Permian Basin Permian Basin Pecan Show. Midland & Ector Counties. Special points of interest: Inside this issue: Ms. Debbie Benge Frost

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1 Permian Basin 2009 Permian Basin Pecan Show GENERAL INFORMATION The Permian Basin Pecan Show is set for Wednesday, December 9, Entries are due to the Ector County Extension Office, Midland County Extension Office, or other designated site by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, December 8, Designated collection sites are set by each county office, so please contact your local county office at the numbers listed below for further information. Midland & Ector Counties Volume 1, Issue 3 November 13, 2009 RULES 42 nuts must be included in the entry in order for it to be considered a valid entry. Any less than 42 nuts and the entry will be disqualified. Only one (1) entry per variety per person may be entered. An exhibitor may enter as many varieties as he/she desires. Either the Permian Basin Pecan Committee or pecan show judge will classify your variety if you don t know the variety. If your variety is incorrectly classified, the officials of the Permian Basin Pecan Show will reclassify your entry. An entry containing more than one variety will be disqualified. Entry Information will be required from each exhibitor. We will need to know your name, address, and contact number. ALL PECANS entered into the show will become the property of the Permian Basin Pecan Committee and will be either further submitted to the Regional Pecan Show in Abilene are used for educational purposes in ENTRY SELECTION Nuts selected for the show need to be of the same variety. Select nuts of the same size and shape to demonstrate uniformity. Exhibitors are encouraged to weigh their nut entries; this will also assist with increasing uniformity across the sample. Blemishes on the nuts which indicate insect damage should not be included with the entry. Polishing the pecans is not allowed. Special points of interest: Permian Basin Pecan Show Nutrition from Pecans Pecan Shows for Everyone Shucks refusing to Open Home Fruit Production Protect Pecan Quality Pecan Processing Info. Production Varieties of Pecans Michael Clawson Inside this issue: Permian Basin Pecan Show 1 Pecans Offer Good Nutri- 2 Do You Own a Pecan Tree 3 Zan's Nutty Corner 4 Shucks Refusing to Open 4 Mr. Michael Clawson County Extension Agent Agriculture / Natural Resources Ector County Texas AgriLIfe Extension Service Ms. Debbie Benge Frost County Extension Agent Horticulture Midland/Ector Counties Texas AgriLIfe Extension Service Mr. A. Zan Matthies Jr. County Extension Agent Agriculture / Natural Resources Midland County Texas AgriLIfe Extension Service Kernels from Debbie 5 Pecan Processing Info 5 Kernels from Debbie 6 Michael Clawson 7 Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

2 Pecans Offer Good Nutrition Nutrition/Health Updates 90% of the fats in pecans are unsaturated (about 60% monounsaturated/30% polyunsaturated) A serving of pecans (30g) provides about 25 percent more oleic acid than a serving of olive oil (one tablespoon) Pecans are cholesterol free Pecans are sodium free Pecans are fiber-rich Pecans are a valuable plant protein source Pecans have more than 19 vitamins & minerals They are an excellent source of gamma tocopherol, an important type of vitamin E They contain concentrated amounts of natural plant sterols, touted for their cholesterol-lowering ability Pecans contain a variety of phytochemicals Nuts are recommended by the American Heart Association and U.S. Dietary Guidelines as a desirable source of heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Pecans can double the cholesterol-lowering effectiveness of a traditional heart-healthy diet, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, September An eight-week study at Loma Linda University that a 'pecan' diet (which consisted of replacing 20 percent of the calories from the American Heart Association's Step I diet foods with pecans) lowered total cholesterol by 11.5%. The Step I diet lowered total cholesterol by 5.2%. In addition, the pecan diet increased the HDL "good" cholesterol whereas the Step I diet decreased HDL unfavorably. Triglycerides also were significantly lower with the pecan diet. Although the pecan diet contained more fat (39.6%) than the Step I diet (28.3%), participants did not gain weight. Here is the link to the Loma Linda pecan health study:http://www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/131/9/2275 Pecans raise Vitamin E levels and may support prostate and intestinal health. Further analysis of the participants in the above study revealed that a pecan-enriched diet significantly raised blood