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Pecan Scab Pressure is Heavy

The growing season for pecans is well underway here in the US and Mexico, and with may almost over the Southeastern US has seen heavier than usual scab pressure.

What is Pecan Scab?

Pecan scab is a disease that affects various parts of the pecan tree, from the leaves and stems to the shucks and the nut inside. According to The American Phytopathological Society pecan scab is a disease caused by the the fungal pathogen Fusicladium effusum. Pecan scab can be identified on leaves as a small dark spot on the leaves, but will quickly grow to cover most of the leaves if left untreated in humid environments.

Where does pecan scab grow?

Pecan scab is found mostly in moist, wet, humid environments. While pecan scab has been found as far north as Canada, and as far south as Central and South American, it’s the Southern US from Georgia to East Texas that battle the disease on a daily basis.

Currently the growers of Georgia and Alabama have been seeing fair amounts of rain, and while the rain is a welcome site the humidity that comes with it is not welcomed. The humidity is what causes the scab to continue to thrive. As of May 17th many growers in the region have already switched to a 14 day spray schedule for combatting scab. Growers say that currently they have been able to keep the scab at bay but raised concerns that if the rain continues and prevents them from getting in the orchards when they need to that the scab could quickly get out of hand, and start to do real damage to the crop this year.