My name is Dirk Ulrich,

I've been invited to work with the team at Hilltop as an agronomist to help answer growers questions that are needed throughout the year. My roots are deeply embedded in almond farming, I bring over 30 years of invaluable expertise to the almond farming community. Having grown up on an almond farm and graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in pomology, my journey has been marked by a passion for nut cultivation. As the owner of Ulrich Management & Consulting, my commitment, along with my team is to provide specialized guidance for almonds and other nuts in the Central Valley is unparalleled.

Currently, I want to highlight a significant concern regarding the prevalence of Navel Orange Worm (N.OM.) in almond crops. My observations reveal that orchards subjected to thorough sanitation practices, especially when complemented by neighboring orchards following suit, have shown the most promising results. Furthermore, with my involvement in mating disruptions, combined with stringent sanitation measures and limited chemical spray interventions has led to remarkably low levels of insect damage also. From my experience this underscores the need for a comprehensive pest management strategy, emphasizing the pivotal role of sanitation in safeguarding almond yields.

It further emphasizes the significance of proper sanitation practices in preventing insect damage, particularly in situations where neighboring areas neglect this crucial step. The stark contrast in outcomes, with damage rates surpassing 25% in inadequately sanitized blocks, serves as a powerful testament to the importance of proactive measures. It's worth noting that growers facing the challenge of worm control in this situation, resorting to multiple sprays, have experienced disastrous results.