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Pecan growers will learn more about the important of crop load thinning at an upcoming field day. (Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University.)

Pecan growers who are interested in learning more about crop load thinning should make plans to attend the Pecan Crop Loading Thinning Field Day slated Aug. 1.

Becky Carroll, OSU Cooperative Extension associate specialist, fruit and pecans, said producers are optimistic looking at this year’s anticipated fall harvest.

“There’s potential for a great harvest this year looking at the number of clusters found on most trees across the state,” Carroll said. “We’re estimating about 28 million pounds of pecans will be harvested this year. With big pecan crops, quality can be affected. Crop load thinning was developed at OSU many years ago to help with improved pecan varieties.”

The field day will take place at the Cimarron Valley Research Station, 10820 S. Jardot, near Perkins, Oklahoma. Check-in begins at 2:30 p.m. and the workshop will take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and includes dinner, but registration is required by July 30. The Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association is sponsoring the meal.

Carroll said participants will learn more about crop load management and wildlife depredation control during the field day. Information from these two topics can be put into use immediately to benefit 2019 crops, as well as future crops.

“Managing the pecan crop load during the water stage and when the kernel has expanded from 50 percent to 100 percent, growers can affect 2019’s nut quality and size, as well as reduce limb breakage,” she said. “This technique can decrease the chance your trees will have cold injury by not being stressed going into the winter. Reducing the crop for 2019 enhances the opportunity for return bloom in 2020. It also levels out the crop from year to year instead of having alternate bearing with a huge crop one year, followed by nothing the next year.”

Crop load thinning will be discussed and demonstrated in the field and participants will have the chance to see the operation and equipment needed. Cimarron Valley Research Station personnel will share their experiences with the management system. In addition. Gary Emmons, Lincoln County game warden, will be on hand to discuss depredation permits and legal means of wildlife control. Kenny Kellett, Northeast District supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s wildlife services, will discuss crow control and baiting opportunities. Demonstrations of noise and scare tactics for crow control and other squirrel trapping techniques will be available.

For more information about the field day, email Carroll at becky.carroll@okstate.edu. For registration information, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404 or stephanie.larimer@okstate.edu.

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