Pecan growers are highly active in their orchards this week as the male catkins and the female flowers begin to emerge and begin pollination. Orchards in the southeastern US had buds swelling late last month after the dormant winter, and now we are seeing many orchards begin to produce catkins and flowers and will soon fully leaf out.
Bud break, and the following formation of catkins and flowers is an important step in the production cycle and is also a time where cold weather can cause damage. If a late freeze comes, the swelling buds can be killed and have to start over.
Dr. Wells from the University of Georgia said in his recent article that he had received calls from growers around the state that were concerned about the colder weather and the damage it may cause the trees. Dr. Wells addresses their concerns in his article stating that temps usually need to fall below 28 degrees or less for several hours in order to seriously damage green pecan tissue.
More young orchards will be coming into production in the southeast this year as new plantings have been on the rise. The recent last two years have slowed the installation of new orchards slightly, but not significantly. Investors have been taking notice and have been entering the pecan industry as well hoping to build long term assets that are more stable than other stores of value.
Young orchards once brought into full production, increase in value immensely pushing the price per acre to 15-25K per acre depending on the market. Not to mention the investment also provides yearly income from each year harvest.
The trees are now beginning to leaf out and growers will begin monitor trees for scab in humid locations as well as begin to feed the trees with foliar nutrients to promote growth. Soon pecans will begin to form and growers will have a better handle on this years potential crop.