August Make-or-Break Month for Pecans

Web AdminPecan

By Clint Thompson

August is the make-or-break month for pecan growers yearning to produce a crop this year and next season as well. Lenny Wells, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension pecan specialist, discussed in Tuesday’s UGA Extension Pecan Blog various factors producers should consider.

pecan season

Irrigation applications should be at 100% by mid-August, which equates to between 3,600 and 4,000 gallons per acre per day to fill out the pecans. That is especially important amid the current hot and dry conditions sweltering the Southeast.

Lenny Wells

Another fungicide spray to protect against scab disease is needed for moderately susceptible cultivars, such as Cape Fear and Stuart, and two sprays are needed for highly susceptible cultivars like Desirables. Insecticide sprays to protect against shuckworms, aphids and mites are needed as well.

All add up to a pivotal time of the year for farmers in Georgia and Alabama, says Wells.

“There’s just so many things coming all at once. It’s really more of a make-or-break thing for the following season than it is for this season. Everything can look great in the orchard up until you get the time of kernel filling and then things can go haywire from that point and the whole season’s down the tubes. On top of that, if the tree gets stressed in August, the chances of coming back with a good crop next year are reduced,” Wells said.

“When the tree is telling the shoots that are going to develop next year, telling those cells whether they’re going to be vegetative or reproductive, that’s happening in August. Any stress on the tree at that time can affect that.”