Texas Pecan Growers celebrate 100 years at 2021 conference
One of the oldest horticultural associations in the state, the Texas Pecan Growers Association (TPGA) celebrates a century as an organization this year at its 100th annual conference and trade show on July 18 to 21 at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel Spa & Conference Center.
“Like so many, TPGA’s conference was canceled last year, so the industry has been eager to get back together,” says Blair Krebs, Executive Director of TPGA. “This year’s show provides attendees an opportunity to celebrate not only coming back together but also 100 years of rich Texas pecan history. The conference will have special events and items celebrating the association and the Texas state tree. Join us for an event 100 years in the making!”
This conference and trade show gives pecan growers from across the state and around the world a chance to gather and talk about all things pecans. During these four days, pecan growers will find camaraderie, visit with commercial exhibitors, and attend educational seminars and an orchard tour. The educational seminars cover topics ranging from food safety and sustainability to the pecan market to best orchard management practices. On the conference’s last day, participants will venture to Comal Pecan Farm in New Braunfels. A fifth-generation family farm, Comal Pecan Farm sits along the I-35 corridor and faces increased industrial and residential development.
“It’s the biggest event for pecan growers across the state,” says Krebs. “Harvest is only a few months away, and these four days build up the excitement for the upcoming crop.”
In addition to learning about best farming practices, TPGA conference attendees will also receive updates from several industry groups, attend networking events, mingle with product and service providers, and fundraise for research and advocacy projects.
USDA reopens voting period for pecan FMO referendum
The Agricultural Marketing Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on July 6, 2021, that it is reopening the voting period for the pecan Federal Marketing Order (FMO) referendum being conducted among eligible pecan growers across the Pecan Belt.
Learn more about the new voting period here.
USDA announces additional aid to ag producers and businesses in pandemic assistance for producers initiative
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2021—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Earlier this year, Secretary Vilsack announced plans to use available pandemic assistance funds to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of aid. As part of the Pandemic Assistance initiative announced in March, USDA pledged to continue Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments and to provide aid to producers and businesses left behind. Implementation of the assistance announced today will continue within 60 days to include support to timber harvesters, biofuels, dairy farmers and processors, livestock farmers and contract growers of poultry, assistance for organic cost share, and grants for PPE.
“USDA is honoring its commitment to get financial assistance to producers and critical agricultural businesses, especially those left out or underserved by previous COVID aid,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These investments through USDA Pandemic Assistance will help our food, agriculture, and forestry sectors get back on track and plan for the future. Since January, USDA has provided more than $11 billion of assistance directly to producers and food and agriculture business.”
Read more about USDA Pandemic Assistance here.
USDA to begin payments for producers impacted by 2018 and 2019 natural disasters
Producers to Receive Assistance through the Quality Loss Adjustment Program and Additional Assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2021 – More than $1 billion in payments will be released over the next several weeks starting June 15 for agricultural producers with approved applications for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program and for producers who have already received payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). These U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs provide disaster assistance to producers who suffered losses to 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.
Producers weathered some significant natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provided support for crop value and production losses through QLA and crop quantity losses through WHIP+.
“From massive floods to winter storms, and from extreme drought to excess moisture, natural disaster events in 2018 and 2019 were exceptionally catastrophic for agricultural producers nationwide - many suffered the impacts of multiple events in not just one but both years,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “FSA staff worked tirelessly for many months to develop and implement comprehensive disaster programs that meet the varying and unique needs of a large cross-section of U.S. production agriculture. QLA and the second round of WHIP+ assistance will provide much-needed assistance to help producers offset significant financial loss.”
Read more about these payments here.
Texas A&M awards pecan specialist the 2021 Distinguished Achievement
Dr. Larry Stein, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science and pecan specialist, is one of three faculty members that received high-level campus awards on May 24 from Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students. He is a long-time contributor to Pecan South and considered an authority on pecan production. Dr. Stein's research, work, and advice have helped Texas pecan growers remain competitive in the market. Read more about the award here.
TPGA opens registration for 100th Annual Conference
Texas Pecan Growers Association opened online registration on Tuesday for its 100th Annual Conference and Trade Show. TPGA will host the convention in San Marcos, Texas, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center & Spa from July 18 to 21, 2021.
"At the 2021 conference, we’re featuring a variety of new activities and speakers with the hopes of providing you with both an educational and entertaining experience," TPGA wrote on its website. "Be sure to be on the lookout for conference registration packets to be sent out in the next few months. We look forward to celebrating our 100th anniversary with all of you this July."
The online registration includes a conference breakdown from TPGA, an agenda, and further information on special events and 100-year commemorative items. You can learn more about the TPGA 2021 conference on the association's website here.
First detection of pecan bud moth in Arizona
The Arizona Pest Management Center announced that the pecan bud moth, a species of leaf roller moth, has recently been observed in southeastern Arizona pecan orchards. This is the ﬁrst time growers have reported this pest and expressed concerns about potential impacts to the crop. The center published a rapid communication to provide information on this potential pest and share management techniques. Growers are encouraged to review this information with their pest control advisor to determine what action, if any, is required.
Click here to read and download the complete publication on the Pecan Bud Moth in Arizona.
