Trying Again After the Storm

By now, everyone is familiar with the havoc wrought by Hurricane Michael on the Georgia pecan industry back in October. Half the Georgia crop was lost along with over 740,000 trees, resulting in a loss equivalent to approximately 17 percent of Georgia’s pecan acreage and an estimated total of $560 million in losses to the...

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Black splotches on pecan nutlets show evidence of pecan scab.

Scab Battle Heats Up, Watch for These 3 Factors

Planting resistant cultivars, planting on elevated land, and improving the orchard’s airflow are three key factors in managing pecan scab. However, for existing orchards, it is too late at this point in the season to do much about these variables. So, we are left with the most direct line of defense—fungicide application. Regarding this route...

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Pecan Root Knot Nematode: A Hidden Problem

Certain problems you encounter in growing pecan trees have characteristic symptoms and have been such obvious problems through the years that they have been studied extensively and have well-defined methods of treatment. Pecan scab, mouse ear, and zinc deficiency would fall into this category. But sometimes pecan trees may suffer from less obvious symptoms, and...

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Pruning: A Proven Planting Method

The tree-planting trend continues here in the Southeast. I don’t know of a single nursery in Georgia that has trees available for planting now unless you booked way in advance, and many nurseries are rapidly booking up for the 2019 crop as well. So, with all the trees being planted and with the damage growers...

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Two Months Post-Irma, We’re Still Learning

Back in September, Georgia pecan growers got to experience what it would be like to grow pecans on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Irma followed Interstate 75 directly up the Florida peninsula into Georgia with sustained winds of 20-40 mph and gusts reaching from 50-75 mph, something our friends in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are all...

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Irrigation and Fertilization of Young Pecan Trees

Most pecan growers are understandably eager to get young pecan trees into production. Aside from weed control, the two most important factors in doing this are irrigation and fertilization. Until recently there were no research-based recommendations for these two very important requirements. Before I get into these two topics, a word about site selection. The...

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Leaf Scorching of Young Pecan Trees, Part 2

Back in the November issue of Pecan South, I began a discussion on leaf scorching in young pecan trees. We’ve seen a lot of it lately and I believe most of what we are seeing is a cultural management issue involving difficulty with root establishment, particularly in intensively managed operations where the trees are pushed...

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Leaf Scorching of Young Pecan Trees, Part 1

There is a myriad of things that can cause leaf scorch on a young pecan tree including drought, water-logging, nutritional deficiencies, fertilizer burn, herbicide injury, bacterial leaf scorch, nematodes, anthracnose and other minor foliar diseases, etc. It can be and often is difficult in many cases to sort out the problem. Isolated incidents are usually...

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How much fertilizer do young pecan trees need?

Root dry weight typically comprises 55-70 percent of total tree dry weight one year following transplant, which suggests that pecan tree transplants direct most of their resources to root establishment in the first growing season in the orchard. Pecan trees in the first two to three years of establishment have a limited root system compared...

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Bot canker on pecan

Young pecan trees are a big investment and we hate to see them get weak, decline, or up and die. I’ve seen a lot of young tree die-back this year. While much of this has been related to cold damage, some trees are feeling the effects of a subtle problem that often goes unnoticed until...

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Don’t over-manage young trees

We’ve seen an incredible number of pecan trees planted over the last few years and at this point, it’s not slowing down. As the planting of pecan trees across the southeastern pecan belt continues this winter, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some of the issues I’ve dealt with over the...

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How was your foliage this year?

Foliage retention until the first’ frost has always been a goal of pecan producers in order to keep the trees healthy and productive from year to year. It’s been tough to maintain good foliage health this year due to the ravages of scab, anthracnose, downy spot, zonate leaf spot, nutritional imbalances, and most significantly black...

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What’s in your tank?

There’s a popular credit card advertisement that asks the question, “What’s in your wallet?” Well, if you’re a pecan farmer, the answer to that question may be less money, unless you’re careful about how you budget your expenses. There’s no question that you have to spend money to grow pecans. But, you can spend a...

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Pecan anthracnose in the Southeast

In 2011, those of us in the Southeast got to experience what it was like to grow pecans in the desert. Fortunately, we’ve seen more rainfall in the Southeast during 2012 than we saw last year. After all, it wouldn’t take much. While we have been thrilled with each rain we received, rainfall and pecan...

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Ease into new cultivars

The recent booming pecan market has led to a renewal of the pecan industry. Acreage is on the rise and new people are looking to pecans as a crop and as a wise investment. With this, has come a great interest in pecan cultivars, particularly the new ones. I have kept largely silent on this topic...

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Clover Benefits Orchard Soil Quality

Orchard soil health is the basis of everything that takes place in the pecan orchard. The bottomland soils on which pecans grow in their native range vary considerably from those on upland sites where the trees are cultivated and grown commercially in the southeastern U.S. The loamy bottomland ridges to which pecans are adapted typically...

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Pecan Weed Control Options

Pecan producers are fairly limited in their choice of herbicide options. We have basically three burndown herbicides available for use on pecan. These include glyphosate, paraquat and glufosinate (Rely). Glyphosate is the old standby that has been used for years. When it first came out, glyphosate seemed like a miracle herbicide. Its systemic activity killed...

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What’s Georgia Planting?

The Chinese appetite for pecans has placed a spotlight on our crop, which is increasing in popularity. This has led to a pecan acreage increase in Georgia, which from the phone calls and visits I have had, does not appear to be subsiding. Pecan nurseries have been unable to provide enough trees to keep up...

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Don’t Stop Irrigation, Yet

Most growers are aware that the most critical time for adequate irrigation in pecans is during kernel filling from mid-August to mid-September. However, the pecan tree’s demand for water does not end when kernel filling is complete. In general, pecans need about 55-60 inches of water per year. Depending on tree spacing and size, orchards...

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What Variety To Plant In The Southeast?

The most common question asked of pecan Extension specialists is “What variety should I plant?”. In the West where you may have primarily only two varieties that are commonly grown, it’s not that tough of a decision. In the Southeast, the variety question has no simple answer because we have a multitude of varieties to...

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Good Agricultural Practices For Pecans

Over the last several years, agriculture has faced many challenges. Among these has been increased scrutiny resulting from various foodborne illnesses in multiple crops. Fortunately for us, pecans have been spared the brunt of this abuse so far. While many feel that food safety and the prevention of contamination are problems that only shellers and...

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