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Cluster of pecans growing on a tree.
Established growers and those considering getting into pecan production are invited to take part in the 2022 Pecan Management Course offered by OSU Extension and the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association. The course will run March 1 through Oct. 18. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

OSU Extension hosting Pecan Management Course

Friday, January 28, 2022

Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 | trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University Extension and the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association are joining forces to present the 2022 Pecan Management Course.

The course will provide both classroom and hands-on educational opportunities for current and prospective pecan growers. Slated March 1 through Oct. 18, the class meets monthly at the Cimarron Valley Research Station, 10820 S. Jardot Road, near Perkins, Oklahoma. Registration is $250 and due by Feb. 18. Registration can be done online and includes instructional hours, notebook and handouts, refreshments, five rootstock trees and a pecan cultivar board. Class size is limited to 35 students.

“The class covers basic information for growers on how to establish a new pecan orchard, clean-up of a native pecan site or how to manage their existing site,” said Becky Carroll, OSU Extension associate specialist, fruit and pecans. “This is a great educational opportunity for those who purchase or inherit property with native pecans growing on the land. We can help them learn what it takes to get the trees producing well and if it’ll be profitable to invest in a new venture.”

Each monthly class coincides with what is going on in real-time pecan production. Topics throughout the year will include management overview, site selection, pruning and training, fertilization, Mesonet tools, disease and insect management, grafting, weed control, irrigation, business plans and marketing, pesticide applicators licensing, wildlife control, harvest and more.

A course outline and additional information are available online. Specialists from OSU, as well as industry specialists, will serve as course presenters and collaborators.

“Seeing the trees from dormancy through the growing season will give participants the unique opportunity to understand the development and management needs each month. Our speakers will design their presentations to fit what is happening in the orchard/grove at that time,” Carroll said. “They’ll be spending time in the orchard and observing the very topics we discuss in the classroom. They’ll also do hands-on grafting and planting seed for new rootstock trees.”

Classes take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each month with the exception of June when participants are encouraged to attend the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association meeting in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The fee to attend is not included in the Pecan Management Course registration.

Carroll said Oklahoma produces an average of 17 million pounds of pecans each year, with about three-fourths of those being native pecans. Oklahoma is second only to Texas in the production of native pecans, which are essentially wild pecans that are managed to harvest a premium product. While other states produce more pecans annually, those are all planted cultivars. Oklahoma produces about 20% to 25% of its annual harvest from improved cultivars or planted orchards.

“Not only will participants gain valuable information, they’ll also be able to network with other growers and industry specialists,” Carroll said.

The Pecan Management Course began in 1997 and more than 645 students from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas have participated.

For more information, contact Carroll at 405-744-6139 or via email at becky.carroll@okstate.edu

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