John R. Pyzner, Claesgens, Mark A. | 3/15/2006 1:58:20 AM
MONROE – A Newellton resident won Best of Show at the 20th annual Louisiana State Pecan Show held January 20-21.
Bob Williams took top honors and won Grand Champion In-shell Pecan with a Kiowa variety.
Williams was among 79 yard tree and commercial growers from across the state competing in the event. Entries included 27 named varieties and 20 native/seedlings.
"Although the number of pecan entries was down this year because of damage from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the nut quality was excellent," said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. John Pyzner, a pecan expert.
Held in conjunction with AgExpo, the show also was an educational opportunity to acquaint the 8,500 people who attended with the differences among pecan varieties and what makes a quality pecan, Pyzner added. Attendees received information on pecan taste, storage, recipes, sources and production
In addition, the show also was a means to help identify seedling and native pecans that may become future named varieties.
"And finally, the show allowed pecan growers good-natured competition in establishing bragging rights to growing the best pecans," Pyzner remarked.
The Reserve Champion In-shell Pecan was won by Donald Sonnier of Benton with a Success variety.
M. L. Mason of Rayville won Grand Champion Shelling Pecan with a Sioux variety. The Reserve Champion Shelling Pecan was won by Mark Swanson of Natchitoches Pecans Inc. of Cloutierville, with an Elliott variety.
Borders Orchards of West Monroe won Grand Champion Native/Seedling Pecan with a large seedling designated Sierra-Audry. The Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home of Monroe won Reserve Champion with a small native designated C-1.
Novelty class winner for the smallest pecan was Nathan Albritton of Coushatta. His native entry designated A-1 weighed 825 nuts per pound. The entry is the new record holder for the smallest pecan in the show’s 20-year history.
"Many show attendees marveled at pecans the size of beans," Pyzner said.
Bob Williams won the largest pecan entry with a Podsednik variety weighing 28 nuts per pound.
Variety blue ribbons were awarded in three divisions.
In-shell division winners and pecan varieties: Borders Orchard – Barton; Natchitoches Pecans Inc. – Branch, Choctaw and Schley; M. L. Mason – Cape Fear, Desirable and Forkert; Paul Laird of West Monroe – Gloria Grande and Jackson; Bob Williams – Kiowa, Stuart, Wichita and Podsednik; Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home – Mahan; Bill Beasley of Ferriday – Nacono and Oconee; and Donald Sonnier – Success and Sumner.
Shelling division: Paul Laird – Caddo; Bob Williams – Candy; Natchitoches Pecans Inc. – Elliott; Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home – Melrose; and M. L. Mason – Sioux.
Native/Seedling division: Borders Orchard – Large Seedling (Sierra-Audry); Susan Wilson of Coushatta – Medium Native (W-1); and Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home – Small Native (C-1).
The LSU AgCenter, Pecan Producers of Louisiana, Louisiana Farm Bureau and Louisiana Pecan Growers Association sponsored the show.
Editor: Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939 or email@example.com