Pecans: Producing Pecan Nuts For Marketing
Pecans grow in different shapes. There are some that have an oval shape, while there are some that are skinny and long. The size of these nuts also differs. They can be small like pencil erasers. There are some varieties that can grow as big as 1.5 inches to more than 3 inches long. The kernels of the pecans also grow into various sizes inside their hull. There are some kernels that cannot fill out the entire hull. On the other hand, there are some pecan nuts that fill in well inside their hull. While there are different sizes, shapes, and kernel sizes, the density of the kernels also vary. The kernels of the pecans have a compact density, making the shells break even if the nuts still hang on the bough. This is due to the swelling of the kernels while still inside the hull. The swelling of the kernels usually take place after strong rains during the end of the nuts’ ripening season.
Quality of Pecan Shells
In order to determine the market value of the pecans, its shell’s thickness is assessed. There is such a term as “papershell pecan,” wherein the nuts can be cracked easily when placed on the fist. This usually allows cracking the nuts into perfect halves. This shell quality only occurs occasionally. The thinness of the shell has a disadvantage, especially, when the hurricanes creep up leading to long periods of rain. Rainy days can make the kernels of the pecans swell. Since the shells are so thin, they tend to crack easily during the swelling of the kernels. Because of the cracks on the shells, plant diseases like the scab find easy entry points to the kernels. These diseases damage the crops, making the farmers lose their profit.
In the Southern part of the United States, pecans are grown in different ways. One of these methods is pollination. However, this strategy is not considered an essential factor for growing pecans. This is due to the fact that pollens from the trees are already pollinated by the wind. As a matter of fact, pollens can get blown away as far as ten miles. When the current of the wind is favorable, the pollens may be transferred from one pecan tree to another. There are some varieties that pollinate on their own. An example of these is the “Desirable,” wherein the female flower and the pollen mature almost at the same time. Self-pollination is impossible for some varieties of pecans because their pollens either mature too late or too soon from the female flower.
The Qualities of Superior Pecan Nuts
Pecans are considered as superior quality, when they exhibit certain characteristics. These include large kernel size, paper-thin shell, reliable methods of production, and high quality of kernel. Resistance against the disease is grafted to the seedling. In this way, the orchard will be able to produce quality pecan nut crops. The quality of the nuts is also guaranteed through the manner of cultivation within the orchard. According to researches, pecan understock or seedling has a considerable amount of control over the nut cultivar. There are several nurseries of pecans that opt to plant “Curtis” or “Moore” seed cultivars. This way, the grafters will be able to produce satisfactory and market-quality pecans.
When you want to buy pecans for your recipe, you can find several options online. Tanner’s Pecans and Candies offer different varieties of pecan end products such as roasted, candied, and pralines.