levels of gamma tocopherol compared to the Step I diet. This is due to the high amounts of naturally occurring gamma tocopherol (a unique form of vitamin E) in the pecans. Gamma tocopherol is an important antioxidant nutrient and studies have shown that it may benefit intestinal health and have a protective effect against prostate cancer. This research was presented at the April 2001 Experimental Biology meeting and published in the FASEB Journal. Pecans increase fiber and nutrient intake. Researchers at Texas A&M University found that a heart-healthy diet containing pecans can help control specific biomarkers of heart disease risk as effectively as the AHA Step I diet. They also found that the pecan-rich diet significantly increased participants'; levels of dietary fiber, thiamin, magnesium, copper and manganese and actually changed copper and magnesium intakes from inadequate (on the AHA diet) to adequate (on the pecan diet). All of the participants had already been eating a relatively low-fat diet. For this study, they were placed on either the Step I diet or a higher-fat pecan-based diet. This information was presented at a May 2001 American Heart Association Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Pecans: a concentrated source of natural plant sterols. Researchers at the University of Georgia have determined that plant sterols are found naturally in pecans in concentrated amounts. 90 percent of those pecan sterols are in the form of beta-sit sterol, which has been cited as a food component that competes with the absorption of cholesterol in the body and thus has the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels. Adding pecans to your diet can lower "bad" cholesterol. A study at New Mexico State University (NMSU) has found that pecans offer something even more important than great taste and versatility - a positive impact on health. The research, conducted by NMSU's Wanda Morgan, Ph.D., shows that adding pecans to a self-selected diet lowers LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels by six percent; total cholesterol levels were lower as well. This encouraging news about the positive impact of pecans on heart health was published in the March 2000 issue of Journal of the American Dietetic Association (http://www.eatright.org/journal/). In this study, nineteen men and women with normal blood lipid levels were divided into two groups, one of which served as the "control" group, and ate its regular diet for eight weeks. Subjects in the "test" (pecan-eaters) group, however, supplemented their diets with three-fourths of a cup of pecans every day. Even though the test group ate more total fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat each day than those who did not eat pecans, test subjects lowered their levels of bad and total cholesterol - and did not gain weight. "The research shows that we don't have to be afraid of the fat in pecans," says Dr. Morgan. "Pecans can be a part of a balanced and varied diet." More information on "Pecans and Good Health" and a review of pecan and nut health research is available at the National Pecan Sheller's web page: Nutrient Composition of One Ounce of Pecan Halves (approx. 20 halves) Nutrients Units 1 oz (28.35g) ( 20 halves) Energy (calories) kcal Protein g Total lipid (fat) g Carbohydrate g Fiber, total dietary g Sugars, total g Minerals Calcium mg Iron mg Magnesium mg Phosphorous mg Potassium mg Sodium mg Zinc mg Copper mg Manganese mg Selenium mcg Vitamins Vitamin C mg Thiamin mg Riboflavin mg Niacin mg Panthotheric acid mg Vitamin B 6 mg Foliate, total mcg Folic Acid mcg Vitamin B 12 mcg Vitamin A, IU IU Vitamin E mg..ate Tocopherol, alpha mg Tocopherol, beta mg Tocopherol, gammamg Tocopherol, delta mg Lipids Fatty acids total saturated g Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g Cholesterol mg Phytosterols mg Beta sitosteral mg Page 2 Permian Basin NUTS

3 Do you own a Pecan Tree? by A. Zan Matthies Jr. Do you have a pecan tree in your front or back yard? Have you been able to harvest nuts in the past few years? