Australian Almond Board R&D Forum
30th – 31st October 2019
Winter 2019 has been cold and mostly dry with about 450 Chill Hours (temperatures below 7°C from 1st May till end July) so dormancy breaking is not a problem this year.
The lack of heavy rain events has resulted in a dry sub-soil, so early applications of irrigation water have already started.
Almond flowering is well advanced with the earlier varieties already shedding petals. The Non-Pareil is flowering a few days later than 2018 and generally, the number of flowers on older trees is less than 2018. This is probably due to extreme conditions last summer when the buds were forming and carrying a heavy crop load. Younger trees have a very heavy flowering.
The weather during early flowering has been cool to cold with some frosts and very windy which has reduced the bee activity.
Most growers have finished flowering sprays. It is important to discuss sprays with the beekeepers and aim to spray at night to minimise the impact on the hives.
Walnuts have started to move with bud swell happening and flowering will start during mid-September.
Spring fertiliser has commenced with some growers opting to spread solid fertiliser, gypsum or compost during the winter months.
The Australian Almond Board are also reporting that Propiconazole (Tilt, Propicon, etc) is also subject to NIL residue in the EU so all growers need to check with their buyers or processors before applying any product during the 2019/2020 season. This is in addition to the Chlorothalonil (Bravo, Chlorothalonil, etc) restrictions already invoked from June 2019.
There have been some infestations of Black Aphid in almond orchards. Some growers have sprayed before flowering but there may be more outbreaks after flowering.
With a relatively dry spring flowering, there are no signs of blossom blight however it is very important to keep up the preventative sprays as there are very few chemicals to cure disease once it is established.
For further information on nut production, call:
Peter Reynolds on 0427 566 871