Growers, UGA ag agents optimistic about 2017 pecan harvest - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Growers, UGA ag agents optimistic about 2017 pecan harvest

As we head further into pecan season, growers say August is a critical month for crop production. (Source:WALB) As we head further into pecan season, growers say August is a critical month for crop production. (Source:WALB)
As we head closer to the fall months, pecans will soon start moving into the kernel, filling stage of production. (Source:WALB) As we head closer to the fall months, pecans will soon start moving into the kernel, filling stage of production. (Source:WALB)
Hurricane Hermine and the January 22nd tornadoes damaged many trees in Thomas County and the surrounding areas. (Source:WALB) Hurricane Hermine and the January 22nd tornadoes damaged many trees in Thomas County and the surrounding areas. (Source:WALB)
THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) -

As we head further into pecan season, growers say August is a critical month for crop production.

UGA Agriculture Extension agents say the weather has been great so far this season.

As we head closer to the fall months, pecans will soon start moving into the kernel, filling stage of production.

Growers are looking to the skies, hoping the steady rainfall that South Georgia has seen recently will continue.

"We've had a lot of water in June and July, which is good, because our irrigation hasn't had to run as much," said Thomas County UGA Agriculture extension agent Andrew Sawyer.

Sawyer said growers typically see less rain in August. If that trend continues, they will most likely have to run irrigation at full capacity.

"Scab is the number one pest of pecans, it's a disease," said Sawyer.

Scab can form on the pecan shells from the humidity.

Sawyer said this year they have had to treat more crops than in the past.

"So far we are a couple of treatments ahead of last year. So we have had to treat with fungicides a few more times this year as compared to last year," said Sawyer.

Agriculture agents said don't worry! The crop on the trees is still looking pretty good!

Although the price has been up in recent years, Sawyer said that's largely due to a number of pecans that Georgia exports, as the state is the number one producer in the nation.

This year when walking through the orchards you might notice a few new trees in the ground.

Hurricane Hermine and the January 22nd tornadoes damaged many trees in Thomas County and the surrounding areas.

"Sometimes you can let them remain and finish out what they do. But ultimately those growers had to replace those trees. Usually, it will be about 7 to 10 years before it will produce crop again," said Sawyer.

Pecans are the third largest crop produced in Thomas County, with nearly 4,000 acres of trees.

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