How to Optimize Production in a Small Orchard

When industry members speak about pecans in Argentina, it’s impossible not to mention Alejandro Lavista Llanos, who is one of the people that began to write pecan’s history in the country. Alejandro Lavista Llanos has been an agronomist for 54 years and accumulated more than 36 years of experience in pecan production through his own...

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Rows of young pecan trees as far as the eye can see below a bright blue sky at Raptor Ag.

Raptor Ag’s Giant Leap into Pecan Growing

During the first two months of 2022, a company in Oklahoma conducted a massive undertaking: planting 100,600 pecan trees within five weeks on 1,040 acres. Funded by investors, Raptor Ag made its foray into pecans with the goal of going further than any grower before.  “I’ve been around for a while, and [when] they told...

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A pecan orchard in Cerros Azules, Uruguay, during dusk. The setting sun has cast a bluish hue across the pecan orchard.

Uruguay, South America’s small but rising producer

In previous issues, we have analyzed the evolution of pecan production throughout South America and several countries’ efforts to develop markets and position themselves as pecan suppliers to global consumers. Today, it’s Uruguay’s turn. The second smallest country in South America, Uruguay borders Brazil, Argentina, and the Atlantic Ocean. Its location near the Argentine Mesopotamia...

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The walk leading up to Oak Alley Plantation, where the 'Centennial' pecan was first propagated and kickstarted the modern pecan industry.

The Beginning of Modern Pecan Culture

Ever since learning of the history of the pecan, I have been fascinated by the story of the first successful propagation. This grafting was accomplished by a man named Antoine, who was enslaved at Oak Alley Plantation in St. James Parish, Louisiana. I have long been interested in learning whether the product of this successful...

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A young pecan tree sits in a herbicide strip at Vicki Lynn Pecans orchard.

Vicki Lynn Pecans finds niche with pecans as a beauty food

Vicki Lynn Pecans in Colquitt, Georgia, began long before the first trees were planted. Mark Boatright approached his sister and brother-in-law, Lynn and Russ Henley, about purchasing land as a family investment. Looking for some type of agricultural investment, Lynn first followed a recommendation from the Farmers’ Almanac and decided to invest in pine trees....

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Rows of mature trees without a cover crop at 3SA for Veterans' orchard in Eldorado, Texas. This nonprofit pecan orchard helps vets.

A Nonprofit Harvests Pecans, Helps Veterans

Near the small West Texas town of Eldorado, a nonprofit transforms a small pecan orchard this harvest into a safe place for veterans with disabilities to find community, support, and employment. Superior Solutions and Services in Aging for Veterans, or 3SA for Veterans for short, is a 501(c) nonprofit charity in San Angelo, Texas, that...

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An old nut cluster hangs in the foreground of a photo of mature pecan trees at the USDA Brownwood Station.

The Pecan Breeding Program Forms the Roots of Our Industry

Very much like the pecan tree itself, the roots of the pecan industry often get lost in the grand management scheme. Stretching back for generations, these roots provide stability, support, and the ability to grow taller, stronger, and more bountiful.  The USDA Pecan Breeding Program and National Collection of Genetic Resources for Pecans and Hickories...

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Looking out at the walkway to the Vaalharts Dam, the first part of the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme

Planting, Propagating, & Promoting Pecans in South Africa

Almost an hour’s drive outside of Kimberley, South Africa, the Vaalharts Storage Weir diverts water from the Vaal River and feeds it into the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme. Here marks the start of South Africa’s entire pecan industry. Without the Valhaarts Irrigation Scheme and this dam, the South African pecan industry wouldn’t exist as we currently...

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Growing Pecans & Growing an Industry in South Africa

“I almost didn’t recognize you!” Hardus du Toit, the Senior Technical Officer of the South African Pecan Nut Producers’ Association and our official guide to South Africa, exclaimed to me on the morning of SAPPA’s Annual General Meeting and Information Day. It was our second day in South Africa, and after a good night’s rest...

