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Fungicide Schedule and Pecan Tariffs

I have had many requests to provide a pecan fungicide schedule example for 2018. Not much has changed from previous years with the exception of the use of phosphite alone in one of the early sprays. I list it here for spray number 2 but it should work for spray 3 or possibly number 4 as well, depending on how soon you get to spray 4. Basically use it on one of the pre-pollination sprays.

We have had some rain this week but there is till very little tissue out and temperatures remain relatively cool. I have heard of a number of folks spraying already. I still feel its a little early but growers with Desirable or Pawnee in high pressure areas should consider spraying soon. Bear in mind that scab grows within a range of 50-95 degrees but 59-77 is the optimum range.

Fungicide Schedule Example follows:

Moderately susceptible cultivars or those under less scab pressure

1. Absolute

2. Phosphite–2 qt/acre rate*

3. Absolute

4. Elast/Tin

5. Absolute

6. Elast/Tin

7. Elast/Tin

8. Elast/Tin

*Check mixing compatibility of your phosphite and foliar zinc (or other foliar nutrient) choices prior to application. Some phosphite and zinc products do not mix well.

Heavy Scab Pressure (Desirable, Pawnee)

1. Absolute

2. Phosphite–-2 qts/acre

3. DMI Fungicide (Tebuconazole or Propiconaole, etc.) + Tin

4. Absolute+Phosphite @1 qt/acre

5. Elast/Tin

5. Absolute

6. Elast/Tin

7. Elast/Tin

8. Quadris Top

9. Elast/Tin

10. Elast/Tin

11. Absolute

12. Elast/Tin

Do what is necessary to protect  your crop from scab this year but don’t do more than you have to do. Everyone has likely heard by now of the increased tariff applied to U.S. pecans going to China (up an additional 15% now  to 22%). I have long said that the China market looked to be good for us barring any political problems and it looks like we now have one. However, its too early yet to tell if or how much this will affect our market. We have a long way to go until harvest and hopefully the trade issues between the U.S. and China can be resolved by then. Even if they are not, the tariff for pecans going to China was 24% as recently as 2014/2015 and the market remained strong. The other tree nuts have been hit with their additional 15% as well.

So, what does this mean for your management? I think its wise to watch profit margins closely regardless of the price of pecans but since we don’t yet know the impact the trade issues will have on the pecan market, I feel its even more important to spray as you need to but spray only when necessary. The same goes for all aspects of management. Give the trees what they need but don’t engage in luxury spending for practices, products, or applications you may not necessarily need.

2017 Pecan Beginners Course

There will be a pecan beginners course held in Tifton on April 18 starting at 9:00am. It is $10 for preregistration and $15 at the door if there are spots available. The capacity of this course is 300 people. Here is the link where you can find more information and the link to register.  

The program for the course is found below:

9:00        Welcome                                                                                           

9:10        Cost of Pecan Production                                                                            

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

9:30        Pecan Varieties                                                                                                                                               

                Patrick Conner, UGA Horticulture            

10:15     Break

10:45     Pecan Irrigation                                                                               

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

11:15     Pecan Tree Planting & Establishment                                   

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

12:00     Break for Lunch               

                Meal Sponsored by Savage Equipment                                 

1:00        Pecan Insect Management                                                                                                         

Will Hudson, UGA Entomology

1:45        Pecan Fertilization

Lenny Wells, UGA Horticulture

2:30        Break

2:50        Pecan Disease Management

                Jason Brock, UGA Plant Pathology

3:20        Pecan Weed Control

Timothy Grey, UGA Crop & Soil Science

4:00        Pecan Equipment

Georgia Pecan Growers Association Pecan Meeting

The Georgia Pecan Growers Association is hosting a pecan meeting at the Lowndes County Extension Office on Thursday, January 12. It will be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon with lunch being served at noon. If you are interested in attending please contact Janice Dees with the Georgia Pecan Growers Association at 229-382-2187 so they can have a head count for the meal. Below is more information about what will be discussed at the meeting.