Potential Pest of Arizona Pecans: Rapid Communication
A mirid plant bug has been observed in high numbers on the catkins of some central Arizona pecan orchards. Multiple growers report this for the first time and have expressed concerns about potential impacts to the crop. Arizona Pest Management Center published this rapid communication to provide the limited knowledge we have about this potential pest. Growers are encouraged to review this information with their pest control advisor to determine what action, if any, is required.
Click here to read and download the complete publication on what appears to be a species of clouded plant bug in the genus Neurocolpus.
USDA reopens signup for CFAP 2
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on May 4, 2021, that it is reopening the signup period for its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.
Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program offers direct relief to pecan growers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. CFAP's financial assistance is designed to give producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs.
To find your local FSA office, visit this webpage.
New Pecan Magazine Debuts on National Pecan Day
The American pecan industry’s official trade magazine, Pecan South, debuts a new free consumer magazine all about pecans on April 14, 2021, this National Pecan Day. Anyone can access this new magazine, called Pieces of Pecan, online for free here.
“This National Pecan Day we wanted to bridge the great divide between pecan farmers and the average consumer, while also celebrating America’s native nut in a new and exciting way,” says Blair Krebs, Publisher of Pecan South. “Pieces of Pecan shares our favorite nut with anyone interested in learning more about pecans.”
Published by the pecan industry’s official trade magazine, Pieces of Pecan is a 56-page special edition that features fresh recipes and an article on pecan’s health benefits, as well as a Q&A with a sommelier on pairing wine and pecans, a profile on a pecan farming family, and a sit-down with author and chef Lara Lyn Carter.
Pieces of Pecan will be published annually and will always be available for free online for digital download. Printed copies are also available for purchase.
“We hope that this magazine will serve as both a tool for growers to connect with their customers and a source of inspiration for foodies and chefs,” Krebs says.
OPGA hosts 2021 Annual Convention and Trade Show
Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association will host its 2021 Annual Conference and Trade Show in Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, from June 10 to 12.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact OPGA at [email protected] or 580-279-0357.
USDA seeks comments on “climate-smart agriculture strategy”
On January 27, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The executive order states, "America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels."
This order directs the Secretary of Agriculture to collect stakeholder input on a climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will then consider this public input when it prepares recommendations to expand climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices and systems.
USDA specified that it is interested in comments in response to the topics, categories, and questions shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of its notice on the U.S. Federal Register. The deadline for comment is April 29, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
To participate and provide input to the USDA, please visit the U.S. Federal Register through this link.
Penn State Extension survey focuses on safety and health needs of farmers
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Extension has developed an online survey to gather input from farm owners and workers on their educational needs regarding safety and health on their farms.
The survey, which will be online at https://extension.
The Penn State Extension Ag Safety and Health team is looking forward to collecting input from farm operators, managers, owners, and staff.
FAIR Act study examines the APC’s effectiveness
In a memorandum sent out on March 8, 2021, the executive director of the American Pecan Council shared the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act Study that was conducted on the FMO with American pecan industry members.
Every five years, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires Federal Marketing Orders (FMOs) to conduct a Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act study to ensure that the industry’s resources are being utilized in an efficient and effective manner. Additionally, this study has to be conducted by a third independent party to ensure that there is no bias in the study. The study was conducted by Texas A&M University and concluded last month. According to the Executive Summary:
The primary conclusion from the promotion analysis is that, despite its relatively recent launch, the American Pecan Council has effectively enhanced domestic and export demand for U.S. pecans over 2016/17 through 2019/20 through its generic promotion activities and generated a relatively high rate of return to pecan producers who have paid for the promotion over that period. The principal accomplishment of the APC domestic and export promotion program has been to support the annual average producer price of pecans about 24¢/lb (11%) above the level to which it might have fallen over the period of 2016/17 through 2019/20 if the promotion had not been done. Given APC promotion expenditures (including MAP funds but excluding administrative costs), the benefit-cost ratio for the APC promotion program for 2016/17 through 2019/20 is calculated at 9.9, meaning that the promotion returned $9.9 in profit to pecan producers for every dollar spent on promotion.
"This is great news as the study shows that the federal marketing order is working, in just 4 short years," APC Executive Director Alex Ott stated in the memorandum. A copy of the complete report can be found here.
The APC invites all those with questions to please contact the Council office at (817) 916-0200.
January 2021 Position Report Shows Post-Holiday Slump
The American Pecan Council published the January 2021 Pecan Industry Position Report at the end of February, adding further context to a turbulent crop year and providing data on exports, inventory, and availability.
Read Pecan South's full analysis of the recent position reports here.
USDA Releases Pecan Cold Storage for February
The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its Cold Storage Report for January 2021 at the end of February. The report includes regional and national end-of-month stocks on tree nuts, including pecans, in public, private, and semi-private refrigerated warehouses. Additionally, it provides the record highs years and quantities for pecans in cold storage.
For a full copy of the latest release of the Cold Storage Report, as well as past releases, click this link.
USDA NASS also published the Cold Storage 2020 Summary. For a full copy of the latest release of the Cold Storage Annual Report, as well as past releases, visit this page.