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you have the opportunity to participate in the Permian Basin Pecan Show which has been held as an annual show for the past 32 years. Most people who have pecan trees growing in their yard decide not to participate in pecan shows because they feel commercial pecan producers have an advantage. In some cases this is true, but most commercial orchards have only a few varieties of pecans. Additionally, all trees are treated the same whereas a yard grower treats his/her pecan tree with more TLC. Another concern voiced to me concerning yard pecan growers was they don t know what variety they have growing in their yard. Simply put, if you don t know, we will be able to classify the variety at the pecan show. The Permian Basin Pecan Committee is composed of a number of experienced growers, both commercial and hobby, who have years and even decades of experience in classifying pecans. Entry into the Permian Basin Pecan Show is simple; you only need 42 nuts of each pecan variety. You may enter one entry per variety per person, and there is no entry fee. There is no limit on the number of varieties you may enter. If you are unsure on how to collect the best nuts for your 42 nut entry, simply call the Midland County Extension Office at or the Ector County Extension Office at A packet has been developed to assist with the selection process, and I can assure you it is very simple. Entries for the Permian Basin Pecan Show will be accepted at several locations. You can simply drop entries off at the Midland or Ector County Extension Offices or at several collection points. Just call your county Extension office for alternative locations if the Extension offices are out of the way for your daily schedule. Entries will need to be delivered by December 8, The date for the Permian Basin Pecan Show will be December 9, Entries which place 1 st or 2 nd may be sent to the Regional Pecan Show which will be conducted on December 17 & 18, 2009, in Abilene, Texas. High placing entries of the Regional Pecan Show will be forwarded to the State Pecan Show which is will be held in Mesquite, Texas this year. The Permian Basin has a proud history of winning at the state level, so come and participate with us this year and learn a little more about that tree you take such good care of throughout the year. There will be a pecan food show held in conjunction with the Permian Basin Pecan Show. All entries must contain pecans as one of the ingredients in order to be eligible for entry. There are three age groups, Pee Wee, Youth and Adult. The categories are breads, candy, cookies, pies, cakes and miscellaneous. Entries are free and the public is welcome. The food show items will be auctioned off after the food show is over, with proceeds benefiting the Permian Basin Pecan Committee. Entries are not allowed to be refrigerated, so they must be delivered to the Midland County Extension Office at 8:00 am on December 9, Further information on the Permian Basin Pecan Food Show can be gained by contacting the Midland County Extension Office at Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 3

4 Zan s Nutty Corner The pecan show is just around the corner, which has led me to reflect on this past year. It seems like just yesterday we were having the 2008 Permian Basin Pecan Show. While not trying to be nostalgic, I would like to share a few learning experiences I had throughout the 2009 growing season. One, I learned how to judge a pecan show. Boyd and I went to a few pecan shows throughout west Texas, and he even managed to get us some gigs for this year. It was a great learning experience on how to compare standardized grading information with individual entries. We are planning on having a pecan grading and judging seminar in Second, we had a series of educational programs centering around home and commercial nut production. The series of programs culminated with a tour of Belding Farms, a commercial pecan orchard located in Fort Stockton, Texas. An interesting fact about that orchard, is they have consistent yields near 2,200 lbs per acre, year in and year out. Finally, I was able to identify the single biggest problem for yard tree and hobby orchardists: lack of nut processors. I don t know how many phone calls I received, but they were all the same, where can I take my pecans? The problem is, pecan processing is a labor intensive effort, and with all the high paying jobs in the oil patch. During 2009, Don and Shirley Edwards were the only local crackers, and we appreciate their support of the Permian Basin Pecan Program. Just recently, Chris and Margaret Watson opened a processing center in Gardendale, called C&M Pecans. They will both crack and shell. Please keep these two local businesses in mind as you look to process your pecans, and we appreciated both the Edwards and Watson s who are sponsors of the 2009 Permian Basin Pecan Show. Shucks Refusing to Open? A common reason pecan shucks fail to open is the Hickory Shuckworm. Hickory shuckworm moths have a peak of egg laying activity peak in August. The moths lay eggs on the green pecan shucks and when the eggs hatch the larva burrow into the shuck. The worms will mine the shucks feeding and completing a portion of their life cycle. The feeding damages the shuck and interferes with the movement of foods to the pecan kernel. The resulting damage affects pecan filling, quality and the health and function of the shuck. Damaged shuck open well and release pecans properly. Signs of hickory shuckworm include: feeding damage inside the shucks cream colored worm or a brown pupa inside the shucks some webbing and frass and rough black patches on the outside of the pecan shell. If this is a problem you are experiencing, be aware that fall and winter shuck clean up and disposal can reduce next year s population of hickory shuckworms. Since the shuckworm overwinters in the shuck, this gives you time to get them gathered up and disposed of before they pupate and start the process all over again. By Debbie Benge Frost Page 4 Permian Basin NUTS

