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From Pecans to Cattle, Kenneth Sees It All

By Kenneth Watkins, Lloyd Noble Ag Scholar

Posted Aug. 7, 2019

The second half of my summer at Noble seems to be happening at twice the speed of the first half. It has been a bit challenging to manage both of my projects, which have been in full swing, all while trying to participate in all of the other exciting opportunities with my fellow scholars.

Comparing zinc absorption in pecanComparing zinc absorption in pecan: root treatment vs. foliar application

Testing Zinc Foliar Spray Application in Pecan Production

I just finished applying the last foliar spray of zinc on my research pecan trees. The trees have grown considerably since I first started this summer. I do not think it has as much to do with the zinc as with the seasonal cycle trees go through. The next step is to dig up the trees and send them to the lab in pieces to be analyzed for zinc concentrations. At this point, I honestly do not have any predictions on what the results might be. It will be interesting to see what conclusions can be made and if this could lead to a change in how zinc is applied in the industry.

Thinning a pecan crop with a mechanical shakerNoble held a demonstration on how to properly thin a pecan crop with a mechanical shaker.

Grower Conference Expands Pecan Knowledge

There were two big and fun opportunities outside of Noble itself in which I participated. The first was the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association Annual Conference held in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I got to see how lucky I am to be both working at Noble and studying at OSU because most of the speakers were from those two institutions. The amount of knowledge about pecans to which I’ve been exposed is far more than I could ever retain in my short time here.

Scholars at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention and Trade ShowThere is never a dull moment when you are at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention and Trade Show.

Scholars Help Run Cattlemen’s Convention, Trade Show

The second event was the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention and Trade Show held in Norman, Oklahoma. All of the ag scholars attended the convention to help the coordinate the event. When we were not working behind the scenes, we could go to the lectures and sessions put on by different companies and beef associations. It was intriguing to see how difficult it is to put on such a large event, but it was also rewarding to see the appreciation the attendees had for our hard work. My favorite part was being able to talk to producers and industry leaders from across the state and share stories with them.

Be on the lookout for my last post about how my Noble summer wrapped up.

About the Author

Kenneth Watkins is a 2019 Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture in Agriculture from Linden, California. His family grows walnuts, almonds, peaches, cherries, and forage hay, in addition to raising commercial beef cattle. He is a senior at Oklahoma State University, majoring in agribusiness- farm and ranch management.

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