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NMSU short course to address basics, fine points of pecan production

The pecan may be a distinctly American nut, but its appeal on the international scene, particularly in China, has exploded over recent years.


Expanding demand translates into higher profits for existing growers and motivation for them to increase the size of their orchards. It also attracts new people into the pecan business.

All of this is likely to translate into expanded interest in New Mexico State University's three-and-a-half-day "Western Pecan Production Short Course," Sept. 25-28 at the Hotel Encanto, 705 Telshor Blvd., Las Cruces.

The workshop, which is offered every two years, is designed with both new and experienced producers in mind. The program includes two dozen class presentations, a half-day field trip and other activities.

"The purpose of the course is to cover all aspects of profitable pecan production in the West," said Richard Heerema, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service pecan specialist and organizer of the event. "The topics will include economics and marketing, site selection, propagation, cultivars, pruning, irrigation, equipment and pest control."

Heerema will also be one of the speakers for the course. Joining him will be a number of colleagues from NMSU, as well as the University of Arizona, University of California-Davis and Texas A&M.

"Beginners and experienced growers/managers alike will benefit from this course - anyone who is interested in high yields, nut quality and profitability in their pecan orchards," Heerema said.

The first presentation, a pecan industry overview by Heerema, will begin at 8 a.m. on Sept. 25.

The registration desk will open at 7 a.m.

The cost of the course is $360 per person, which includes lectures, a binder with lecture notes, four lunches, refreshments and field trip transportation. Lodging is not included.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to register online by Sept. 6 at http://pecans.nmsu.edu. The website also includes the tentative schedule of class sessions and other activities.

For more information, contact Mary Curtis, 575-646-1715 or marcurti@nmsu.edu.