It is important in any agricultural operation to use every tool in the toolbox. Things such as industry developments, research findings, changes to regulations and weather can affect operations, making it hard to stay informed. Typically, educational events and state conventions keep pecan producers informed. However, this year many of those events have been canceled or postponed in a world trying to learn to social distance.
Online resources are a great place to find the latest information on production and industry developments. If you have not explored these options, now is the perfect time.
The Pecan Grower’s Toolbox offers insecticide and herbicide databases, and new features are coming soon. The toolbox will be helpful to those trying to build a proper spray program as part of an integrated pest management program and those looking to maximize output while controlling input.
The pecan industry has a few blogs that are full of very useful information for a grower.
William Reid, Ph.D., retired Kansas and Missouri pecan research and extension specialist, writes a blog at northernpecans.blogspot.com/. He provides regular insight into his activities managing his pecan orchard, such as cultivar selection, tree and pest management, and many other topics affecting a pecan operation.
Lenny Wells, Ph.D., University of Georgia professor of horticulture and extension horticulture specialist for pecans, also has a great blog: site.extension.uga.edu/pecan/author/lwells/. He shares many useful tips on pecan management practices.
Bob Whitney, executive director of the Texas Pecan Board, blogs at www.texaspecanboard.com/blog/. He also provides great insight and information about pecans.
While some of the blog information may be specific to a region, most of it is relatable to all pecan growers.
Many of the state extension services are starting to offer webinars, and many have educational videos for growers to watch on various topics.
Noble Research Institute also has videos covering grafting, pecan management, irrigation and leaf sampling. You can view them at bit.ly/noble-pecans-yt.
Social media is another source of information for pecan growers. You can find current pecan news and information by following the two social media accounts that I manage for Noble: @pecanpieces on Twitter and @noble_pecanpieces on Instagram.
You can also find and follow other pecan growers on social media to form an online community. You may find that you are going through the same challenges and hardships as others. Facebook has many pages for pecan operations and state and national associations. Through social media, we have been able to reach producers locally and worldwide.
You can search our Noble News and Views newsletter for many articles on topics of interest. Search for pecans and you will get a lengthy list of articles on pecan establishment, production, research, etc.
Other great online sources for information are the electronic version of Pecan South Magazine (www.pecansouthmagazine.com) and The Pecan Grower (georgiapecan.org/magazine), published by the Georgia Pecan Growers Association. Both have information on industry news and events, market-related issues, and international interest in the American nut. Another industry source is the American Pecan Council website: www.americanpecan.com.
Many online resources exist for pecan growers. State extension services, state associations and Noble Research Institute, along with many others, all have many resources. I would caution you to remember not everything you read on the internet is reliable information.
Verify sources and always use one of the oldest tools in a grower’s toolbox, common sense.