Saturday, November 15, 2014
Kanza, stick-tights and crop load regulation
It turns out that about 12% of Kanza nuts collected by the harvester this year were stick-tights. Just looking at the photo it seems like the percentage should be higher but a nut stuck in the shuck takes up a lot more space than a nut out of the shuck.
The question becomes--"Why did these nuts stop developing during the water stage?". During the summer of 2014, we experienced an extended period of dry weather that started during the final stages of nut sizing and continued until late August. In addition, our Kanza trees had set an above-average crop. Most pecan cultivars react to these circumstances by aborting a portion of their crop in what is commonly known as a water stage drop. Nuts dropped in mid-summer often disappear by harvest as they decompose in the ground cover.
Kanza is different. A Kanza tree stressed by drought and crop load turns off the nut development process during water stage for a portion of the crop but those nuts remain on the tree until harvest.
The good news is that Kanza seems to do an excellent job of regulating its crop load to ensure that fully ripe nuts are well filled. The bad news is that cleaning the Kanza crop following a mid summer drought will take a little more time to remove numerous stick-tights.