5 Kernels From Debbie Protect Pecan Quality There s nothing tastier than a good pecan, which are good alone or in snacks, main dishes, breads and of course...desserts. Make sure you get and keep the best quality by protecting your pecan harvest. Pecans are ready to harvest anytime after shuck split. Once shuck split occurs the quicker pecans are gathered the better the quality will be. Pecan drop can be assisted by shaking or thrashing the limbs. Some conditions can interfere with shucks opening up, like drought, poor water management, excessive fruit load and insect damage. Plan on gathering pecans as soon as they come out of the tree. The longer pecans stay on the ground in the sun, temperature extremes, moisture and dirt the quicker pecan quality plummets. Pecan oils become rancid and kernel color will darken the longer they are left in the elements. As soon as pecans are gathered they should be put in a covered but airy location to dry. Cure pecans in single layers on drying racks or mesh screens with good air movement. Check the curing process by bending a few pecans kernel in half to determine moisture levels. A well cured pecan kernel will snap in two rather than bend. Once pecans are cured they can be placed in cold storage to retain their freshness. Pecans retain good quality for up to 6 months in the refrigerator, but the freezer ensures much better quality when storing shelled pecans. Pecans easily absorb odors from almost any material, including other fruits and vegetables, so be careful to protect them from possible contaminating odors. PECAN PROCESSING INFORMATION (Pecan Tree) Pecans are beginning to come off of the trees and will soon be in holiday dishes. However, there is the possibility of raw pecans being contaminated by bacteria. E-coli, a bacteria that can be picked up from contact with the ground ground, should be addressed. Pecans usually are contaminated with the waste of birds and other animals that frequent trees. Guess what those occasional white spots are? When a pecan is cracked the interior of the nut is ex posed to whatever is on the outside of the shell. Contamination is dealt with most easily before the pecan is cracked. There are three things pecan lovers pecan lovers should keep in mind when planning to use locally produced pecans. 1) If you pickup your own pecans you should sanitize them BEFORE you crack and shell them. Wash them well to get off loose debris and dust (pecans produce a dark, fine dust naturally) and rinse them in a mild bleach solution. The minimum level of bleach should be 50 PPM. However, putting a capful or two into a gallon of cool water will do the trick. The pecans should be wetted completely in the solution. You can dip them in your kitchen sink or in a wash tub. They don t have to be soaked. Let them air dry and they are ready for home processing. The bleach will not affect the taste of the pecan. An alternative method of sanitizing is heat. Heating the pecans to 145 degrees and holding them there for at least 15 seconds will kill bacteria. With a little care you can sanitize your pecans in your oven them without cooking them. 2) If you have your pecans processed consider using a licensed facility. Licensed facilities are required to sanitize the pecans properly. In Texas, a pecan processor is not required to be licensed if they process pecans only but do not retail or wholesale pecans or pecan products. Unlicensed facilities are not inspected by the health department. If you use an unlicensed facility, make sure they are sanitizing all of the pecans they process properly before they put them in their machinery. Keeping your pecans sanitary may do little good if they go into a machine that has previously handled contaminated pecans. If you use an unlicensed facility and want to be safe rinse your processed pecans in the afore mentioned bleach solution after you get them home. The bleach evaporates off as it dries and won t affect the taste. Make sure they are dried well before bagging them. FYI- the heat of cooking will kill bacteria, however, this method may fail you personally if you like to snack while you are baking. It would be ironic if your pecan pie was a great success but you got sick because you ate a raw, contaminated pecan prior to baking! 