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
2. Phosphite–2 qt/acre rate*
*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)
2. Phosphite–-2 qts/acre
3. DMI Fungicide (Tebuconazole or Propiconaole, etc.) + Tin
4. Absolute+Phosphite @1 qt/acre
8. Quadris Top
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.