Brooks County Pruning Clinic

There will be a pecan pruning clinic on January 19th at 10:00 am in Brooks County. The meeting will cover information related to the pruning of young pecan trees and planting demonstrations. Dr. Lenny Wells, UGA Pecan specialist will be demonstrating pruning techniques and available to answer questions related to pecan planting &/or production.  This meeting will be held in orchard at Mr. Jim Loar’s orchard, 1677 Adel Highway (Hwy. 76), Quitman. This meeting is sponsored by Cool Planet and will end with lunch at noon. So that they can plan for program and meal, please RSVP to Brooks County office (229-263-4103) by Tuesday, January 17th.

Pecan Update on Stuart Nuts

Below is an update from UGA Extension Pecan Specialist, Dr. Lenny Wells about Stuarts concerning delayed nut opening.

The biggest concern right now for most pecan growers is the delay in ‘Stuart’ shuck split. I have had many calls asking “Will these nuts ever open”? For the most part, yes they will. The delay in Stuart shuck split should not really come as a surprise. Stuart always has a prolonged shuck split. They never all open at once as they do for some varieties. I warned growers about this in my post on September 29 of this year. This characteristic of Stuart is well documented. Dr. Darrell Sparks’ 1992 book, Pecan Cultivars has this to say regarding Stuart shuck split: “However an undesirable trait (of Stuart) is that shuck dehiscence is staggered over a long period and the tree normally has to be shaken multiple times during the harvest season”.

So, it should be no surprise that not all Stuart nuts are still not open. A couple of things have made this seem like a greater problem than normal:
1. This year’s nut maturity has been running behind last year’s all season and many growers have been anxious and under the gun to fill mid-November contract orders due to the early Chinese New Year. This has led to many growers shaking Stuarts before they were really ready. Obviously in that situation you only get a few nuts down and especially on the first early shake you get a lot of green nuts out. Many growers have shaken Stuarts twice already and because the shuck split is so drawn out they get the same results on the second shake and this generates alarm but I believe the rest of these nuts will open, although obviously not for mid November contracts.

2. We are in a severe drought. Many areas of Georgia’s pecan belt have had no rain since early September. Even with irrigation this has delayed shuck split on Stuart even more. Also, many growers turned their irrigation systems off too early or never turned them back on after harvesting individual orchards for the first time. With a heavy crop load, this will create additional stress and you will see a further delay in shuck split, sprouting, and shuck decline or stick-tights. Trees at the extreme of this situation will likely have nuts that may not open but the only real chance to get them open (outside of a good rain) is to turn the irrigation back on. It sounds crazy for us in the SE to irrigate pecans into November but when it is this dry it becomes necessary. You don’t have to water much but irrigate for 4-6 hours a couple of times a week—or every other day if you have trees in the situation described above.

Don’t expect to get all of your Stuart crop in until at least December or until we have a good rain and/or some cold weather.

Time to Sample Pecan Foliage

Now is the time to collect and send off pecan leaves for nutrient analysis. It is recommended to collect the samples from July 7th to August 7th. Below are the instructions on how to sample from the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories. While you are in the field, it may be a good idea to collect a soil sample also if one has not been done recently.

  • 1. Sample trees between July 7th and August 7th. Sampling can be extended into mid August without significantly affecting the results.
  • 2. Take one sample every 10 to 15 acres. If more than one soil type is present in the sampling area and if growth and production varies appreciably in these areas, take one sample from each soil type. Take samples at random using a zig-zag sampling pattern across the grove. When samples are taken annually, the pattern of sampling should be the same; better yet, samples should be taken from the same marked trees or rows.
  • 3. Collect 100 middle pair of leaflets from the middle leaf of this year’s growth.  Use terminal shoots exposed to the sun. Avoid twigs from the interior of the tree. Collect leaflets from all sides of the tree. Avoid leaflets damaged by insects and diseases.
  • 4. Sample trees of different varieties and different ages separately.
  • 5. Abnormal trees or trees not representative of the area should be sampled and sent separately. A complete and accurate description of abnormalities should accompany such samples.
  • 6. Immediately upon collection, wipe leaves (entire surface, both top and bottom) with a damp cellulose sponge or cheesecloth to remove dust and spray residue. Do not allow the leaves to come into contact with rubber or galvanized containers. Partially air dry and place in a large paper bag.