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Danelle Cutting: Pecans still pestering people

The holidays can be a crazy time getting together with family and friends, but it can also be crazy around our office. The end of the year means lots of changes, tons of paper work, and questions from our clients. Here are a few popular ones this week:

Question: I have a lot of small pecans and some that have no nuts. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: This year, we had a rough time growing pecans. As I have mentioned before, many of the varieties are alternate bearing, so you have half a chance every year to have pecans, especially if you do not know what variety you have. One of the major reasons we have small nuts this year is because of the drought. When we were hit the hardest by the drought, it was the same time that the nuts were starting to develop. This caused us to have smaller nut size. I have also received calls about nuts not developing. This can be due to many reasons — the pollination was not successful, which can be due to the rains that we had when they were flowering, and the other problem can be due to fertilization. Of course, I recommend taking a soil sample before applying any fertilizer. Pecans also prefer to have additional zinc, so a soil sample is highly recommended.

Question: When is the last day for the Salisbury Farmers’ Market?

Answer: This Saturday, Dec. 19, is the last day that the market will be open this season. Be sure to pick up the last of your holiday shopping. They have delicious baked goods that will make the best stocking stuffers. There will also be N.C. apples, greens, and some great meat choices to cook for the holidays. If you want to keep in touch during the off season, be sure to get the vendors’ contact information, so that you can continue getting all of your local goodies.

Question: Do you still have space in the 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School?

Answer: Yes, but the registration is filling up fast. We also recommend that all applicants attend one of our informational sessions; the last one is in Cabarrus County on Jan. 5, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension office (715 Cabarrus Ave. W., Concord). We are accepting RSVPs to attend. You can call either the Rowan County office at 704-216-8970 or the Cabarrus County office at 704-920-3310, or visit the website at www.ncfarmschool.com. The website has additional information on joining the 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School and the application.

If you have questions concerning pecans, Salisbury Farmers’ Market, or the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School, call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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