Monday, December 2, 2013

Cultivars that ran out of time to fill kernel

Maramec 2013
   The 2013 growing season in SE Kansas was shorter, wetter and cooler than average. While early-ripening, pecan cultivars have produced high-quality pecans this year, cultivars that ripen late in season are displaying some serious kernel quality issues.
    During this past summer, I posted photos of the development of Maramec pecans as compared to the earlier ripening cultivars Osage and Kanza. Now at harvest we can see the end results of Maramec simply running out of time to fill kernel (photo above).
    Both kernel halves in the photo came out of the same Maramec nut--a nut equal in size to the whole nut pictured next to the kernels. The kernel on the left looks normal but is only 3/4 the length it should have been. The kernel on the right is flat and misshapen. Both kernel halves have patches of fuzz attached to the surface. If you were to snap one of these kernels in half you would find air spaces inside the kernel. The kernels lack oil and taste like cardboard.
Stuart 2013
    Stuart also ran out of time to fill its kernel this year (photo at left). The kernels are short. The kernel halves are shriveled on the ends and the surface of the nutmeat is fuzzy. These are all symptoms of a Stuart nut that did not receive enough heat and length of growing season to properly develop a quality kernel.