Chile is starting to use bees to increase the flowering of almond trees
The trial use of a bee attractant on almond trees in 10 orchards in October, was a success. This innovative technology, which is widely used in California and widely recognized in the United States, had not been used before in Chile. However, the tests have shown that it has led to a nearly 25% increase in the number of blossoms.
Jorge Andres Ovalle stated in a report that the almond production sector is being threatened by different pests, such as the burrito and the tijereta pests, which are very common in the central valleys and not only damage the crops' leaves, but also the tree's root system. He also said that the biological controls being implemented by producers were effective.
The crops are also affected by the Argentine parrot and Tricahue or Chilean parrot, which are common in the valleys of the sixth and seventh regions, and for which there is no control, due to the protection status enjoyed by these birds. In addition, the stink bug, a plague rare until two years ago, is causing serious damage to the crop.
Producers highlighted in the bulletin that the "conditions were ideal for the early appearance of rust, which can have significant economic consequences. In the past, 99% of the development of this fungus could be avoided with early applications of sulfur, but nowadays we have a larger group of high quality wettable sulfur alternatives that also manage to contain the presence of red spider mite," they stated.
Water, a scarce commodity
The availability of water in the canals wasn't as timely as producers had hoped, because of a thaw caused by the higher temperatures, a situation that does not favor the almond sector at all. "At the moment the channels are working normally, but almost all of the canal associations have stated that they can't guarantee 100% use starting January. We must analyze palliative measures for this, since the water deficit is a reality in all the basins," stated Ovalle.