Monday, March 25, 2013

Gardner, Faith, and Pawnee

   The cultivar trial we established near New Madrid, MO yielded nuts to allow a direct comparison between three very similar-looking pecan cultivars; Gardner, Faith, and Pawnee. Besides similarities in nut shape, all three cultivars ripen early and are susceptible to pecan scab.
    Pawnee was developed by the USDA and resulted from a cross of Mohawk and Starking Hardy Giant. Gardner originated as a roadside seedling tree discovered in the small village of Gardner, KS. Faith is an open-pollinated Mohawk seedling originally planted by Verna Davis in Arkansas City, KS.
    The evaluation of nuts samples collected in 2012 from the New Madrid point to some differences between these very similar cultivars.

Cultivar      Nut Wt.  % kernel
Pawnee        8.14g       55.81
Gardner        6.87g       57.74
Faith             7.64g       55.01  

   Of these three cultivars, Pawnee and Faith are most alike. However, Faith has constantly produced a smaller nut than Pawnee and Faith nuts may ripen a day or two later than Pawnee. Gardner produces the smallest nut of the three cultivars but Gardner produces significantly more percent kernel. Gardner kernels also seem brighter than Pawnee or Faith, making for a more attractive nut meat.
   We will be looking deeper into differences between these three cultivars in the future. Hopefully, we'll find key cultivar characteristics that can be used to more easily distinguish between these three very-similar-looking pecans.