Mitchell County Ag News

Female flower bloom and casebearer sprays

Via Dr. Lenny Wells, Extension Pecan Specialist;

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This time of year you can get a good idea of the potential of the pecan crop. I want to emphasize the word “potential” here because at this point in the season that’s all it is. You can now see the pistillate (female) flower bloom and get a feel for what possibilities may lie ahead. We still have a long way to go in the season and so many things can happen but I have been pleasantly surprised by the pistillate bloom I see on most trees in commercial orchards. I would hesitate to call this a bumper crop but it does look to be a good pistillate bloom and you can’t have nuts without that. With this in mind and casebearer sprays in the thoughts of many growers, I would suggest holding off on casebearer sprays for most varieties in Georgia orchards (see blog from last year for full explanation on this) that have a fairly heavy bloom of female flowers. I would however, consider spraying ‘Desirable’. Most of the ‘Desirable’ trees I have seen look to have a good bloom but we all know they will shed some nuts in June (Desirable can shed up to 60% of the nuts in the June drop). With this in consideration I would focus casebearer sprays on Desirable and let the casebearers thin the other cultivars where the blooms are heavy. One thing Dr. Ted Cottrell suggested to keep in mind is that if you do plan to spray casebearers and you use chlorpyrifos , you may cause more harm than good if you mis-time the spray because you will wipe out the beneficials and miss your casebearers. So, when they do come along, they may be worse than they would have been had you not sprayed at all.