WPGA Webinar Series Begins on March 8th
The Western Pecan Growers Association (WPGA) hosts its first webinar of a new Quarterly Webinar Series on March 8, 2021. WPGA offers this series exclusively to its 2021 registered members. The first webinar will begin at 10 a.m. (MST). Attendees will hear industry updates and a presentation on pecan nut casebearer control. The deadline to register for this first webinar is March 5, 2021.
Each webinar in the quarterly series will be approximately two hours and provide a CEU credit. These events will feature a variety of educational presentations, updates from pecan state organizations within the western growing region, marketing updates, etc.
The March 8th WPGA webinar will feature an hour-long presentation on controlling pecan nut casebearer. Attendees will qualify for one CEU. Future webinars will also cover seasonal-related pest control. The second hour of the webinar will feature presentations from industry organizations. WPGA's first webinar includes industry updates from the West Texas Pecan Association and Bob Redding with the National Pecan Federation. Future webinars will include other industry updates and updates from each state represented by the Western Pecan Growers Association.Sign up to receive updates from WPGA by emailing [email protected].
USDA Seeks Nominees for American Pecan Promotion Board
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks nominations for the American Pecan Promotion Board (APPB) under the newly established Pecan Promotion, Research, and Information Order. APPB nominations are due by March 26, 2021.
The 17-member board will consist of 10 producers and seven importers. The 10 producer members will be allocated between three regions within the United States: three from the Eastern Region, three from the Central Region, and four from the Western Region. Seven members will be importers. USDA will assign initial board members’ terms of office of two, three, and four years to stagger future terms of office. Each member’s term will begin when USDA approves the nominations.
To serve on the board, producers and importers must have produced or imported more than 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans (25,000 pounds of shelled pecans) on average for four fiscal periods. Producers who produce pecans in more than one region may seek nomination only in the region in which they produce the majority of their pecans.
The order specifies that nominations for producer member seats will be submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture by the American Pecan Council, the 17-member federal marketing order governing body. If you are interested in serving as a producer member, please submit your nominations to [email protected]. You may also contact Jeff Smutny at (817) 916-0020.
USDA is conducting nominations for importer members. Please submit nominations to Patricia Petrella at [email protected].
For more information about the program, visit the AMS American Pecan Promotion Board webpage or contact USDA Promotion and Economics Division Deputy Director, Patricia Petrella, at (301) 337-5295 or [email protected].
AMS policy is that the diversity of the board should reflect the diversity of their industries in the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. When submitting nominations for the APPB, the industry must consider the diversity of the population served and the members' knowledge, skills, and abilities to serve a diverse population.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight to 22 boards. The oversight ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity and is paid for by industry assessments.
TriState 2021 Pecanference—Canceled
The boards of the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi Pecan Growers Associations have canceled the June 2021 TriState Pecanference. Louisiana Pecan Growers Association announced the decision in an email on Feb. 19. The LPGA board of directors made this decision unanimously. According to the email, there will be an effort to study the possibility of replacing the TriState meeting with some sort of virtual lectures and meetings. LPGA welcomes feedback on this subject from producers, speakers, and exhibitors. To submit feedback or get more information, please email [email protected].
Georgia Pecan Growers Association Conference – Virtual
The Georgia Pecan Growers Association will host its Annual Conference virtually, due to the ongoing pandemic. Dates and details TBA. Please visit their website for more information about registration and the conference.
Alabama Pecan Growers Annual Meeting — Postponed
Alabama Pecan Growers Assoc. has postponed its Annual Meeting and Educational Conference. Date to be decided. For questions and concerns, contact Cathy Browne via email. More details at alabamapecangrowers.com.
2020 NPSA Annual Meeting – Virtual Event
National Pecan Shellers Association announced that it will not host its 2020 Annual Meeting in-person in Denver, Colorado, instead the event will be held virtually on September 16 and 17. In a release to industry members, NPSA wrote that it made this decision to protect the safety of all members during this time when we continue to face a serious health threat. In the coming weeks, it plans to release more information about the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, including details about the format, registration, schedule, etc.
Pecan Congress – Zoom Conference Meeting
Due to national concerns regarding the coronavirus and after receiving feedback from industry members, the American Pecan Council decided to host its biennial Pecan Congress as a Zoom Conference meeting on August 19. To reiterate, the APC will no longer meet at the DFW Hyatt for the congress or its August meeting but will host it via conference call on August 19. As we get closer to that date, the APC will release more details on the call-in. If you have questions, please contact the Council office at 817-916-0020.
Arizona Pecan Growers Assoc. — Webinar
Arizona Pecan Growers Association has canceled its Annual Conference and instead will be publishing a webinar with speaker presentations and materials on August 28. More information can be found on its website.
TPGA 2020 Conference – Webinar
Texas Pecan Growers 99th Annual Conference & Trade Show has been canceled. In its place, TPGA will be hosting a webinar and other online resources. Visit tpga.org for details.
Alabama Pecan Growers Summer Tour – Postponted
Alabama Pecan Growers Assoc. Summer Tour will be held on Aug. 11 in Tallassee, AL. More details at alabamapecangrowers.com.