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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Musings on Pecan Tree Pruning

In the 31 years I served as Extension Pecan Specialist with Texas A&M, the most common question from growers, new and veteran, was how do I prune my pecans. My answer was always the same: don’t prune. It is among the least important jobs in the orchard. Tree spacing, irrigation, applying nitrogen and zinc, IPM,...

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A knifepoint reveals the density of obscure scale on a pecan tree.

Obscure Scale: A Stealthy Pest of Pecan

A handful of pest species cause most economic injury to pecan year after year. Pests attacking the developing nut include the stink bug complex, pecan weevil, hickory shuckworm, and pecan nut casebearer, while the aphid complex and mites attack the foliage. Occasionally, other pest species may cause sporadic injury, but their activity is usually limited...

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Nighttime in a native pecan orchard. Wild hogs often come into orchards and groves at night to feed.

The Relentless Menace of the Wild Hog

Martin Mount has taken the same dirt track into his family’s pecan grove since he was a little boy. His great-grandfather worked another man’s pecan orchard, but Mount’s grandfather bought his own property beside the Deep Fork River in 1939. With a cross-cut saw, an axe, and homemade tree poison, his granddad spent years clearing...

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A graphic illustrates the soft benefits of replacing trucks: customer satisfaction, safety, corporate image, and driver recruitment and retention.

A Strong Case for Upgrading Trucks

Food distributors are increasingly realizing the need to upgrade the trucks in their transportation fleet more frequently by replacing older, less efficient units that cost more to operate and produce harmful emissions. Without question, newer, eco-efficient trucks deliver significant savings in fuel and maintenance costs. According to the most recent truck lifecycle data index, food distribution...

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A young pecan tree with a short trunk that splits off into four branches. By training this tree, growers can help it establish a stable structure.

Training Pecan Trees, Setting Some Limits

From the words of late Chris Blanchard, creator of the “Farmer to Farmer” podcast and a MOSES Organic Farmer Conference organizer, “Farms are like two-year-olds. They’re very loud and very insistent about what they need and what they want. If you don’t set some limits, you’re going to be a slave to the two-year-old.” If...

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