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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

After being absent for several years, the Wichita Horticulture Committee hosted the Wichita County Pecan Show on Saturday, November 20 at the MPEC in Wichita Falls.

This year’s show featured 13 entries from 8 area growers. Monte Nesbitt, Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service Pecan Specialist served as the judge.

The Commercial Division featured pecan varieties that are typically found in commercial orchards and are sold in the largest quantities to pecan shellers. The fact that they are sold commercially does not limit their popularity with homeowners and small growers who either eat the pecan themselves or market the pecans at roadside stands.

Every year new pecans are added to the Commercial Division list and old ones are moved to the Classic Division or dropped completely for lack of interest.

In the commercial division there were 10 entries in five classes.

Choctaw is a very popular variety in north central Texas noted for its large size and kernel quality and in this class James Whitaker of Iowa Park won first, Gerald Moore of Seymour won second, Tim Montz of Wichita Falls won third and Judy Maenza of Wichita Falls won fourth place honors.

The Mohawk class was won by Tim Montz and second place went to Lynn Ayers of Holliday.

The Pawnee pecan was introduced in the ’80s and has since been planted on thousands of acres. The Pawnee class winner was shown by Tim Montz.

In the Cheyenne class, Tim Montz won the first place blue again.

The grand champion of the commercial division came from the Wichita class with Tim Montz picking up first place honors with a entry that showed a 45.22 count and an edible kernel percentage of 60.1.

The Classic Division is made up of pecan varieties that are no longer propagated by commercial orchards but are still enjoyed by growers, hobbyists and homeowners. In the Stuart class Larry Statser of Wichita Falls placed first and was named grand champion.

Also in the Classic Division is the Variety Seedling class and it features pecans from trees where only one parent is known. In this class Mary Bowman placed first.

The Native Pecan Division consists of pecans grown on trees that are the result of nature planting the trees mostly in pecan bottoms. The genetic background of the trees is unknown but in some cases the pecans can be quite good. In fact many “native” Texans claim that the only good pecan is a native. It is a myth to think that natives have to be small and hard-shelled in order to be termed “native.” Many natives are thin-shelled and large compared to other native pecans.

This year Champion Native honors go to Henry Vaughan of Wichita Falls.

All first-place class winners automatically advanced to the central Texas regional pecan show held in Stephenville on Dec. 7-8. The first three placings from each class at the regional shows advance to the state pecan show held each July as a part of the Texas Pecan Growers Annual Meeting.

Before the show on Saturday morning Nesbitt presented a program on pecans, covering a history of the pecan show in Texas and how growers can use the information to “pre-grade” their pecans before going to the market with their crop. Nesbitt then focused on helping home-owner mange the “back-yard” trees to be more productive. It was interesting to note that with the explosion in the export market due to the demand by China, pecan yearly carry-over will disappear and a strong market should prevail for many years. Home owners may see that better management of their trees can produce big rewards.

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