Agro-K Introduces Fully Integrated Science Driven Approach to Almond Phytophthora Control

A Complete Solution for Superior Disease Protection and Faster Tree Recovery

A variety of Phytophthora species also known as oomycetes or water molds, because they thrive in wet conditions, can be devastating to almond orchards of any age and inflict significant economic pain on growers.  But good orchard management practices along with coordinated science driven crop protection and nutrition program can provide growers manageable control of the disease while also increasing yield and nut quality.

Agro-K has developed an integrated approach to helping growers improve almond yields and manage phytophthora by focusing on three areas – disease control, nutrient management and soil conditions.  By addressing all three as part of an integrated science driven program trees recover faster and yield more consistently year over year.

To directly address the pathogen, Agro-K’s Sysstem®-K Blue foliar potassium phosphite gives growers a proven and effective tool against phytophthora.  This phosphite formulation is highly systemic and most effective when applied foliar.  Sysstem-K Blue penetrates leaf surfaces rapidly, moves systemically within the xylem and the phloem and has multiple modes of action.  Sysstem-K Blue is in FRAC code 33 a class which has multiple sites of fungal activity and modes of action on pathogens making it an excellent tool for resistance management and better overall control of Phytophthora.

Sysstem-K Blue also contains 20% potassium the key nutrient in nut bulking and maximizing nut size.  Summer applications of potassium are ideal for meeting peak nutrient demand timing for potassium to support nut bulking.  Demand for potassium increases significantly in the summer and early fall as nut bulking occurs.  Potassium is also important in regulating stomate function which is critical in helping plants manage heat stress.  The systemic nature of Agro-K’s Sysstem-K Blue means it can deliver potassium faster and more effectively to the tree when demand for potassium is highest so nut size, yield and grower returns are maximized, while any adverse heat events are minimized.

Taking proactive steps to manage root health helps minimize susceptibility to soil borne pathogens while maximizing overall tree health and long-term productivity.  Zinc and manganese have important early season peak demand timing and play key roles in both root growth and health by supporting self-defense mechanisms.  Foliar applications of zinc and manganese at the right time and, most importantly, in the right form can have a dramatic impact on root health and yield. While there are many commercially available forms of zinc and manganese, utilizing a phosphite-based nutrient package gives growers a unique added systemic advantage – xylem and phloem mobility – that no other foliar chemistry delivers.  Sysstem-Ready® is a nutrient formulation blend of zinc and manganese phosphite that rapidly delivers supporting nutrition to the roots where they are most effective in promoting root growth and health.

In addition to systemic nutrient delivery, phosphite formulated Sysstem-Ready also enhances the tree’s natural root exudate process (root flushing).  Root flushing is a process whereby roots release metabolites into the rhizosphere to feed and recruit beneficial microbes which aid the tree in increasing nutrient uptake, alleviating plant stress and modifying soil properties (like pH) leading to improved root health, nut yield and quality.  By focusing on providing the Right nutrients in the Right form at the Right time and in the Right Mix, Sysstem-Ready is the right tool for growers to support the nutritional and health needs of their almond trees while maximizing yield and quality.

Phytophthora thrives in wet conditions so steps taken to improve soil structure (tilth) and maximize water infiltration and soil aeration –  collectively referred to as “soil health” – will rob phytophthora of its preferred environment limiting its ability to spread.  Consequently, these same actions are also the things that improve root health and growth and lead to increased yields and long-term productivity.

Improving soil health in your orchard begins by increasing the activity and populations of native (existing) beneficial bacteria and fungi in your soil.  Microbial activity is the key to opening up the soil, to improving both water penetration and organic matter/soil tilth.   To increase microbial activity you need to feed them.  Nutri-Max is a soil biological enhancer designed to increase nutrient cycling and availability in the rhizosphere.  It works at the microbe level to aid root colonization by beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae leading to improved nutrient uptake and increased efficiency of ground fertility programs.

Nutri-Max works in the soil to complement what Sysstem-Ready and Sysstem-K Blue deliver foliar and systemically to the almond tree – an integrated disease control program.   These three products used together are the building blocks of a complete and integrated science-based solution for superior phytophthora protection and faster tree recovery leading to increased yields and long-term tree health and productivity.

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