Sunday, August 11, 2013

To my growers: This is NOT your orchard!!

This is an orchard next to one we farm. Ownership changed hands two years ago and that is how long it took to create an unmitigated disaster. Because of inadequate irrigation, these nuts stopped developing and should have been harvested weeks ago.  A random sample of Nonpareil nuts reveal a Navel Orangeworm infestation of 40%!!!  At a high point in the almond industry when there is money to be made, these owners apparently decided to "save" money on cultural costs and their result will be a huge economic loss.

Some of the obvious bad decisions in this situation are:

No winter sanitation program; We spend a lot of money every year destroying unharvested nuts, or "mummies", this is where Navel Orangeworm larvae overwinter. By destroying the mummies we begin each season with a smaller resident population.

Inadequate Irrigation;  The result is smaller, shriveled nuts that weigh less and will be hard to market.

Untimely harvest; The worm damage would be less if they had been harvested when ready two or more weeks ago.

Pre Harvest "Wind Falls" from lack of water

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