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Low-Input Variety Trial in Southeast Georgia

Last year we received a grant from the Pecan Commodity Commission to plant a low-input pecan variety trial for long-term evaluation of scab in Southeast Georgia. The location of planting is at the University of Georgia Vidalia Onion Research Farm. I’m excited to say that we are finished with our initial planting and irrigation set up. Thanks to pecan growers, pecan industry, and UGA county agents for assisting in preparing land, marking trees, planting trees, installing irrigation and planting demonstration plots. This orchard is a great support to the addition of many pecan acres in Southeast Georgia.

We started planting on February 2nd and completed the (approximately) 140 trees on five acres by the next day. Instead of planting trees together, all varieties are mixed in the orchard. This allows us the long-term evaluation for many years to come. The varieties planted are: Avalon, Eclipse, Excel, Kanza, McMillan, Lakota, and Sumner. Seedlings were planted for any future variety. The pollinators are Cape Fear and Gafford.

Rows are in tighter spacing to incorporate demonstration plots. We have one row planted with Terra-Sorb, fertilizer cubes and sticks compared to our standard program. Another row was drenched with insecticide at planting. The third row was used for data in a recent budmoth efficacy trial. These are demonstrations for trials out in the state. We will also set up a block study for a test on a nickel and zinc product.

This is also a good site for insect observation and research. This is one of the many sites for the flat-headed apple borer trapping across the state. The location also gave us a site for ambrosia beetle observation this spring. We hope to have a field day soon to showcase the new location. A special thanks to these people who directly helped in planting.