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Control Navel Orangeworms with Well-Timed Crop Protection Treatments. Growers protect harvest potential with aggressive insecticide strategy


PHILADELPHIA – July 8, 2013 – Despite the stepped-up efforts of California almond, walnut and pistachio growers, Navel orangeworms (NOW) remain a major crop concern. While long-term orchard management is critical to minimizing NOW risk, the technical team at FMC Agricultural Products recommends an aggressive control strategy, including well-timed insecticide treatments, to protect harvest potential. 

“Growers use shaking, disking and shredding to reduce their risk, but NOW still find places to reproduce,” said Mac Learned, FMC Agricultural Products Group North America regional technical sales lead. “With the damage they do, you can’t count on sanitation alone to protect your crop.”

Nuts infested with NOW larvae not only become rejects, but carry larvae into next season. Hanging mummies are the favored overwintering site, but in a dry year fallen nuts produce adult NOW almost as readily. Sanitation efforts, such as shaking dormant trees and disking or shredding fallen nuts significantly reduce larvae, but migrating adults can still infest even well-groomed orchards. Infestation rates as high as 19 percent have been reported. In pistachios, a harvest time infestation of as few as one percent of nuts can produce aflatoxin levels exceeding the legal limit for sale in the United States. 

 “A season-to-season strategy is very important for reducing your long-term NOW population, but migrating adults can pressure your orchard,” said Learned. “That’s when you should go in and control your pest population for this season -- to protect this year’s crop and begin managing your risk for next year.”

When post-harvest sanitation efforts are not enough, FMC Agricultural Products offers crop protection products to keep NOW and other pests out. Athena® insecticide/miticide, Hero® EW insecticide and Brigade® WSB insecticide offer powerful on-contact and residual control to protect harvest potential. 

Athena insecticide/miticide, registered in California for almonds and walnuts, delivers powerful, broad-spectrum control with immediate knockdown by direct contact and feeding. It reaches the underside of leaves to provide long-lasting control of insects and mites. Hero EW insecticide provides economical, broad spectrum NOW and mite control with a dual mode of action in almonds, pecans and walnuts. Brigade WSB insecticide offers a powerful late season option with a 7-day pre-harvest interval for almonds, pecans and walnuts. 

 “NOW are a particularly difficult insect to keep down, but one well-timed application with a strong residual product can reliably take out two-thirds of your population,” said Learned. “Post-harvest, or any time you want to control mites, is a great time for Athena. If mites aren’t an issue, or you’re closing in on harvest, Brigade can handle the NOW pressure in your orchard.”    

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About FMC

FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial, environmental and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. In 2012, FMC had annual sales of approximately $3.7 billion. The company employs approximately 5,700 people throughout the world, and operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals. For more information, visit  


Always read and follow label directions. Athena, Brigade WSB and Hero EW are a restricted use pesticides. FMC, Athena, Brigade and Hero are trademarks of FMC Corporation. © 2013 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. F100-030472 – 7/13