UACES Facebook Pecan Update for Spring 2020
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Arkansas Fruit, Vegetable and Nut Update

Pecan Update for Spring 2020

by Jackie Lee and Mike Brown - February 4, 2020

Check out these pecan updates for spring 2020 from Jackie Lee, director of the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville and Mike Brown!

Happy 2020, and hopefully everyone was able to enjoy some delicious pecan pie this holiday season! 2019 was a tough year for many Arkansas pecan growers, especially those affected by the record-setting Arkansas River flooding during May and June. Much of the country experienced well above average precipitation during the spring and early summer, with Arkansas being one of the heaviest hit areas. These wet conditions prevented many producers from accessing their fields to make preventive fungicide applications during critical periods, leading to some especially severe pecan scab problems.

Two maps of the United States showing the amount of precipitation on a scale of less than 0.1 inches of rain to 24 inches on the left and the departure from normal precipitation in inches on the right

Source: High Plains Regional Climate Center

 

On a happier note, we have been experiencing relatively mild weather so far this winter, so hopefully producers have been able to get out and work on some orchard maintenance. Late winter is the ideal time to prune and thin pecan orchards, and pruning to develop a strong central leader is especially important in young trees. Time spent today improving the shape and framework of these young trees will save a great deal of labor later on, and hopefully help prevent damage from wind and heavy crop loads in the future. A couple of excellent resources for- learning prun-ing techniques are the Southeastern Pecan Growers’ Handbook, produced by University of Georgia Extension, available for sale here, and a factsheet from Oklahoma State University available on their extension website. See event section below for information on an upcoming pruning workshop!

 

Current Pecan Prices:

Prices for most pecan varieties and grades continue to be lower than in years past, but have shown some evidence of rebounding. Shelled pecans are currently at $5.58/lb., rising 20 cents/lb. since December after hitting a low of $5.31/lb in October of 2019. In-shell pecans are following a similar trend, rising from a low of $1.79/lb in July of 2019 to the current price of $2.08. Current in-shell prices for some varieties commonly grown in Arkansas are listed below:

Desirable - $2.55/lb                         Oconee - $2.55/lb            

Stuart - $1.65/lb                                Kiowa - $2.54/lb

Eliot - $2.33/lb                                   Caddo - $2.40/lb

Pawnee - $2.48/lb                            Cape Fear - $2.35/lb

*current prices as of 1/29/2020, source: https://pecanreport.com/price-list/

 

A Few Upcoming Events:

 

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