UGA to host Pecan Beginners Course

By for CAES News

Georgia homeowners and farmers with hopes of producing pecan trees can learn the basics from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialists during the UGA Pecan Beginners Course on Tuesday, April 16.

The course will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia.

Participants will learn the fundamentals of pecan production, and UGA Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells plans for the daylong workshop to be more in-depth than regular county meetings. He will show the inner workings of the pecan industry and hopes every attendee will come with an open mind.

“A lot of people come into it a little naïve, not really realizing everything involved in it, but there’s nothing easy about growing pecans,” Wells said. “There’s always going to be inputs to do, scouting and other issues you have to deal with in any crop that you’re growing. There are many expenses in growing pecans and people need to realize this before getting invested in the idea.”

Normally the top pecan-producing state in the U.S., Georgia had a difficult season in 2018 due to Hurricane Michael. The storm hammered southwest Georgia, a region where most of the state’s pecans are produced. The crop suffered an estimated $560 million in losses as a result of the hurricane.

Wells will also discuss the importance of irrigation, fertilization, tree planting and establishment, and equipment needs.

The workshop will include presentations from UGA pecan breeder Patrick Conner, who will discuss pecan varieties.

UGA Extension entomologists Angel Acebes-Doria and Will Hudson will discuss insect management with a focus on ambrosia beetles. These beetles attack young, stressed trees, especially those in flooded conditions.

Jason Brock, a UGA Extension plant pathologist, will talk about disease management, specifically scab disease. Pecan scab is a fungal disease that infects the leaves or nuts of pecan trees and is a perennial problem, especially if there has been a lot of rainfall. UGA Extension weed specialist Tim Grey will highlight weed control options in pecan orchards.

“We should really call it the ‘UGA Pecan School’ because we try to cover everything pecan-related from every angle,” Wells said. “I’m sure it’ll be good for everyone.”

For more information on the UGA Pecan Beginners Course, visit https://site.extension.uga.edu/pecan/2019/02/pecan-beginners-course/.

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