Pawnee nuts have been opening for a couple of weeks now, which means harvest is fast approaching. I have heard of one grower shaking already but I expect we will see the Pawnee harvest begin in earnest next week. If you are planning to shake Pawnee next week, it is recommended to turn the irrigation off at least 5 days prior to shaking in order to minimize the chances of slipping the bark and damaging the tree’s cambium. This is a common problem on Pawnee and can be especially damaging when trunk shaking young Pawnee. Try to limb shake whenever possible. With the uncertainty in the market, this is not a year I would want to be the first one to sell, so don’t get in too big a rush as you begin.
Its obvious we are still 10 days to 2 weeks early this year as we are also beginning to see other cultivars split, including Caddo, Creek, and Lakota. This means kernel filling is likely complete on most cultivars. Therefore, you can cut irrigation times back at this point. While the trees still need water, you can cut back to 40-50% of the full cycle and still provide the trees enough water to finish the kernel maturation and shuck split process.
I expect our quality to be good in the state. Scab control appears to have gone well for most growers and we had pretty good and timely rainfall in most areas during kernel filling to help fill out the crop.
Rumors on price to date have been lower than normal this year. However, we won’t know what prices are until its time to sell. Most buyers are remaining quiet so far because they likely don’t know what to expect with this market either. All I can say to that is its awfully hard to grow Desirable for less than $2/lb. Tariffs and COVID continue to provide challenges, but I have been hearing of more interest from China over the last week so hopefully this will improve prices and the confidence in moving this crop. I hope everyone has a good harvest and you get a profitable price for your crop.