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Speedfol™ Pecano SP Cures “Mouse Ear” and Improves the Quality and Quantity of Pecan Nuts.

One of the most important nutritional factors in the production of pecan nuts (Carya illinoensis) in Mexico is the efficient management of zinc, nickel and nitrogen, which the tree needs but which are short in calcareous soils. The pecan tree needs nickel for the efficient conversion of urea to ammonium by the urease enzyme. As a result, when there is insufficient nickel in the plant, the urea is not converted as efficiently, and toxicity may develop.

The most common symptom of a bad urea conversion in the plant is the malformation called “mouse ear” which is characterized by rounded, blunt leaflet tips. Affected leaves and leaflets are often smaller in size than healthy foliage. The rounded leaflet tips result from the build-up of urea to the point of toxicity in the leaf tissue. Other symptoms of “mouse ear” include dwarfing of shoots, poorly developed root systems, rosetting of shoots, delayed bud break, loss of apical dominance, necrosis of leaflet tips, and reduced energy storage by the tree.

Normal pecan tree leaves are elliptic in shape. They are glossy and dark green with paler veins.
Normal pecan tree leaves are elliptic in shape. They are glossy and dark green with paler veins.

Nickel is an important element which, when sufficiently present, permits to maintain good levels and conversion of the nitrogen in the plant. It also avoids “mouse ear” or “little leaf disease” as shown in the pictures above.
Nickel is an important element which, when sufficiently present, permits to maintain good levels and conversion of the nitrogen in the plant. It also avoids “mouse ear” or “little leaf disease” as shown in the pictures above.

In the course of 2010, a trial was set up at the Huerta Fatima, a mature pecan trees orchard of the Western Schley variety, located in Delicias, in the Chihuahua State in Mexico. The goal was to determine the effect of a foliar fertilization with Speedfol™ Pecano SP on the foliar concentration of nickel and nitrogen, and on the quality of the pecan nuts. 1 hectare of crop was designated for each treatment of which more details can be observed in Table 1. In order to evaluate the effect of Speedfol™ Pecano SP, six samples were taken of each plot and nutritional analysis of the leaves was carried out during May, June, July, August, September and October 2010. The evaluation of the nut quality and the number of fruits took place at the moment of harvest.

The application with Speedfol™ Pecano SP had a direct positive effect on the foliar nickel concentration (Figure 1), as well as on the total nitrogen concentration (Figure 2) which is important for the growth, development, yield and quality of the pecan nut.

Figure 1. The effect of Speedfol™ Pecano SP on the foliar nickel concentration, compared to the control (expressed in ppm).
Figure 1. The effect of Speedfol™ Pecano SP on the foliar nickel concentration, compared to the control (expressed in ppm).

Figure 2. The effect of Speedfoltrade; Pecano SP on the total nitrogen concentration, compared to the control (expressed in %).
Figure 2. The effect of Speedfoltrade; Pecano SP on the total nitrogen concentration, compared to the control (expressed in %).

Table 1. Overview of the treatments.

Phenological stage

Month

Treatment

Dose (kg/ha)

2° week after bud break

April

Control

0

Speedfol™ Pecano SP

3

3° week after bud break

April

Control

0

Speedfol™ Pecano SP

3

4° week after bud break

May

Control

0

Speedfol™ Pecano SP

3


The application with Speedfol™ Pecano SP resulted in a significant increase (+ 4%) of the percentage of edible nuts, which is the main quality parameter (Figure 3) and also resulted in a significant increase (+ 8%) of the number of fruits per kg (Figure 4). It goes without saying that both results represent an additional economic advantage for Speedfol™ Pecano SP (Table 2).

Table 2.

Treatment

Price kg % filled (US $)

T/ha

Income / ha (US $)

Speedfol™ Pecano SP

6

1,8

10.800

Control

5,6

1,8

10.080