Missouri pecan growers with native stands may take a hint from Kansas pecan specialist Bill Reid in setting their production priorities. Reid, director of the Pecan Research Field at Kansas State University, says most native plantation owners have their priorities out of kilter.
Typically, growers would list their production practices in the following priority list from most important to least important:
Then, he said, comes surface drainage and nitrogen fertilizer. Improving surface drainage and fertilizing with nitrogen can add an additional 200 pounds per acres.
Only after a grower develops fruitful trees should investments be made in pest control.
Finally, grazing can be viewed as a labor-saving device to reduce the cost of mowing the groundcover. If the native pecan grove is part of an agroforestry silvopasture practice where cattle are rotationally grazed, growers can also realize income from the sale of beef.