Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kanza performance 2014

2014 Kanza crop
   If you have been following this blog for some time, you know that I have been documenting the yield and performance of a three acre block of Kanza trees. This year we harvested a good crop of nuts, averaging 1268 lbs/acre (see table below).  
     In looking over the records for this block of trees, it is interesting to see the impact of below-average rainfall on tree performance. During the years 2011, 2012, and the first half of 2013 the trees suffered from serious water shortages. Drought conditions impacted tree grow rate, nut weight, and yield. In 2013, mid-summer rains helped to increase nut size but yield had already been impacted by the previous season's drought. You see, each spring's pistillate flower production is largely determined by growing conditions during the nut filling period the previous summer. 


Cracked Kanza nuts, 2014
    In 2014 tree grow rate responded to better soil moisture conditions and total pecan yield increased. However, the dry spell we experienced in mid- summer decreased nut size and increased the number harvested stick-tights.    
    Over the years, we have progressively thinned this Kanza block as trees begin to crowd. The thinning plan for this orchard and our tree removal progress has been posted to this blog. When planted, this block of trees contained 144 trees spaced 30 feet by 30 feet. So far we have removed 17 trees but the thinning plan calls for the eventual removal of 72 trees in total (resulting in a 42 ft. x 42 ft. spacing). However, by taking a thin as needed approach to tree thinning,  we have maintained total block yield despite experiencing problems with drought.