Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Pecan growers will learn new marketing techniques and see how their best pecans measure up during the Western Pecan Growers' Association Conference March 7-9 in Las Cruces.
Growers are encouraged to send nut samples for competition with other Western region growers in the International Pecan Show, said Esteban Herrera, horticulturist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service . The deadline for entries is Feb. 19. The best sample will receive a $100 prize.
Samples will be judged on kernel percent, color and uniformity. Entries, accepted from anywhere in the world, must be from the season's current crop and grown by the person submitting them.
Nuts can be entered in one of five categories: improved variety division, excluding Western and Wichita; known hybrid division (pecans that haven't been named, but both parents are known); variety seedling and native pecan division; Western division; and the Wichita division.
Entry forms are available in county Extension offices and are due by Feb. 19 to Esteban Herrera, Extension Horticulturist, Box 3AE, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM 88003. Each entry should include a sample of at least 40 nuts.
The pecan show is part of the annual conference sponsored by the NMSU and the Western Pecan Growers' Association. The conference includes a strong educational program, Herrera said. "As always, we hope that this year's presentations by the speakers will help to improve growers' cultural practices," he added.
The focus of this year's conference will be marketing and pest control. Other orchard management practices also will be covered, he said. Presentations will include marketing, nitrogen management, water management, nutrient status of pecans and orchard management.
For people who like to cook with pecans, their homemade dishes containing pecans can be entered in the fantasy food contest. Winners will receive cash prizes. Contest entries are due by noon, March 7.
The registration fee for the conference is $60 for a single family or sole proprietor and $90 for a corporate registration.
For more information or entry forms, contact Herrera at (505) 646-2921 or your local county Extension office.
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