By Boone Holladay,
County Extension Agent—Horticulture
We would like to spend a minute to congratulate local producers for their regional award winning pecans! We were well represented at the 2013 regional pecan show in Brenham. Regional winners included Pete Pavlosky – First place for Cape Fear; Ray Mehrens – Second place for Mahan; Bennie Hundl – Second place for Prilop, Second place Caddo and Second place Cheyenne; Gloria Scheel – First place for Stuart (her first show entry!) and Bernie Brezina – Third place for Kiowa.
Fort Bend pecan entries that qualified for state at regionals will be judged this summer at the 2014 Texas Pecan Growers Association Conference & Trade Show in San Marcos, Texas. This event will be held at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos July 13th through the 16th. For conference information contact Texas Pecan Growers Association at (979) 846-3285 or visit their website at www.tpga.org. Great work folks and good luck at state!
Crop Outlook for 2014
Here are words directly from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension pecan specialist Monte Nesbitt with the crop outlook for 2014:
“Last year’s pecan crop (2013) was light for the state. The problems with the farm bill meant that the USDA preliminary pecan forecast was suspended, so we have no official numbers for the state of Texas or the U.S. crop for last year. Based on grower testimony and our own visits to orchards and looking at the pecan show, the crop was generally low with significant quality problems in some areas. East Texas, in particular, was challenged by rainy periods during harvest, resulting in loss of quality for some orchards. In contrast, pecan orchards in West Texas produced very good quality in many orchards. The panhandle of Texas produced no pecans in 2013 due to late spring freeze.
Although the crop was low in Texas and the Southeastern U.S., market prices fell off substantially in early December and as recently as January, no pecans were really being sold. All of the reasons for the market stagnation are unknown. Some growers moved their crop into cold storage in hopes of a resumption of buying activity in the spring or early summer of 2014.
Texas should see a bigger crop in 2014, and if it does show a truly ON-year, it will mean a shift in the alternate bearing cycle, which for many years was a cycle of On-Years in odd-numbered years (1999, 2001, etc.). However, it is possible that the crop in Texas will be mixed and not truly ON throughout the state, due to the drought and water challenges experienced in parts of the state over the past few years and thus a lot of trees out of sync with one another. Growers who took care of their trees in 2013 and had light cropping should expect to start the year with good crops and should prepare to protect against pecan scab, pecan nut casebearer and other early-season crop challenges.”
This outlook suggests a good harvest in Fort Bend County and even further, a good sample of entries in the 2014 Fort Bend County Pecan Show! The 2014 Fort Bend County Pecan Show will be held on Saturday, December 13that the Bud O’Shieles Community Center in Rosenberg. Fort Bend County will also host the East Region competition in conjunction with our county show. This event is free of charge, includes a range of pecan-themed snacks, pecan materials for sale, and a great educational program. So come out hungry and cheer on our local pecan growers as they compete to move onto State in 2015!