In A Nutshell-Third Quarter 2010

8/24/2010 7:46:45 PM

Identify Sources of Scion Wood to Avoid Graft-Transmission of PBLS Pathogen

Figure 1: Typical PBLS Symptoms

August 20, 2010, Third Quarter Newsletter

Identify Sources of Scion Wood to Avoid Graft-Transmission of PBLS Pathogen

The 2010 first quarter newsletter included an article (“Some Don’t Like It Hot”) about how to reduce graft-transmission of the bacterium that causes Pecan Bacterial Leaf Scorch (PBLS) disease. If you collect your own scion wood and have not yet identified non-infected trees as sources of scion wood, now is the time to visually inspect your sources for PBLS symptoms. In late summer and fall, trees may develop other leaf disorders that can be confused with PBLS symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish between trees infected with the PBLS pathogen and non-infected trees. Trees with PBLS usually have leaf symptoms from mid-June until frost kills all of the foliage. During late summer, trees that are nutritionally or environmentally stressed may develop other leaf symptoms from various causes such as leaf spot fungi and nutritional imbalances. These may begin as small leaf spots that can enlarge or coalesce to form large dead areas on leaflets and can look similar to PBLS. The areas generally appear as irregularly shaped blotches as opposed to typical PBLS symptoms that develop in a smooth, unbroken pattern of tan or brown tissue spreading from the upper leaflet margins toward the midrib (Figure 1). Examples of some of these abnormalities of unknown cause are illustrated in Figures 2 and 3. The late-season leaf abnormalities tend to be common on unmanaged trees and much less common on trees that have been in a commercial orchard management program.

Trees with PBLS disease should not be used as a source of scion wood. If you are uncertain of the disease status of your scion wood, or your only source of scion wood is from diseased trees, there is a simple technique using hot water to eliminate the bacterium from the scion wood at the time of grafting. This procedure is detailed in the first quarter newsletter article and is available on the Pecan Station website.

For further information contact Randy Sanderlin at 318-797-8034, ext.2311 or by email.

Little Value in Applying Fungicide For Scab Disease Control After the Middle of August

Little Value in Applying Fungicide For Scab Disease Control After the Middle of August

It can be somewhat of a guess to know when the last fungicide application of the year should be made for prevention of scab disease. Generally, it is wise to protect nuts from infection through most of August. In most years, this is accomplished by a fungicide application made in late July or early August, which will provide two to three weeks of protection under the normally limited rainfalls of August. It is doubtful that a fungicide application made after the middle of August would be economically beneficial unless you have one of the late nut-sizing cultivars, such as Mahan or Maramec.

There are two primary factors that affect the potential economic value of applying fungicide for pecan scab disease control in late summer. These include the stage of nut development, which is influenced by both cultivar and environment, and the amount of scab already present as the nuts enter the kernel-filling period. If there are not many scab lesions on the nut surface when the rapid size growth period ends and shell hardening begins (mid-August for most cultivars), the potential for scab increase that results in reduced yield is low. On the other hand, some cultivars, such as Mahan and Maramec, continue growth well into September and can have a rapid increase in scab disease from mid-August through September that reduces yield even if there is little scab present on the nuts through mid-August. Cultivars that have finished most of their size growth by early August but that have a significant amount of scab on the nuts (more that 10% of the surface covered with lesions) may suffer some additional yield loss from increases in scab disease that occur in August even if shell hardening has begun before these infections occurred.

For further information contact Randy Sanderlin at 318-797-8034, ext.2311, or by e-mail.

Control of Stink Bugs and Leaffooted Bugs

Control of Stink Bugs and Leaffooted Bugs

Stink bugs are a late-season pest problem for pecan growers throughout Louisiana. Common host plant species for stink bugs include corn, cotton, soybeans and a myriad of weed species. Although they don’t reproduce and develop on pecan, stink bugs do feed on the nuts, even after shuck split. Briefly, the two types of feeding damage caused by stink bugs are nut abortion (black-pit), which occurs when the nut is punctured while still in the water stage, and kernel spots, which occur after the shell has hardened and the kernel has solidified. It is the latter type of damage that causes the most problems for growers.

