By Clint Thompson
Much-needed rain was received this week across the Southeast. But now there is increased risk for scab disease for pecan producers in Georgia and Alabama.
Growers need to be on alert and stay vigilant with their spray programs, according to Lenny Wells, University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension pecan specialist.
“It had gotten really dry, but the flipside of that is, I think it’s been a pretty easy scab management season so far which has been good with growers trying to save money, thinking about the market and everything,” Wells said. “We’re at the point in the season where we get rains like this, you don’t need to slack up at all. If they have a crop on the trees, they need to stay on them, no more than 14 days (without sprays).”
Scab is a fungal disease that infects the leaves or nuts of pecan trees. If it affects the nut early enough, scab can cause the pecan to blacken and fall from the tree. Some growers may spray between 10 and 12 times during an average year to fight scab, depending on how much it rains during the summer. Scab thrives on trees that have received moisture.
“The amount of rain is not so much a problem as the frequency of it; how long those leaves stay wet and all that kind of stuff,” Wells said.