Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time for Fall fertilizer application

    With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, we decided to make our Fall application of nitrogen fertilizer today so it would get well watered into the soil. We applied 100 lbs. of Urea per acre using a rented fertilizer buggy (photo above). That figures out to 46 lbs. of applied nitrogen per acre. We paid $481 per ton for the urea and when you add the spreader rent, we spent $24.49 per acre.
    Making regular fall and spring fertilizer applications have been the key to reducing alternate bearing in our native pecan groves.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pecan cultivars ripening by September 30th

Faith, 30 Sept. 2014
     The pecan ripening season is moving right along. Today, the last day of September, I found that five more pecan cultivars had split open their shucks since last week (photos at right and below). Gardner, Faith, and Pawnee always seem to ripen at the same time and this year was no exception. However, when checking the nuts for ripening date, I had to make sure to check nuts well above the April 15th freeze line in order to make an accurate assessment.
    Also ripening over the weekend was Surecrop and Posey.  Posey's shuck split is a little difficult to see at first. Look carefully at the photo below and you will note that the shuck has opened up at the very tip of the nut. If you press gently on the shuck you would find that the shuck has actually split down each suture all the way to the base of the nut. In a week or so, shucks will start to dry and shrink from moisture loss. At that point, the shuck will start to curl back away from the nut and Posey will actually look  like a fully ripe pecan.   

Gardner, 30 Sept. 2014
Pawnee, 30 Sept. 2014
Posey, 30 Sept. 2014
Surecrop, 30 Sept. 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pecan Cultivars ripening by September 26th

Colby, 26 Sept. 2014

    Our beautiful, early-fall weather continued this week and more pecan cultivars have split open their shucks. Today I found that Colby, Grotjan, Henning, Peruque, and Witte had ripened since the last time I checked (photos at right and below).
    Henning is usually one of our first pecan cultivars to shuck split, but this year it ripened about two weeks later that normal. This delay in ripening was caused by the April 15th killing freeze. At the time of the freeze, Henning had broken bud and even started to push out some leaves. All exposed green tissue was killed and the tree had to start growth again from secondary buds. The regrowth did produce a few pistillate blooms but the whole flowering, pollination, and nut development process occurred two weeks later than normal. So it is not surprising that Henning's shuck split ended up two weeks late this year.
Grotjan, 26 Sept. 2014

Henning, 26 Sept. 2014

Peruque, 26 Sept. 2014
Witte, 26 Sept. 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cultivars ripening by September 22

Osage, 22 Sept. 2014
   On such a beautiful day, I decided to look over the orchard in search for any more cultivars that have split shuck. I found three: Osage, USDA 64-11-17, and USDA 61-1-X.  These three cultivars all originated from the USDA pecan breeding project. Osage resulted from a cross of Major and Evers. USDA 64-11-17 have Barton and Starking Hardy Giant parents, while USDA 61-1-X came from a cross of Chickasaw and Starking Hardy Giant. Photos of these cultivars are posted at right and below.
USDA 64-11-17, 22 Sept. 2014
USDA 61-1-X, 22 Sept. 2014