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OSU to offer pecan management course


If you are interested in learning more about the pecan industry in Oklahoma, or already are involved in production but want to learn even more, make plans to attend the 2012 Fundamentals of Pecan Management course hosted by Oklahoma State University.

The goal of the course is to provide an in-depth experience, both in the classroom and in the orchard, for current and prospective pecan growers, said Becky Carroll, OSU Cooperative Extension fruit and nut crop assistant specialist.

The class will meet once a month beginning March 13 and run through Oct. 23, with the exception of June. The meetings will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration is $250 per person and the registration deadline is Feb. 17. For more information, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404 or stephanie.larimer@okstate.edu. Participants may register online at http://orangehub.okstate.edu/ustores/web/index.jsp. Click on the Horticulture/Landscape store, and then select "Short Courses and Schools." Click on "Fundamentals of Pecan Management." Participants will receive a notebook of all reference materials, pecan variety board, five rootstock trees, access to the online pecan course and a certificate of completion.

"We will focus on the prioritization and practical application of major management practices according to the pecan growing season," Carroll said. "The topics scheduled for each session coincide with the pecan growing season, so that is an extra benefit to those who are already involved in the pecan growing industry."

The meetings will combine traditional classroom learning with hands-on experiences, as well as an optional web-based study component. The course will take place at the Cimarron Valley Research Station, located one-half mile north of the intersection of state Highway 33 and state Highway 177 near Perkins.

"The pecan industry is big in Oklahoma and continues to have a positive impact throughout the state, especially on our economy," Carroll said. "We've offered this course for a number of years and participants indicate the information they receive is very beneficial to their operations."

There will be a number of industry professionals, as well as specialists from OSU, who will be on hand to share their expertise with the participants.

Each of the monthly workshops will cover subjects that deal with pecan management during that particular part of the growing season. Topics that will be covered throughout the course include management overview, fertilization, planting bareroot trees, pesticide application, insect management, weed control, pecan cultivars, disease management, crop load estimates, irrigation, nut thinning, preparation for harvest, equipment needs, orchard floor management, sanitation, marketing, harvest, quality evaluation and graftwood collection, just to name a few.

Participants also may attend the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association meeting in Norman in lieu of the June workshop. The fee for attending this meeting is not included in the registration fee for the pecan management course.

Those who would like more information about the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association may visit the group's website at www.hortla.okstate.edu/pecan/opga.

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