New Pecan Tree Yields High Quality Nuts and Resists Scab
Disease By Linda
August 16, 2000
Pecan growers will appreciate a new strong-growing tree that
produces high-quality nuts and possesses natural resistance to scab disease.
The new variety, Nacono, was developed by the researchers with the
Agricultural Research Service and the
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. ARS is
the chief research agency of the U.S. Department
The ARS researchers selected Nacono from a cross between Cheyenne
and Sioux, both well known to growers for their high-quality nuts and scab
Nacono is unique because its natural scab resistance allows it to
be grown in most U.S. southern pecan-producing states and in most other pecan
production areas of the world. Scab disease is most damaging to pecan trees
grown east of central Texas.
Scab is a fungal disease that attacks both nuts and leaves. For
disease control, some growers spray fungicides as many as 10 times a year.
ARS researchers in College Station, Texas, evaluated Naconos
performance beginning in 1986. Through 1995, cumulative yields of Nacono were
higher than Pawnee, a popular variety grown worldwide.
Pecans are a multimillion-dollar industry. Rural landowners in the
southwest and southeast derive primary or supplemental income from growing
pecan trees in orchards or woodland pastures. In 1999, U.S. pecan production
was about 342 million pounds, with a value of nearly $448 million. Georgia,
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana are the top five pecan-producing
Graftwood from Nacono will be available only to nurseries in
February 2001. Nurseries could have trees to sell to the public in early 2003.
(USDA does not distribute trees.) Trees of this variety will be incorporated
into the ARS National Plant Germplasm
System, so that Nacono will be available for research purposes, including
development and commercialization of new varieties. The database for the
National Plant Germplasm System can be found
program is the only national pecan breeding program in the world.
Scientific contact: Tommy E.
Thompson, ARS Crop Germplasm
Research Unit, College Station, Texas, phone (979) 272-1402, fax (979)