|Early season Scab lesions on almond.|
We are approaching the end of the effective almond scab control spray timings. Scab has become more common in area orchards due to the increased planting density and occurrence of wet springs. Causing defoliation in late summer, this disease can weaken the tree, reducing crop for the coming years. A heavily infected orchard will have persistent scab issues for several years after the disease flare up. Fritz and Carmel are more susceptible to this disease than Nonpareil and other varieties
This spray period starts at about 2 weeks after petal fall and continues to about 5 weeks after petal fall. Years of research by Dr. Jim Adaskaveg and Dr. Brent Holtz have demonstrated that spraying during this period provides the greatest control. The use of strobilurins (FRAC 11 – Gem, Abound, Pristine) provides the greatest control of this disease, followed by the DMIs (FRAC 3 – Quash, Inspire, Inspire Super, Bumper, Tilt), Topsin-M (FRAC 1), and broad spectrums (Captan, Maneb, Ziram, etc).
|Overwintering scab twig lesions.|
It is speculated that strobilurin resistant populations of scab are becoming more common. Applying back-to-back applications of strobilurins will hasten the development of resistance. If you sprayed a strobilurin earlier this bloom season you must consider another mode of action for scab control. Earlier entries emphasized the importance of saving this mode of action for summer diseases.
Sprays must be made within the 2 – 5 week petal fall period to provide maximum control. Later sprays will not be as effective. Waiting till the disease is visible before you start to spray is not advise as the population at that point is too high to control. In many cases, spraying at this point will only waste money AND increase the risk of fungicide resistance.
Orchards with severe outbreaks should consider a dormant application of copper/oil to reduce overwintering populations.