Pecan grower Danny Tingle, manager of Sunland Farms, Cochise, Ariz., told Tree Nut Farm Press he was encouraged by the appearance of his 210 acres Western Schley at mid-August.

“They look good — really good,” he says. “They’ve exceeded the expectations I had going into this season. They’re about a week late because of the cool spring weather, but the trees are developing a pretty decent-size crop”

Due to a severe freeze several years ago, which all but eliminated production that year from half of his trees, his blocks represent about a 50-50 mix of on- and off-year production cycles.

“The trees that were in an on-year in 2010 and produced good yields have come back with an excellent crop again this season,” he says.

Six years ago Tingle began a program to reduce the year-to-year variation in production of the alternate-bearing pecan trees by pruning them heavily and giving them more nutrients and water during the on-year. The idea is to reduce stress on the trees going into the next year and promote higher off-year nut production.

San Joaquin County walnuts

With good control of earlier disease and insect threats, little sunburn injury, and a sizeable nut set, this season has all the makings of an excellent crop for San Joaquin County walnut growers. But they’re likely to be delayed in starting the harvest.

Although the crop could still make up some of setback in nut maturity caused by cool weather this year, growers probably won’t begin shaking their earliest varieties until about Sept. 15-20. That’s a good 10 days to two weeks later than usual, Joe Grant, University of California farm advisor for San Joaquin County, told Tree Nut Farm Press.

“Pretty much all of our varieties have set a decent crop this year,” he says. “The exception is Serr. We don’t have a lot of it, but where growers didn’t use the growth regulator ReTain to help correct for pistillate flower abortion, the crop is noticeably on the light side.”

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