide applied, choosing low-emission management methods, and avoiding emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations.
    • Use the Department of Pesticide Regulation calculators to determine VOC emission rates from fumigant and nonfumigant pesticides.

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