Wednesday, March 21, 2012

USDA cultivars under test

USDA 61-1-X
    Pecan growers are always searching for new, high-quality, disease-resistant cultivars to be included in their orchards. Over the years, we have tested a lot of cultivars that originated with the USDA pecan breeding project. Both Kanza and Lakota were released by the USDA and K-State as the result of our testing efforts. Now, two more USDA clones are showing some promise in trials we are conducting in Kansas and Missouri.
     USDA 61-1-X was developed by crossing Barton with Starking Hardy Giant. The nut is medium sized (6.5 g/nut) and produces an average of 57% kernel. Flowering is protandrous. If this cultivar proves to be scab resistant like its Barton parent, USDA 61-1-X may be just what we are looking for to pollinate the scab-resistant, protogynous cultivars Kanza and Lakota. USDA 61-1-X ripens early, about the same time as Colby.  Both Barton and Starking Hardy Giant have strong alternate bearing tendencies so we will need to watch this USDA cultivar over time to see if alternate bearing develops.

    USDA 75-8-5 resulted from a cross of  Osage and Creek. The nuts produced by this clone are large (7.5 g/nut) even when produced by young trees. The nut produces 55% kernel. Trees are very precocious and have produced well in both SE Kansas and SE Missouri. We have not seen scab develop on this clone at this point. Based on current observations,  USDA 75-8-5 ripens shortly after Kanza. Flowering type should be protandrous since both the parents shed their pollen early (protandrous flowering).  USDA 75-8-5 is another cultivar to watch as a possible pollinator for Kanza and Lakota.