Stink bugs are usually not a problem in pecan orchards until after the preferred host plant species are no longer a suitable food source. It is then that the insects move into the trees, and being seed feeders, they actively seek out the nuts to feed on.

Several insecticides are registered for control of stink bugs and leaffooted bugs. Timing of insecticide applications for control of these insects is difficult because they are present throughout the growing season, they are difficult to observe in the trees, there is no easy way to monitor their activity, and no treatment thresholds have been established. An important step in reducing the severity of stink bug and leaffooted bug infestations is elimination of weed hosts in and around the orchard. Cultivated crops, such as corn, soybeans and cotton, grown near pecan orchards should be carefully monitored for these insects. If possible, stink bugs and leaffooted bugs should be controlled within these crops. If not, control measures may need to be initiated in the pecan orchard during the time these crops are being harvested. Insecticide applications for control of other late-season pests, such as black pecan aphid, hickory shuckworm and pecan weevil, can sometimes help in reducing populations of stink bugs and leaffooted bugs in an orchard, especially if the insecticides being used are also registered for control of these insect pests.

Suggested insecticides to use for stink bug control include Ammo 2.5EC, Warrior, Mustang Max and Endigo ZC. At the high rates, Warrior

(5 fl.oz./acre), Mustang Max (4 fl.oz./acre) and Endigo ZC (5.5 fl. oz./acre) are also relatively effective against both southern green and brown stink bugs, and against leaffooted bugs. Other insecticides labeled for stink bug control include Imidan 70W, Sevin 80S and Sevin XLR, and Cobalt. Penncap-M is no longer registered for use on pecan; however, existing supplies can still be used. If stink bugs are not a problem, an insecticide such as Confirm 2F or Intrepid 2F could be used for shuckworm control. With any insecticide, be sure to check the label for re-entry and pre-harvest intervals, and any grazing restrictions. The pH of the water being used for spraying should be between 5.5 and 6.5 to assure optimum efficacy of the insecticide being used. Use of a buffering agent will help maintain the desired pH once pesticides have been added to a solution.

For further information contact Michael Hall at 318-797-8034, ext.2320, or by e-mail.

MarketMaker Will Help Pecan Producers

MarketMaker Will Help Pecan Producers

Having problems selling the last few bags of pecans? Not sure where to look for new customers? Are the Yellow Pages just not providing all of the answers for your marketing program to be as successful as you want it to be? Maybe you need to give MarketMaker a test run this season. Market what?!? you ask? But it is true that Louisiana's agriculture and seafood industries soon will have a new Web portal with which to push their wares. It's called MarketMaker, and it should be up and operational on the Internet sometime in 2010. About $125,000 was provided through the Louisiana Recovery Authority to purchase the software, develop it and keep the site going for three years. After that, the Louisiana Farm Bureau and state departments of agriculture and fisheries have committed to sustaining the program. The service will be free to both buyers and sellers.

MarketMaker was developed by University of Illinois Extension researchers in 2004 to connect Illinois farmers with economically viable new markets. The initiative has expanded to become a national partnership of land-grant institutions and state departments of agriculture dedicated to the development of a comprehensive interactive database of food industry marketing and business data. It is currently one of the most extensive collections of searchable food industry related data in the country. All the information can be mapped and queried by the user. National MarketMaker currently includes 13 participating states (Colo., Neb, Iowa, Ill., Ind., Ohio, Mich, N.Y., Ky., Ark., Miss., Ga., S.C. plus Washington, D.C.) with three additional states (Fla. La. and Pa.) having sites in development.

In simple terms, pecan producers should perceive it as a national online farmers market. The concept is simple enough: growers and shellers will be able to enter their contact information and their products, including quantity and varieties. Consumers, restaurants, chefs, wholesalers and others then will be able to search Louisiana MarketMaker for what they want and the free-enterprise system takes over from there. While price and shipping negotiations will not be allowed on the Web portal, it should still aid in simplifying the direct-marketing concept for pecan producers.

