Growers maximize almond tree health and yield in challenging weather

Growers looking to increase nut yields, achieve larger nuts and minimize alternate bearing problems should consider adding key nutrients that have early season peak demand to their hull split and codling moth sprays.  A summer application of key nutrients can be the key to boosting yields for next spring.

Cool spring soil temperatures limit nutrient uptake and availability from the soil which is why it is critical to have sufficient stored nutrients in the buds and tree.  Trees that are nutritionally sufficient when they go into dormancy will see stronger early growth, better nut set and better yield and quality than trees than lack nutrient(s) at bud break.  Key early peak demand nutrients are needed for strong buds, more uniform bud break, increased nut set and faster larger early leaf growth that have more photosynthetic capability.  These nutrients if applied at hull split and codling moth sprays can be stored by the tree for use next spring.

Hull split and late season husk fly and codling moth sprays provide a great free ride for an effective foliar nutrient boost for next year’s crop while improving this year’s harvest and tree health. In the spring demand for nutrients like zinc, manganese and phosphate peaks so it is important that the tree has sufficient reserves to rely on.  Ensuring the tree’s nutritional status is well balanced heading into dormancy sets the stage for strong spring growth, maximum nut set and optimal yield.

For a complete nutritional mix, Agro-K’s Zinc Plus +4 D.L. at 2 to 3 qts/acre supplies comprehensive micronutrient support (zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron and copper).   Combined with AgroBest® 0-20-26 at 1 gal/acre for provides macronutrient support with maximum availability.  If boron is needed, Agro-K offers Top Set D.L., a 9% boric acid plus 0.5% Moly solution.  Molybdenum is important to increase nut set for almonds and is an often overlooked nutrient.  Hull split is an excellent time to supplement this nutrient.

Zinc Plus +4 D.L. is formulated for rapid and complete leaf penetration and availability to the tree for late season use and nutrient storage.  It’s compatible with most pesticides and foliar nutrient tank mixes, including those for husk fly and codling moth. Combining Zinc Plus+ 4 D.L. with AgroBest 0-20-26 creates an ideal storehouse of nutrition.

Growers will like what they see in the spring especially if soils are cool and wet.  Trees with good nutrient reserves will show strong early bloom and leaf development relative to trees that don’t have sufficient reserves and cannot effectively pull nutrients from the soil.  Growers that pass on adding nutrition to their hull split and codling moth sprays or forgo a post-harvest nutrient application are missing out on a key opportunity to increase yields.

Consider these important nutritional facts:

  • The process of a tree breaking dormancy is a very zinc-intensive process.
  • Nut trees have a very large demand for zinc due to the very large and extensive root, leaf and vascular systems. All these tissues require zinc to function and grow.
  • The best nut set and yields won’t happen without molybdenum for pollen production and pollen performance, and boron for pollen tube development and phosphate for cell division for good nut size.
  • The full potential of good nut fill and size won’t happen with small leaves and poor chlorophyll. Leaf size is dependent on adequate zinc levels while the leaves are forming – early peak nutrient demand. The key to making this work is having zinc in the buds, roots and vascular tissues applied at a time, and in a form that will be taken in, stored in these tissues and ready to go when dormancy breaks in the spring.
  • Chlorophyll production takes place as the leaves expand and requires manganese, magnesium, iron, and sulfur. If these are deficient as the chlorophyll forms, the leaves will not be effective in capturing the light for photosynthesis (especially in the lower canopy) which leads to smaller nuts, weak lower limbs and terminals that are more vulnerable to the complex of diseases leading to lower limb die back.

For more information on Agro-K’s foliar nutrients and high quality line of fertilizers, contact Agro-K or a local authorized dealer today.  Phone 800-328-2418 or email