Many pecan orchards have received their first fungicide spray of the season. Many are starting with a spray of Absolute and sometimes mixing that with another. Weed control and some fertilizing is still going on. Mowing has also started up, although the rain has slowed it all down. I looked at this orchard today before the storm came in. Most Desirables here are popping out. They will be a few days ahead of the Stuarts. Above is a picture of catkins coming out. They bear the male flowers.
UGA Extension Pecan Horticulturalist, Dr. Lenny Wells says the catkins coming out is a good sign. “Although catkins don’t guarantee a good crop of female flowers, a good catkin crop is usually associated with a good female flower crop.” We should see our Female flowers in another couple of weeks. Dr. Wells says female flowers (pistillate flowers) are actually induced in August but not detectable until the next spring. This means the current year’s crops was largely determined during the previous growing season. Female flowers will form on the spikes at the tips of new branches.
This orchard did pretty well last year managing scab disease. Still, the disease hurt Thomas County and the rest of the state last season with the rain. Here is a link to the 2014 UGA Pecan Spray Guide.