Statewide we are seeing in general that the female flower crop has been surprisingly good on most varieties, with the exception of the large, old Stuart trees. Stuart wasn’t expected to make much of a comeback this year as a result of a generally heavy year in 2018 plus the effects of the hurricane, and it hasn’t. We have been pleasantly surprised by the female flower crop on most other varieties, especially for young trees. However, it is still early. We will have to wait and see how much of a drop we have in June before we can get too excited. We’ve seen a little leaf scab on Desirable early but the weather has been dry for the most part over the last couple of weeks which will help minimize scab pressure. Make sure you have your water on to compensate for the current dry weather. Our new SE GA Area Pecan Agent, Andrew Sawyer provides a more detailed update from Southeast Georgia below.

—Lenny Wells

Southeast GA – Andrew Sawyer

Beginning the job this week, I see that the east part of Georgia is very dry. The only benefit from dry weather is from scab. Most growers have put on their second fungicide application, as it is starting to get humid.

As of now, we are getting through with pollination. It is apparent that some of the recommended fruit thinned cultivars like Excel seem to be holging the nuts well and could likely have a big crop. We’ve looked at Excel, Eclipse, Desirable, Pawnee, Oconee, Mahan, Stuart, Cape Fear, Caddo. The only cultivar not holding on to nuts or either with a small flower production is Stuart. They of course are later, but we’re seeing this across the east. At this point, we don’t know if there may still be a top crop on these Stuarts.

May 3rd – Fruit appear ‘burned up’ and drop when touched. Likely early drop from weak flowers. It is not uncommon and nothing to worry about here.
May 3 – Catkins from Stuart still releasing pollen
May 2 – Catkins from Excel mature and no longer releasing pollen

Black Aphids

I was with Appling County Agent Shane Curry in this 50+ year old orchard where we were finding lots of leaves with black aphid damage. We were seeing it on all the cultivars in this orchard: Stuart, Harris, Mahan. We couldn’t find any nymphs or adults under the leaves, likely because insecticide was used on the most recent spray.

Should this be of any concern? Not really. It’s a little early for the first flight of black aphids, but it’s the later flights that do the most damage. The black aphid flights in late June and July are ones that are more concern. Be on the lookout for aphids, and lets try not to spray yellow aphids until they reach threshold levels.

May 3 – Black aphid damage on Mahan in Appling County.