3) If you buy pecans from a casual supplier such as a neighbor, friend or person selling them from the tailgate of a pickup in a parking lot, make sure they properly processed the pecans. If you do not have that assurance then use the preceding steps to sanitize them after you get home. Pecans purchase from a licensed facility or reputable food store should be safe to eat right out of the bag. Keep your holiday safe! Contributed by Dan Boggs Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 5

6 HOME FRUIT PRODUCTION - VARIETIES OF PECANS Early-pollen-shedding Varieties Desirable is an outstanding variety for the humid areas of east and south Texas and also produces well in central Texas. The tree grows fast but requires at least 8 to 10 years to bear 15 pounds of pecans. It has weak "V" limb angles which require training and its foliage is light green rather than a more attractive dark color. Scab resistance is moderate and can be controlled with fungicide sprays. Desirable is not an exceptionally heavy bearer, but as an older tree it is the most regular producer of crops of high quality pecans. Nuts/lb - 39; percent kernel Western can grow and bear nuts with less management than any other variety in the far west. The tree is strong, easy to train and productive, coming into production in 7 to 8 years. Western is highly susceptible to scab disease and should be grown only in west Texas. Nuts/lb -52; percent kernel Pawnee is a new, extremely early-ripening variety recommended especially for the Texas Panhandle. It is a medium-size pecan with good kernel quality. Additional years of evaluation are needed before recommending it for all of Texas. It appears to have a natural resistance to aphids, which are a leading pecan pest. Nuts/lb - 50; percent kernel Caddo is an excellent yard tree in all of Texas because of strong limbs, scab resistance, early ripening and attractive foliage. Its nuts are very small but have high-quality kernels. The trees begin to bear in 5 to 6 years and tend to bear well annually. Nuts/lb - 63; percent kernel Cheyenne is a very productive, smaller tree which begins to bear a high quality nut in only 5 to 7 years. Cheyenne is particularly susceptible to aphids. It can be grown in all but the northern panhandle area of Texas. Nuts/lb - 51; percent kernel Cape Fear is a good yard tree for east and south Texas because of its strong, easy-to-train limbs, high yield and scab resistance. The trees begin to bear in 5 to 7 years; however, the kernels are only fair quality and the foliage is highly susceptible to fungal leaf scorch. Nuts/lb - 47; percent kernel Oconee is a 1989 USDA release that has good potential for east Texas and the Gulf Coast. It has very good disease resistance and large nuts of about 56 percent kernel. It is suggested for trial only. Houma is a 1989 release that has good potential for east Texas and the Gulf Coast. It has excellent disease resistance and medium size, highquality nuts with nearly 55 percent kernel. It is suggested for trial only. Late-pollen-shedding Varieties Sioux is an outstanding yard tree because of its strong, easy-to-train limb structure and extremely high-quality, small nut. It has moderate scab susceptibility and will require fungicide sprays during periods of high humidity. Nuts/lb - 62; percent kernel Wichita is the most productive pecan grown in Texas and is ideally adapted to central and west Texas. Although it has serious scab problems in the humid areas and freeze problems in the far north, the tree is very vigorous, productive and begins to bear in only 5 to 7 years. Wichita develops "V" limb angles that split and require careful training. It tends to be a poor-bearing, unattractive tree if it is not well managed. Choctaw is a good yard tree because of its beautiful foliage, scab resistance and high yields of large, high-quality pecans. Unfortunately, Choctaw requires the very best soil and management; otherwise, it will fail. Nuts/lb - 38; percent kernel Tejas is a good yard tree for west Texas. The tree is extremely vigorous and large, producing small leaves and good-quality pecans. It is highly susceptible to scab disease and should be grown only in the drier areas of the state. Nuts/lb - 59; percent kernel Kiowa is a newer variety that has good limb structure, attractive foliage and large nuts. It begins to bear at about 6 years of age and bears good crops, but nut quality has been inconsistent. Nuts/lb 39; percent kernel Forkert is an old Mississippi variety that is little