Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Early signs of pecan scab infection

    We've had a fairly wet spring this year and along with the damp weather, pecan scab has made its early season appearance.  The photo at right shows a cluster of Giles nuts. Giles is a scab susceptible cultivar that must be protected with fungicide sprays in order to produce a harvestable crop.
   A quick look at the Giles nut cluster reveals just the smallest hint of scab infection, a very small black lesion on the upper left side nut. However, if you look at the leaf below the nut cluster you will numerous scab lesions appearing as black irregularly shaped spots.
   With plenty of scab spores up in the tree (coming from leaf lesions) we'll need a good fungicide program to protect the nut crop. We've sprayed once but additional sprays will be needed.

    On super scab-susceptible cultivars, like Hirschi,  the disease has already progressed to the nut crop. In the photo at left, a Hirschi nut (left nut) is already supporting a large scab lesion. You can also see scab lesions dotting the foliage. Historically we've had trouble controlling scab on Hirschi even with multiple fungicide applications. This year looks no different. Our Hirschi trees will receive the same spray schedule as the rest of the orchard but we'll probably lose most the nut crop from these tree due to scab.