Sunday, October 30, 2016

We need a good freeze to advance harvest

    Today, I walked out to my Kanza trees to check on the progress of the crop. Kanza shucks split open a month ago but I found most shucks still look like they did in late September. The split shucks are still green and still completely covering the nut inside (photo at right). A good hard freeze (26 F) would kill these green shucks, cause nuts to open up, and allow the pecan to finally dry.
   However, the forecast for the first week of November does not include any freezing temperatures.

   In the absence of a hard freeze, Kanza shucks will slowly start to dry and pull away from the nut (photo at left). This shuck drying process is painfully slow and occurs at varying rates both within a nut cluster and between clusters on the same tree.
    I like to wait until all the shucks are open and the nuts are fully dry before I start shaking Kanza. By waiting, I can shake once and get the entire crop on the ground at one time.