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Research Project: Mitigating Alternate Bearing of Pecan

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: New insight into pecan boron nutrition

item Wood, Bruce

Submitted to: Pecan Grower
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2016
Publication Date: 7/5/2016
Citation: Wood, B.W. 2016. New insight into pecan boron nutrition. The Pecan Grower Magazine. 28(3):22-24.

Interpretive Summary: There is emerging evidence of existence of a heretofore unrecognized widespread boron deficiency in pecan orchards on the highly leached acidic soils southeastern U.S. Recent research implicates boron deficiency in reproductive organs as a limiting factor in pecan production. Transitioy deficieny is contributing or causing black kernel rot, brown kernel rot, water stage fruit split and premature fruit drop. This finding indicates that it is important that pecan farmers manage trees to ensure high availability of boron during periods of rapid fruit growth.

Technical Abstract: Alternate bearing by individual pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees is problematic for nut producers and processors. There are many unknowns regarding alternate bearing physiology, such as the relationship between boron and fruit set, nutmeat quality, and kernel maladies. Evidence to date indicate that adoption of high water and nitrogen management standards by elite commercial pecan farmers is leading to transitory deficiencies of boron in fruit and seed tissues, which in turn are leading to a variety of fruit/seed related maladies which have substantial negative economic impact. Boron deficiencies are occurring in reproductive structures even though boron concentrations are high in vegative tissues. It is clear that much more research is needed regarding boron management in commercial orchards.