GOLDTHWAITE — This year’s 2000 Central Texas Pecan Short Course program reads like a “who’s who” of long-time pecan pros.
The annual event sponsored by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service is scheduled for March 28 in the Mills County Civic Center. Registration and exhibit viewing begins at 8 a.m.
“We expect this program to be one of our best ever,” said Danny Long, Mills County Extension agent. “The topics are right-on-the-money for West Central pecan producers, whether they manage large commercial orchards or just a few pie-trees’ around the house.”
Dr. George Ray McEachern, Extension pecan horticulturist at College Station, will open the program at 9 a.m. with “Orchard Floor Management”. McEachern will devote his time to discussing ground aeration methods and grass and weed control under pecan trees.
Dr. Chip Lee, Stephenville-based Extension plant pathologist, will discuss pecan disease management. His talk will concentrate on shuck disorders, aerial fungicide spraying, embryo rot reduction, and problem diagnosis.
Tom Green County Extension horticulturist John Begnaud will talk about pruning, replacing “skips” in old orchards, shaking large trees, helicopter harvesting, and switching old trees to new varieties.
“Pecan Physiology” is the topic of the afternoon’s first presentation by Dr. Larry Stein, Uvalde-based Extension horticulturist. Stein will explain kernel development in lay terms, alternate bearing — its cause and effect and crop load management. He will also discuss enzyme/hormone spray use to facilitate resprouting after a late spring freeze, to enduce simultaneous shuck split, and to increase fungal resistance.
Dr. Mark McFarland, Extension soil fertility specialist at College Station, will speak about interpreting water sampling results, effects of water management on tree health and production, and water rights and irrigation system options.
The afternoon’s final speaker is Dr. Chris Sansone, San Angelo-based Extension entomologist. Sansone will offer an insect management lab practical and corresponding presentation.
The program ends at 4:30 p.m. with a panel question-and-answer session. Continuing education units from the Texas Department of Agriculture will be offered, five in general and one in integrated pest management.
Registration is $10 per person which includes the noon meal.
For further information contact Long at (915) 648-2650.