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Postcard shows Dam at Elephant Butte, on Rio Grande, near El Paso, Texas

Water Fight in the World of Pecans

Out in the western part of the American Pecan Belt, the sun burns hot, water runs scarce, and pecan trees grow for miles and miles. Growers look forward to a bright future and continue to plant in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, and around the El Paso Valley, Texas. But a cloud looms over growers...

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A tall, mature pecan tree stretches toward the sky and provides shade over a stone walkway, outside of Château Carbonnieux.

The Pecan Trees of the Centenary

A plantation project to commemorate Franco-American friendship on the occasion of the centenary of the United States entering World War One.  The Project’s Genesis The Franco-American friendship began during the Enlightenment, before the French Revolution, thanks to the role played by Lafayette in the American Revolutionary War and to his friendship with Thomas Jefferson, Governor...

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Arizona, the Dark Horse of the Pecan Industry

There are forces at work out in the deserts of Arizona. Strong winds, hail, lightning storms, monsoons—the extreme weather and climate may make one think that this land was inhospitable to farming. But like with other southwestern states, that’s not necessarily the case. There are forces at work out in the deserts of Arizona. Planting,...

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Part of the "Kids and Kows and More" program, Remus the talking pecan tree gives participating students some fun pecan facts. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Pierce)

Crossing the Agricultural & Consumer Divide

For 166 days throughout the year, Sandra Pierce is on the road. Hauling a 22-foot trailer packed with educational supplies, Pierce travels around Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma leading an AgriLife agricultural literacy program called “Kids & Kows & More.” Through this program, Pierce has a simple yet all too necessary mission: teach children the...

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Letter from Cindy Wise

Our Pecan South readers probably noticed a new name in the magazine last month. Catherine Clark is now managing editor, having joined our staff in June. Two years ago, I decided a time for change was approaching and began to lay the groundwork for retirement. As of July 31, I will wrap up 36 years...

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The Pecan Baton

The Pecan Baton Once upon a time in pecan land, Growers sought to organize everyman Beginning in ’21 with the Texas pecan Pioneer names have carried the baton. Romberg, Benton, Bluefford, and George Ray Passed the baton as each had their day We all are beholding as each took their shift T P G A...

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King Benjamin Ivey, a Pioneer in the Farming World

Born in Travis County, Texas, in 1891, K.B. Ivey grew up on a small farm near Stephenville, the seventh of John William and Roxy Kay Ivey’s fourteen children. In 1912, he traveled with two older brothers, Louis and Robert, to the El Paso Valley. His brother Louis wanted to buy cotton from Juarez, Mexico. It...

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King Springs Pecans a Story of Friendship

Paul Quiros began our recent interview for this article by basically writing the lead himself. “This is a story of great friendship,” he said. King Springs Pecans, a young 550-acre orchard not far from Perry, Georgia, was launched 3 years ago by newcomers to the pecan industry, Quiros and his law partner and friend of...

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Pecan meal stars in neat™ meat alternative

New applications for pecans are always welcomed by the industry — especially those that enhance the healthy image of pecans; especially those that enhance the image of pecans as a great tasting nut; and especially those that create demand for something other than halves! Well, here it is and it is on the shelves of...

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Retirement Hobby Fires Up R.G. Box

Blacksmith artist R.G. Box of Lubbock, Texas, is pondering the possibility of creating a pecan tree. Considering the fact that he has already made a 6-foot roadrunner, an entire tree is certainly within the realm of possibility and his capability. But to date, his pecan work in the forge has been smaller projects like limbs...

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Newly planted pecans trees in rows in Georgia

New plantings growing tall in Georgia

Take a drive around South and Middle Georgia and one cannot help but notice the amount of new pecan tree plantings and development in the pecan industry. New growers are joining the pecan industry and experienced growers are making the most of the development and planting new trees. Along with the planting, other services, such...

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Bergeron Family Celebrates 100 Years In Shelling Business

Three generations and millions and millions of pecans later, Bergeron’s Pecans of New Roads, Louisiana, celebrated on Sept. 5 the 100th anniversary of the family-owned and operated shelling business. Hundreds of friends and community members filled False River Country Club for the occasion, including Louisiana State Rep. Major Thibaut and Sheriff Bud Torres as wells Louisiana...

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