Almond trees at full bloom are one of the most attractive sights of spring. However, troublesome diseases, like blossom blight, almond scab and shothole, can leave almond blossoms looking far less than picturesque. These diseases riddle almond leaves with spots, spores and stunted shoots, effecting not only the tree’s aesthetic but also yield potential.
To ensure the almond crop quality isn’t compromised, growers are utilizing Merivon® fungicide, which provides long-lasting disease control, more consistent performance and plant health benefits. Without having to fight off diseases, almond trees will have more available energy to keep blooms healthy and produce more almonds.
In 2013, BASF conducted research trials in California to study the effects Merivon fungicide had on almond yields. On average, almond trees treated with Merivon fungicide at full bloom yielded 2,300 pounds per acre. When compared to the competitor used in the trial, that’s an increase of 188 pounds per acre.
The last several seasons, California growers have experienced persistent drought weather patterns that required fewer fungicide applications and allowed for a longer spray interval because disease pressure was lighter. However, almond trees are still susceptible to destructive diseases and the accompanying potential yield loss.
“Growers should continue applications of fungicides on 14 to 21 day spray schedules depending on weather conditions,” suggested Dawn Brunmeier, Technical Service Representative at BASF. “Trees are developing at a rapid pace, and new leaves and nuts may be unprotected if spray intervals are too long.”
A well-managed fungicide program is the best approach to protecting yield potential at a critical stage in almond development. Growers should apply fungicides preventatively on tight spray schedules, especially during warm, wet weather, which is most conducive to disease development. The rotation of modes of action is also important during heavy spray seasons to reduce disease resistance.
“Merivon fungicide provides two modes of action for longer lasting, consistent control of all spring and summer diseases in almonds,” said Brunmeier.
To learn more about creating a preventative fungicide plan, contact your local BASF representative or visit www.GrowSmartAlmonds.com.