Although a late entry for the week, I figured I better address an issue that is facing many almond growers: a late spring rain storm. A rain event is predicted for Sunday with possible carry-over to Monday. I have received a few calls regarding the decision to spray fungicides for various foliar diseases. In many cases, making an application for a one day rain event is not warranted unless there is a persistent disease problem.
Spray applications should be considered if there is a history of almond anthracnose, or in orchards with severe brown rot infestations. If sprays are made, try to use broad spectrum fungicides that target multiple pathways. Using these products will help reduce the formation of resistance. If you do not have a history of these diseases, I would hold off on making an application as the winds and warm weather will usually dry the almond leaves before a severe outbreak occurs.
If rust is a concern, Dr. Adaskaveg from UC Riverside has shown that control of almond rust can be achieved even after initial symptom development. He has recommended sprays of sulfur or strobilurins and encourages growers to scout their orchards for the presence of the disease. This is great news since it provides growers with the ability to treat upon seeing an infection versus a prophylactic spray for a disease that may not occur. Keep this in mind as we enter late May and early June – rust symptoms begin to appear in these months.