Your next question may be “How do I get registered?" It’s probably easier than you think. Simply log on to the Internet and go to the website. Click on “Register you business,” and follow the instructions provided on the screen to enter your business information. Once you submit your information, you will automatically receive an e-mail from MarketMaker that will include your username and temporary password. This access will allow you to make changes to your profile and keep the information up to date. When you receive the e-mail, log in to your account at the URL ( and change your password to one that you will remember. Your information should appear on the website within one to two business days.

Currently, you may find the MarketMaker website unavailable for short periods of time. This is because after several man-years of development, MarketMaker has launched its newly expanded profiles. This new MarketMaker software is a transitional release that will bridge the gap between the current version and the completely re-vamped codebase and database. The new system will come online fully later this year. The key components of this interim release are the expanded profiles for all sectors of the MarketMaker food chain. Assembled by teams of industry experts, these new profiles seek to better represent the key players in the value-added food chain. All major aspects of the profiles are now searchable and include hierarchical categories.

This interim build will allow MarketMaker member businesses time to go in and enhance and update their data in the new profile system. When a critical mass of new data has been captured, MarketMaker will move to the new codebase, allowing end-users to search on the in-depth details of the new profiles. Account holders can now add multiple profiles to their businesses (instead of just one), multiple contacts and social networking links and can upload up to five pictures of their enterprise.

We all know that navigating a website can often be frustrating. MarketMaker attempts to reduce the stress by making it easy to learn all the “ins and outs” with the assistance of the HELP button located at the top of your state’s home page. Click on it to learn the basic mapping functions and descriptions of the mapping icons found on the MarketMaker site. If you feel that you still need additional help, click on “MarketMaker Support” in the first paragraph of the Help page and you’ll be taken to the Support Center. Once here, click on “Knowledgebase” to get started. On the next page, click on MarketMaker to find six different categories from which to choose. You may also enter keywords into the Search bar beside the text.

Click on “Account Management” to change your username and/or change your password. The “General” category will allow you to register your business and more. You can find out how to post ads in MarketPlace or find answers to your mapping questions in other categories. Browsing through the support center will provide you with answers to most of your MarketMaker questions. A read through the frequently asked questions (FAQs) will definitely enhance your MarketMaker experience. Additionally, all newsletters are still accessible and contain many tips on how to better utilize MarketMaker to your advantage. Newsletters can be found at

Probably one of the greatest challenges for the database to be successful in Louisiana will be the lack of producers with access to the internet. Earlier this year, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain stated that only 57% of Louisiana farmers have a way to the Web. This is true for many pecan producers in the state as well, but this may be the best reason for many to get over their fear of computers and get hooked up. To help producers who currently don’t have computer access, many state agriculture and LSU AgCenter Extension offices will help producers get accounts and enter their information. During the next couple of months, officials from the LSU AgCenter will begin conducting training sessions across the state so producers can start populating the site. For more information, the national site can be found at

Additional information about MarketMaker in Louisiana can be found at the website: Questions can be e-mailed. In Northwest Louisiana, e-mail Dora Ann Hatch.

For further information contact Charlie Graham at 318-797-8034, ext. 2333, or by e-mail.

Thank You for Your Assistance and Input on the Interstate 69 Issue

At this time, the future route for Interstate 69 is still uncertain, but two of the three routes being considered include Pecan Research and Extension Station property. The AgCenter officially opposes any route that will impact the integrity of the Pecan Station. Comments from the Louisiana pecan industry expressing your concerns about these proposed routes to the decision makers are greatly appreciated. They have also heard from pecan producers and industry leaders in other states and extension and research faculty from other universities. The faculty and staff of the Pecan Station and AgCenter appreciate everyone’s effort to preserve the Pecan Station. Unfortunately, at this time we don’t know if your comments will have the desired impact. Although the official comment period is over, please continue to express your concerns to legislators and other elected officials. We will keep you informed as we receive new information.

For further information contact Patrick Colyer at 318-741-7430, ext. 1108, or by e-mail.


Pecan Research-Extension Staff
Randy S. Sanderlin -- Pathology
Mike Hall -- Entomology
Charlie Graham -- Horticulture

Third Quarter Newsletter
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