Extension Agent: Pecan interests

There will be fewer pecans this year as the upcoming harvest has been effected by the drought. Nuts will be small and pecan prices will be up considerably from last year.

By Joe Janak As the pecan harvest nears, many notice that there is no crop or it may be minimal, and if made, nuts will be small because of the drought - unless you took exceptional care and watered your trees. As a result, it has been reported pecan prices will be up considerably from last year. The State Pecan Show was held this summer as always, from nuts frozen from last year, and the results are below. Although entries from Victoria County did not receive any champions, we did have numerous placing pecans.

Kernell Moritz of Mission Valley area placed first with the following varieties: Maramec, Mohawk, Navaho, Sioux and Wichita, and Charles Nelson from Inez had a first place with his known-hybrid variety. Moritz also placed second in state with the following varieties: Brake, Cape Fear, GraCross, Jackson, Schley and placed third with Elliott. Charles Nelson placed third with Forkert, Kanza and Shoshoni. Congratulations to these local growers.COTTON DESTRUCTION DEADLINE

The Victoria County cotton destruction date set by the Texas Department of Agriculture is Oct. 1. Anyone with cotton that can host boll weevils remaining in the field will be in violation of TDA regulations and subject to fines.

Victoria County has had a good year as far as boll weevil numbers are concerned. There has not been one weevil caught in Victoria County in 2011 and there was only one caught in the county in 2010. In our nine-county area, only six were caught in 2011 - four in Goliad and two in Wilson County. So we've come a long way from the millions of weevils caught when the program started in 1996 to zero weevils caught in 2011. Back then, it was nothing to catch 2,000 weevils per field. And the devastation and loss caused by the weevil was astronomical.

But we must continue to be vigilant as it is easy to be complacent. One cotton plant that can host boll weevils can start the program into a decline. Destroying all cotton now, either by plowing or herbicide is of utmost importance to remain at the zero level of weevils. Although harvest is over, carefully scrutinizing harvesting equipment, picker, module builders, truckers is also extremely important. And equally important, maintaining vigilance can only happen with quality trapping efforts. Farmers helping to maintain quality traps, right-of-ways, and trapping systems can insure cotton's success in the future.MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE

The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will have its Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Master Gardener's VEG Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or after sellout, whichever is first. This event will give homeowners the opportunity to replace losses they may have had as a result of the hot, dry summer with this sale emphasizing flowering shrubs. All sales go to support educational efforts of the Master Gardeners. Plan on attending and replacing those plants that did not make the drought.SOUTH TEXAS FARM AND RANCH SHOW

The South Texas Farm and Ranch Show, less than a month away, is scheduled for Oct. 26-27. Besides more than 125 booths of ag-related equipment, 16.5 hours of TDA pesticide CEU's will be offered to choose from over the two days including two hours in Laws and Regulations, six in IPM, and seven-and- a-half in General and one in Environmental Consequences. Additionally, 20 hours of Certified Crop Advisory hours are available including: nine - Pest, eight - Crop, two - Soil and Water and one - Professional Development. Also five-and-a-half hours of Beef Quality Assurance hours are offered.

The show features more than 40 speakers addressing agricultural topics with $8 lunch tickets for either day available from the County Extension office. For a complete schedule, contact the Extension office or visit the website at southtexasfarmandranchshow.com/. A new addition to the show this year includes eight veterinarians presenting health-related topics for cattlemen and horse owners. They will be at the Veterinary Ranch Seminar held in the Community Center Annex the first evening of the Farm Show, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26, with a barbecue dinner. Tickets are $9 and are available from area veterinarians.

Mark your calendars for our 27th anniversary show. Admission is free to the show exhibits. $5 admission per day allows you to attend any or all educational programs.

Joe Janak is a Victoria County extension agent.