Tractor pulling pecan harvester

Pecan Strategy Research Projects

Thank you for choosing to be a part of the Noble pecan research strategy project! We hope the results of the monitoring program will help you and other growers increase profitability while improving your orchard’s soil health.

Project Goals

Better soil with stronger profit

The aim of this research strategy is to assess levels of soil health, ecosystem resiliency and increased profit per acre across a continuum of orchard management strategies.


What is Silvopasture?

Silvopasture is the intentional integration of trees, domesticated animals, and forages managed together as a single, multilayered production system. An example of a standard Silvopasture system in the Southern United States consists of grazing livestock under pecan trees, which is the most economically important native nut tree that is commercially produced in the United States.

Economics And Marketing

Profitability will be compared across the different management styles. Economic impacts will be analyzed and include yearly profits from pecan commodity; input costs; overhead, equipment, labor and other costs that impact profitability. Any value-added marketing products developed as a result of this study would impact consumers, growers, and the pecan industry. This will heighten interest in pecans, helping increase grower profitability. Commodity nutrient value of the pecans under different management strategies will be quantified by evaluating the amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, phenolics, fatty acids, carbohydrates and more in pecan kernels.

Measurements For Soil Health

Monitoring your Orchard

Soil health will be evaluated based on nutrient composition (Haney) and microbial structure (PLFA) and microbial function (sequencing).

Pecan kernel nutritional values will be quantified by measuring levels of antioxidants, vitamins, phenolics, fatty acids, carbohydrates and more.

For FSMA grazing regulations guidance, soil and nuts will be tested to account for management impacts on pathogen abundance on consumable nuts.

Track Your Progress Online

As project participants, you can fill in your online questionnaires and track progress.

App-based scorecards will be used to evaluate management strategies and system impacts. The scorecards are a progress report for orchards following different management strategies. Scores are focused on soil health and geared toward soil centric management. Overall scores will be compared with previous years’ scores and can be used to identify areas for improvement to promote soil health within the orchard.

The Orchard Scorecard is a producer scorecard to be used once per year to gauge progress.

The Disease Report and Insect Report are designed for research, but also are ideal for the more progressive producers. These are to be used during the peak growing season (1-2 times per month).

The Pecan Research Strategy Team Is Here To Help

The Pecan Research Strategy team at Noble is here to help answer any questions and walk you through the process of testing and submitting scorecards. Feel free to reach out to one of the team members with any questions or issues.

Amy Bridges

Amy Bridges

Research Associate
Pecan systems researcher with years of orchard management experience

(580) 221-0870 | [email protected]

Nikki Charlton

Nikki Charlton

Systems Researcher
Plant pathologist specializing in pecan scab

(919) 349-1574 | [email protected]

Kim Cooper

Research Associate
Biologist with experience in plant research

(580) 319-8061 | [email protected]

Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones

Sr. Research Associate
Biochemist with experience in studying nutrient cycling and microbes

(580) 630-1825 | [email protected]

Laura Putman

Laura Putman

Research associate
Biologist with experience in pecan research

(580) 504-2807 | [email protected]

Shawn Norton

Shawn Norton

Team Product Owner
Ensures our research strategies are on track to create products that help producers

(580) 220-8971 | [email protected]

Charles Rohla

Charles Rohla

Pecan and Specialty Agriculture Systems Manager

Charlie Graham

Charlie Graham

Senior Pecan Specialist

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of the Noble Pecan Producer Strategy?

  • Determine if soil-centric management of silvopasture will improve overall soil health and ecosystem services.
  • Determine if adaptive management practices in a silvopasture system can lead to increased profitability.

How many years will Noble be monitoring producers’ orchards?

  • This will be a 6-year program starting in 2023.

Does Noble do the monitoring at no cost to the producers?

  • Noble pays for the testing; producers will NOT pay for any test in our monitoring program. We (Noble) will take and ship samples as well as pay for the tests.

What sampling tests does Noble cover?

  • Noble plans to monitor soil health, ecosystem functionality and profitability in orchards.
  • Noble will measure the following at producers’ properties:
SampleTest TypeTest
Soil HealthSoil ChemistryHaney test
 Soil microbesPLFA
DNA Sequencing
FSMA (soil pathogens)
Tree HealthLeaf SamplesLeaf chemistry
 Insects and pestsScorecard
ProfitabilityEconomicsExpenses and revenue
Nut HealthMarketing opportunitiesNut nutritive value

When will producers get the results of the sampling tests back?

  • We (Noble) will provide the results as they become available.

Does Noble require the administration or application of any fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide?

  • No. Producers are NOT required to change any of their management practices. We (Noble) will monitor the effects their management have on soil health, tree health, nut nutrient density and profitability.

What does Noble require from producers that participate?

  • We (Noble) will require producers to tell us when/what they are grazing, spraying, etc. (any management practice that we plan to monitor).
  • We (Noble) will require basic financial data to calculate profitability based on management strategy.
  • We will require access to the orchards to collect samples.

What are the benefits of participating in Noble’s pecan research strategy project?

  • We (Noble) will provide producers sampling services and test results at no cost to the producer. These results will aid in understanding orchard health and profitability and may help guide future management decisions.
  • We (Noble) will be able to compare data (profitability and monitoring results) between management strategies in the context of the orchards we are monitoring.