Peach

Year-Round IPM Program

(Reviewed 3/06, updated 3/10)

These practices are recommended for a monitoring-based IPM program that enhances pest control and reduces environmental quality problems related to pesticide use.

Water quality becomes impaired when pesticides and sediments move off-site and into water. Air quality becomes impaired when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) move into the atmosphere. Each time a pesticide application is considered, review the Pesticide Application Checklist at the bottom of this page for information on how to minimize water quality problems.

This program covers the major pests of peach. Details on carrying out each practice and information on additional pests can be found in the guidelines. Links take you to information on how to monitor, forms to use, and management practices. Track your progress through the year with the annual checklist form.

Dormancy/Delayed-dormancy (leaf fall to bud swell)

Why is this season important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.

What should you be doing during this period?
Apply fungicide treatments as needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines:
Manage orchard floor vegetation:
Make an oil treatment for scales and European red and brown mite eggs
  • If you saw increasing damage from scales last year, take a dormant shoot sample to see if an insect growth regulator should be added to the oil treatment.
Treat peach twig borer and obliquebanded leafroller with environmentally sound material or delay treatment until bloom.

Other pests you may see:

  • Fruittree leafroller egg masses
  • Armillaria root
  • Voles
  • Pocket gophers
  • Stink bugs
  • Tree borers

Bloom (green tip to petal fall)

Why is this season important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.

What should you be doing during this period?
Put out pheromone traps for:
  • Oriental fruit moth (February 15 in San Joaquin Valley, February 20 in Sacramento Valley)
  • Omnivorous leafroller (San Joaquin Valley—February 20)
  • San Jose scale (February 25—San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys)

Check traps and keep records (example monitoring/degree-days form PDF).

If using mating disruption for oriental fruit moth, place dispensers in orchard after first moth is caught but no later than March 5.
Examine flower clusters and leaves for:
  • Peach twig borer
  • Fruittree leafroller
  • Obliquebanded leafroller
  • Katydids
  • Western flower thrips
Monitor for other pests, including:
  • Stink bugs
  • Plant bugs
  • Known invasive pests (spotted wing drosophila, light brown apple moth)
When rainy conditions promote disease, time fungicide treatment according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines:
Monitor for diseases:
  • Rust
    • Monitor twig cankers beginning late March.
    • Treat with fungicide if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
  • Shot hole
    • Fruiting structures in leaf lesions as long as weather is wet.
    • Manage if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
Observe the orchard for vertebrates and manage as necessary:
If orchard floor vegetation present, manage as needed.
Other pests you may see:

Fruit development (petal fall to harvest)

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.

What should you be doing during this period?
Put up pheromone traps for:
  • Peach twig borer (March 20 in San Joaquin Valley, April 1 in Sacramento Valley)
  • Obliquebanded leafroller (April 15 in San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley)
Monitor shoot strikes for damage from oriental fruit moth and peach twig borer, especially in mating disruption orchards.
  • Keep records (example monitoring form PDF).
  • Manage if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
If wet weather persists, continue to monitor for rust:
  • Manage if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
If orchard has a history of scab:
  • Treat 3 weeks after full bloom.
  • Treat again 2 weeks later if scab was severe the previous year.
Make fertilizer applications at appropriate intervals.
Where ground covers are present, take sweep samples for pests, beginning from early April to early June for:
  • Plant bugs (Lygus and Calocoris)
  • Katydids
  • Stink bugs

Manage if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.

Sample fruit damage every other week after color break.
Monitor powdery mildew and treat if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
If ground cover present:
Monitor spider mites from May through August:
  • For best evaluation, conduct two 5-minute searches and keep records (example monitoring form PDF).
  • Manage if needed according to Peach Pest Management Guidelines.
Select leaf samples in July to analyze for nutrients. Pay particular attention to nitrogen, potassium, and some of the micronutrients such as zinc and boron.
  • Take 60 to 80 mid-shoot leaves from moderately vigorous fruiting shoots.
If rain is predicted during the last 4 weeks before harvest, treat for ripe fruit rot.

Other pests you may see:

  • Armillaria root rot
  • Bacterial canker
  • Phytophthora root and crown rot
  • Peach silver mite
  • Black peach aphid
  • Scab
  • Verticillium wilt
  • Tree borers

Harvest

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.

What should you be doing during this period?
Monitor for ripe fruit rot and treat if rain is predicted.
Take a harvest sample to determine pest damage.

Postharvest

Why is this period important in an IPM program?

Mitigate pesticide usage to minimize air and water contamination.

What should you be doing during this period?
In early harvest orchards continue to watch for:
Remove fruit remaining in trees to reduce brown rot inoculum and prevent shoot death.
If surface water runoff is an issue, particularly near waterways, consider the use of cover crops or resident vegetation.

Pesticide application checklist

When planning for possible pesticide applications in an IPM program, review and complete this checklist to consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.
  • Choose a pesticide from the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for the target pest considering:
  • Before an application:
    • Choose application procedures that keep pesticides on target.
    • Identify and take special care to protect sensitive areas (for example, waterways or riparian areas) surrounding your application site.
    • Review and follow label for pesticide handling, storage, and disposal guidelines.
    • Check and follow restricted entry intervals (REI) and preharvest intervals (PHI).
  • After an application:
    • Record application date, product used, rate, and location of application.
    • Follow up to confirm that treatment was effective.
  • Consider water management practices(PDF) that reduce pesticide movement off-site.
    • Limit irrigation to amount required using soil moisture (PDF) and evapotranspiration (ET) monitoring.
    • Install an irrigation recirculation or storage and reuse system.
    • Consider the use of cover crops.
    • Consider vegetative filter strips (PDF) or ditches.
    • Install sediment traps.
    • Use polyacrylamide (PAM) tablets in furrow irrigation or sprinkler irrigation systems to improve soil infiltration and prevent off-site movement of sediments.
    • Redesign inlets and outlets into tailwater ditches(PDF) to reduce erosion.
  • Consider orchard floor management practices (PDF) that improve soil structure and reduce erosion.
  • Consider practices that reduce air quality problems.
    • When possible, choose pesticides that are not in an emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs); this is especially important from May to October. VOCs react with sunlight to form ozone, a major air pollutant.

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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