It’s a matter of survival for pecan producers. After a season in which prices were drastically low, farmers need to cut costs, not corners.
Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist, emphasizes the importance of reducing input costs, starting with lime applications.
“Of course, we know orchard soils need to be around 6 to 6.5; that’s where your pH needs to be. If you’re in that range, there’s never been a study that has shown any advantage to liming beyond that. Once you get that pH to 6 to 6.5, if you check your soil samples every year and you’re in that range, you don’t necessarily have to apply any lime,” Wells said. “I think probably in most cases, we could go to applying lime maybe every third year or just look at your soil samples and see and do it when it falls below 6.0.”
If growers only apply lime every third year, it could save producers as much as $27 per acre.
“On really sandy soils a lot of times, pH is going to drop faster. So, you’re going to want to keep any eye on that,” Wells said. “Of course, your herbicide strip is going to drop faster than in the middles where you have some vegetation. I would do your sampling based on the herbicide strip.”