Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pecan development: 28 July 2016

   We received nearly 2 inches of rain earlier this week and I though that the sudden jolt of soil moisture might kick pecan nut development into high gear. So today, I collected some nut samples of several cultivars and cut them open to check on the progress of kernel development.
   The first group of nuts I cut open included samples from Posey, Pawnee, and Kanza (photo at right). The kernels of Posey and Kanza were at 1/2 water stage while the Pawnee was not as far along. This came as a surprise because Pawnee normally ripens before Posey and Kanza in the fall and I had expected to see more advanced kernel development at this time during the summer. I'll be cutting more nuts in the weeks ahead so we'll see if this year's Pawnee crop stays behind in terms of nut development.

   The second group of pecans I cut open included cultivars that are becoming mature trees in our cultivar trials. Surecrop and USDA 61-1-X had kernels at 1/4 water stage (photo at left). The Jayhawk nut was in the large heart stage and the Caddo nut showed a kernel in the small heart stage. This Fall, Surecrop and 61-1-X should ripen by early Oct. Jayhawk will ripen at the same time as Giles, in Mid Oct. Caddo will ripen late, splitting shuck in late Oct. or early Nov. Some years, Caddo nuts fail to ripen before our first hard freeze.