known, but rapidly gaining popularity in Texas because of its excellent nut quality. Nuts/lb - 42; percent kernel Maramec is a fair-quality, large pecan which has produced strong trees and consistent production in Oklahoma. It is recommended as a yard tree for north Texas. Nuts/lb - 42; percent kernels Mohawk is a fair yard tree for north Texas. It matures early - ahead of fall frosts - and has strong limb structure and beautiful foliage. It bears heavily, but like other varieties with very large nuts, the nuts are poorly filled as the tree ages. Nuts/lb - 33; percent kernel -59. Shoshoni is an early ripening variety for the Panhandle and north Texas. The tree is very productive and begins to bear in only 5 to 6 years. It begins alternate bearing at an early age, which limits its usefulness as a yard tree except in the colder north where later maturing varieties are vulnerable to fall freeze injury before the nuts mature. Nuts/lb - 43; percent kernel Burkett is an old variety that is common across Texas, but is recommended only as a yard tree in west Texas. Do not plant Burkett in the rest of Texas because of disease and insect problems. Nuts/lb - 42; percent kernel Varieties provided by John A. Lipe, Larry Stein, George Ray McEachern, John Begnaud and Sammy Helmers Extension Horticulturists Texas A&M Page 6 Permian Basin NUTS

7 Mr. Michael Clawson County Extension Agent Agriculture/Natural Resources Ector County Texas AgriLIfe Extension Service This is my first opportunity to contribute to the Permian Basin Pecan Newsletter since I moved to Ector County. For those of you who are not aware, the Ector County Extension Office has undergone some recent changes in faculty. On September 15 th, I started my new role as the County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. The uniqueness of the situation is that my wife, Shawnte, also started her new career as the County Extension Agent for Family & Consumer Sciences in Ector County. We are thankful for the privilege to work together, blessed to have the opportunity to serve the residents of Ector County and the Permian Basin, and excited about the potential to provide quality educational Extension programs for our clientele. To share a little background about myself, I was raised on a cotton, grain sorghum, and wheat farm in southern Bailey County (30 miles south of Muleshoe, Texas). After graduating from West Texas A&M University, I started my Extension career as the Assistant County Extension Agent in Liberty County. For your information, Liberty County sets in southeast Texas, halfway between Houston and Beaumont. In Liberty County, my primary job responsibilities focused on 4-H and Youth Development. However, I was involved in planning and implementing agriculture programs related to rice, grain sorghum, foage, and beef production. In Liberty, I also had my first experience working with producers in pecan production. After 2 years as an Assistant County Agent, I transferred to the Rolling Plains of Texas as the County Agent for Agriculture in Motley County (Matador, Texas). I worked with the residents of Motley County for 3 years in cotton, range, beef cattle and wildlife production. From there, I moved to the northern Panhandle to serve as the Ag Agent for Sherman County. The county seat of Sherman County is in Stratford, Texas which is 85 miles north of Amarillo. In May, 1998, I accepted the Ag Agent position in Swisher County (Tulia, Texas). After eleven and half years in Tulia, my family and I decided that we needed a change and new challenges. I have always believed that change does you soul, your body, and your health some good. And challenges should always be welcomed and encountered with enthusiasm. For the past 8 weeks, our lives have definitely gone through changes, and the challenges that have been presented to us have kept us on our toes. I am looking forward to working with the Permian Basin Pecan Committee and the pecan producers in the area. My experience and knowledge in pecan production is limited. (However, it is amazing what your brain can retrieve from it s archives stored over 18 years ago when I worked with pecan producers as an Assistant County Agent). I plan to utilize some of you as educational resources to train me in pecan production. My goal is gain knowledge and develop into a valuable resource contact in pecan production for Permian Basin clientele. Volume 1, Issue 3 Page 7

8 Texas AgriLife Extension Service United States Department of Agriculture Texas A&M University System c/o CEA AGNR 2445 E. HWY 80 Midland, TX ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Non Profit Org US Postage Paid Midland, TX PERMIT NO. 412

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