As growers in the southern hemisphere work through harvesting and shelling pecans in areas such as South Africa, Australia, and various areas in South America, such as Northern Argentina, and Southern Brazil, growers in the Northern Hemisphere are monitoring scab and insect pressure.
Growers in Georgia, USA have been working to keep scab pressure down this season in the orchards. Moving into June we have also been working to keep insects such as aphids and nut case bearer from damaging the crop. This year needs a big crop as pecan inventories are having trouble keeping up with demand.
Another issue growers are monitoring this time of year is the nut size and the inevitable June drop. Trees tend to shed pecans this time of year in an effort to maintain crop quality by naturally reducing crop size when under pressure. Water being one of the biggest factors through the next few months, most growers in the southeast have sufficient water to supply the trees as the pecan crop begins to size.
Nutrient availability is another major factor when trees decide to shed pecans, during the summer months when pecans begin to “size up”. Nutrient and water demand begin to peak over the summer months.
One company is seeing some success in helping growers size up the pecans by offering supplemental Potassium and Phosphate with foliar applications. PlantFood Systems a company working in plant nutrition and protection based in Florida, has been working with pecan growers in Georgia and running test trials to improve pecan size during the nut development stages and have seen good results.
Working in pecan orchards in South Georgia and other areas test plots have shown increases in nut size and meat yield when applying their Potassium and Phosphate supplements at strategic times during the development of the pecan during this stage of growth.
Reports from test plots in Georgia show an increase in nut size in Sumner and Desirable varieties. More information about their products can be found at the link below or by contacting the company directly.
Growers will continue to monitor the June drop and then again in August which will hopefully be minimal. Coming off of a smaller crop year and increasing demand packers need a larger crop this year to keep prices from spiking down the supply chain.