The University of Georgia has been working on a new pecan variety called Avalon. It has been approved for sale and is currently growing in four nurseries in Georgia. Patrick Conner, a University of Georgia professor, highly recommends production of Avalon.
The Avalon variety was created in 2000 by cross-breeding two scab-resistant varieties, Gloria Grande and Barton. Avalon was the best seedling to come from that cross. It was chosen in 2009 for a trial due to its large size and resistance to scab. Conner says there are very few pecan varieties that have the combination of a large nut size and scab resistance. He added that this variety will be important for growers in south Georgia due to high scab pressure in that region.
Conner believes Avalon could serve as a good replacement for Desirable, a popular pecan variety in Georgia. Conner recognizes that while Desirable used to have adequate scab resistance, it no longer does. Desirable requires anywhere from 12 to 20 sprays each season to fight against scab. Conner currently suggests about two to four sprays per season for Avalon.
Conner says Avalon will give growers more flexibility because it does not need as many spray applications as other varieties. It will also give growers assurance during a wet season because of its high scab resistance.
Nurseries in Georgia are still in the process of increasing Avalon production. However, Conner believes within the next three to four years production will continue to spread.
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