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NMSU’s pecan short course to be held Oct. 15-18

The 2018 Western Pecan Production Short Course will be held Oct. 15-18 and will be led by New Mexico State University pecan specialist Richard Heerema.


Pecan orchard
On the last day of class attendees will take a field trip to pecan farms in southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona to view different irrigation systems used. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

The first three days of the short course will include lectures that will cover as much of the basics of pecan production as possible from the basic biology of the pecan tree to the marketing and economics of pecans.

“We will have lectures covering just about everything pecan-related,” said Heerema, pecan expert in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences “We will discuss how to select a pecan orchard site, how to modify a site, how to select pecan varieties and all you need to learn up front. Then we will discuss how to plant a pecan orchard, how to take care of an immature pecan orchard to bring it up to establishment and how to manage a mature orchard. Then it will be followed by pruning, irrigation, nutrition and pest and weed management.”

On the last day of class on Oct. 18, attendees will take a field trip to pecan farms in southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona. The emphasis of the trip will be the different irrigation systems used.

“The field trip will be a little different this year. We’ve decided to make it a full day trip; we’re going to head to Deming then to the Cotton City area in New Mexico and finally to San Simon, Arizona,” Heerema said. “Our emphasis of the trip will be pressurized irrigation systems.”

Heerema said the new pressurized irrigation systems are becoming increasingly important across the state and he would like for the participants to see firsthand the advantages and disadvantages of these systems.

“One advantage to pressurized systems is that they have much higher application uniformity than flood irrigation, but their management could involve other things that aren’t involved in the irrigation system we are used to. There is also a steep learning curve associated with using any new irrigation system,” Heerema said.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the short course along with a binder of all the talking points from the lectures.

To register please visit pecans.nmsu.edu. Space will be limited, so register as soon as possible.