Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pecan crop behind schedule

   This morning I cut open some nuts to check on this summer's crop. After receiving more than 5 inches of rain over the past several days, I thought that were would be plenty of soil moisture available to stimulate rapid nut expansion. What I found this morning is that the nut expansion phase is only just getting started (photo above).
   Of the nuts I cut, Osage is the earliest ripening cultivar and is currently in the "large heart" stage of kernel development. Kanza is in the "small heart" stage, while Maramec has yet to enter the period of rapid nut expansion.
    For comparison, I dug out the photo I took of these same three cultivars last year (photo at left). On 17 July 2012 Osage was at full water stage, Kanza at 3/4 water, and Maramec at 1/4 water stage. With a record early spring in 2012, last year's pecan crop was roughly 2 1/2 weeks ahead of normal. This year, we had a cool, late spring which delayed tree growth and pushed the pollination season back by nearly two weeks over normal. So it no wonder we are seeing such a huge difference in the timing of nut development. Pecan development is a month later this year as compared to 2012.