Friday, November 30, 2012

Preparing a pecan sample for evaluation

     Each year, the Kansas Nut Growers Association evaluates nut samples, submitted by producers, for shell-out percentage and kernel quality. The results of these evaluations are exhibited at our annual meeting in March with the results published in the Kansas Nut Growers newsletter. We are currently right in the middle of pecan harvest so it is a good time to think about collecting your samples the evaluation.
    When I collect samples for evaluation I start by pulling a random sample of a singe cultivar out of a sack of cleaned nuts. The photo above shows a sample I pulled from our Kanza crop. They are all Kanza nuts but they still vary in size and shape.

     In the photo at left, I sorted through my random sample and pulled out the small, squaty, miss-shaped, or shell fractured nuts (nuts in the top row). This left me with a more uniform, and more representative sample of the Kanza nuts produced on our farm (bottom two rows).
    For evaluation purposes, we require a 30 sample. Place your sample in a paper bag that is marked with your name and the name of the cultivar. Samples should be sent to: Pecan Experiment Field, 8960 SW 90th Str., Chetopa, KS 67336. We are also interested in evaluating outstanding nuts produced by seedling trees.