By: Emily Johnson
July 29, 2014
Thomasville, GA - "We're constantly spraying, every eight to 10 days we're re-spraying these trees," said pecan grower Joey Collins.
Collins manages 1,500 acres of pecan orchards or about 20,000 pecan trees however you want to look it. He told us farmers like himself have been spending $8,000 to $10,000 a day on chemicals just to keep the pecan trees healthy.
"There's no way to control them than with a fungicide or with some dry weather and we haven't had a lot of dry weather," said Collins.
He's talking about the infamous pecan scab fungus. With the wet weather we've had this year it's caused farmers to spray for scab more than normal. He told us besides spraying another good way to prevent the fungus is by keeping the grass cut short which decreases the humidity that builds up under the trees.
Thomas County Ag Extension Agent, Andrew Sawyer, said he's had a lot of calls about pecan scab from pecan growers this year.
"Scab is influenced by rainfall activity and so when we have a lot of rainfall and a lot of humidity our scab pressure is greater and that can also cause the leaves to drop too," said Sawyer.
We asked Collins how important it was for him to keep up with routine spraying schedule on his orchards.
"It's very important, this years leaves is next years crop. We not only need them to make a good nut for this year, but the longer we can hold our leaves after we mature the crop the better chance we have of making a good crop of nuts next year," said Collins.
Because Collins has been sticking to a strict spraying schedule he told us his crop is looking good for the upcoming harvesting season.