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by C. Santerre

Flavorwise and texturewise pecans are the "Queen of the Edible Nuts. " This has been verified by salters, bakers, confectioners and ice cream manufacturers in America and western Europe. Hickory nuts and macadamia nuts are close behind, but are available only in limited supply. Pecans are among the nuts highest in oil content. In general, the varieties of nuts with the highest oil content are also rich in flavor and tender in texture. Some varieties of pecans (i. e. , Schley and Curtis) have been shown to contain as much as 76% oil. The oil in pecans is highly unsaturated, which means it is desirable from a nutritional standpoint but that it is also highly susceptible to oxidation which can cause pecans to tum stale and rancid. Pecans used in confections, bakery goods, cereals, or in snacks are more subject to staleness and rancidity than most nuts because these products are often stored at ambient temperatures. For this reason, pecans are considered to be semi-perishable and are not used in some "fine" products due to their limited shelf-life. Research at the Georgia Experiment Station has shown that raw pecans or most pecan products may be held in good condition for more than 20 years if freezing is the mode of preservation. However, development of new products demands that pecans be stored at ambient temperatures for extended intervals. Pecan 'meat' is easily bruised during shelling and handling.
Download Pecan Technology epub
ISBN: 0442005997
ISBN13: 978-0442005993
Category: Engineering
Subcategory: Engineering
Author: C. Santerre
Language: English
Publisher: Springer; 1994 edition (June 1, 1998)
Pages: 164 pages
ePUB size: 1826 kb
FB2 size: 1686 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 974
Other Formats: doc docx lit lrf

This is an expensive textbook (around $200 a copy in 2013) but well worth it if you want to know about the pecan industry and in case you want to know how to develop and manage a pecan orchard.

I recently bought 18 acres of a pecan orchard in Georgia. Before doing so I bought this book and started to learn the history of the industry. It is all here. It is very straightforward and objective as you would expect from pecan researchers. It starts describing how the American Indians used to pick pecans for their diet and also for survival during winters. Pecans are an excellent source of nutriment and can be stored for many months at room temperature and when stored at just above freezing can be preserved for years.

You have two main groups of pecan nuts. You have the native pecans which the American Indians had and the improved varieties which have been around for about 120 years or so. Probably the most famous of the improved variety is the Stuart which is a larger size than the Native but also fairly resistant to pests which is a big plus. Pictures showing the difference between the Native Pecan and the improved varieties such as Schleys, Wichita, Elliot, Moneymaker are shown.

If you have 2 or less acres of pecan trees you can do fine with hand rollers and buckets but if you have more acreage there are methods which you may want to buy or contract to bring your harvest in. Pecan harvesting looks like an easy way to make money but it is very counterintuitive and is very risky. The main reason for this is that the pecan tree yield can vary immensely despite doing "everything right" in regards to tree trimming, using pesticide sprays to prevent insect infestation, harvesting with machines and finding a good buyer. Also the cost per pound can vary immensely so the textbook advices great caution when going into this line of work. Best advice is to proceed slowly and with caution till you fully understand what all the variables may be. There are many would-be farmers who have lost their farms due to overly optomistic projections of their harvest yield and become unable to make the payments on their new bought and very expensive pecan harvesting equipment so let the buyer beware when entering this field. A new pecan harvester from Savage Co. can run $ 15 - $30 K. Not cheap. Shaking of trees can run $ 10 a tree and so your profit margin run thin real fast at this rate. So start your orchard harvesting slowly before going full bore in the business. Otherwise you will go belly up like many Georgia farmers did in the 1950's during a boom and bust cycle. Learn from those who proceeded you and learn from those who failed before you. Don't repeat what they did. It is a risky business but a rewarding one if you know what you are doing.

From the time a improved pecan sapling is planted to the time it starts producing a small quantity of nuts is about 8 - 10 years. Irrigation is recommended especially in potential drought prone areas of New Mexico and Texas. Drought can wipe out your crop and irrigation of course mitigates against this risk.

In Middle Georgia there are huge acreages planted in pecans. Orchards can be 1 to 4 square miles and the good news is that one the trees mature they keep on making nuts for up to 100 years. Pecan Technology recommends you not mix cattle and pecan trees. Keep out the animals because manure will hurt the quality of the pecans. If a buyer sees manure in the load of pecans you bring; he probably won't buy them.

China and India (not mentioned in this book) but according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article (go to the internet to find) indicates that they buy about 30 - 40 % of the current America crop which is a huge increase in demand. In 2012 pecan prices reached about $ 1.90 but in 2013 the price was $1.10 which indicates that the best way to approach pecan production for profit is to not stake you whole livelyhood on it. In a year when the prices are low you should not allow yourself to be hurt because this should not be your main production crop. When prices are high like in 2012 then you will have a decent profit to put away cash reserves for when the harvest of nuts is not great and prices may not be high. Some savvy farmers freeze their harvest in deep freezes and wait for better times. This is another way to go.

Other topics in this book besides the attibutes of different varieties of improved types are how to grow pecans, proper spacing of trees, impact of irrigation, spraying for pests, best grasses for use underneath the trees, drying of pecans after harvesting, shaking of trees to harvest early, freezing of pecans to store and then sell when the price of pecans is higher. It is both fascinating and lucrative for the prospective owner of pecan orchards to learn as much as they can about the pecan industry before proceeding to invest in pecan orchards and it is recommended you start with this book. Good luck and proceed with caution in your pecan adventure. You should do allright if you do your homework and don't get in too much of a hurry with your pecans trees and business plan.
Extremely over priced!
I bought this book related to the positive reviews; however I was not impressed with the content or how it could be applied to my orchard.
Save your money, google or you tube provide more/better information than this book, and it's free!
Santerre's book is written by a man passionate about the history, cultivation, and economic return of growing pecans. The book is well written and organized.