Denise Coolman | 4/19/2005 10:29:02 PM
SHREVEPORT – An update on using "trap crops" to keep stinkbugs out of pecan orchards is among the topics to be discussed at the LSU AgCenter’s Pecan Research and Extension Station Annual Field Day Aug. 27.
LSU AgCenter pecan entomologist Dr. Michael Hall is looking at cow peas and soybeans as possible trap crops to keep stink bugs from entering pecan orchards. This is the fourth year Hall has been studying these techniques for use in pecan orchards.
"Stink bugs move into pecan orchards from the time the shuck splits and stay through harvest," Hall said. "The bugs leave black spots that are very bitter on the kernels. This damage cannot be detected until after the nut is cracked, and, by that time, a lot of work already has gone into harvesting and shelling the pecans."
Hall said stink bugs find crops such as cow peas and soybeans more appealing than pecan trees. He and other researchers are looking at what happens if plots of these crops are planted near pecan orchards, and they say growing trap crops could prove beneficial for owners of small pecan orchards, as well as people who want to grow their pecan crops organically.
In addition to Hall’s presentation, other topics to be discussed at the field day include fungicide test results and a planting and grafting schedule. There also will be a discussion on Pecan Bacterial Leaf Scorch.
The field day is designed to appeal to Louisiana growers and those from other states in the region. Paul and Pasty Hawkins, owners of the Bogard Pecan Orchard in Foreman, Ark., recently agreed it is useful to all growers.
"Our family has always gotten information from researchers at the LSU AgCenter’s Pecan Station," Patsy Hawkins said. "These scientists and their research are vital to our industry."
Dr. Jere McBride, regional director for the LSU AgCenter in Northwest Louisiana, said the information provided at this year’s field day will be useful to pecan growers all over the South.
"We invite growers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas to come and hear what research is being done that can help them grow profitable pecan crops."
The field day is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 27 at the LSU AgCenter’s Pecan Research-Extension Station, 10300 Harts Island Road, in Shreveport.
Because lunch will be served, those planning to attend are asked to register by Aug. 20. But there is no fee for participation.
To register or for more information, call (318) 797-8034 ext. 2305.
Writer: A. Denise Coolman at (318) 644-5865 or firstname.lastname@example.org