ANGIER, N.C. — On Saturday, September 11, 2021 the North Carolina Pecan Growers Association conducted their Fall Orchard Tour at Ronnie’s Berry Farm, Angier, NC. This was the first in person event the association had conducted in over two years because of COVID-19 and all were glad to be together. Ronnie and Linda Fish, owners of Ronnie’s Berry Farm were the most gracious host for the event. The orchard and all pecan related components were immaculate.
The weather was just gorgeous. Refreshments were available for the 8:00 am registration. Mr. John Taylor, Association President, welcomed the group of 60 enthusiastic and eager pecan growers.
Next, Mr. Ronnie Fish presented an “Overview of the Orchard site and Operations.” He was followed by Dr Mike Parker, NCSU Department of Horticulture, discussing “Pecan Growth and Development”.
This was followed by a pecan grower panel discussing “Irrigation Systems for Pecan Orchards”. Presenters were, Mr. Ronnie Fish, Ronnie’s Berry Farm, Mr. Jimmy Allen, Allen’s Family Orchard and Mr. Desmond Taylor, Taylor Pecan Company. Each presented a discussion of the irrigation system used in their orchard. This presentation generated interactions among the presenters and the attendees.
Next, Mr. Allen Thornton, NCSU Dept. of Horticulture, discussed “Insect, Disease and Weed Management”. Again a most interesting topic judged by the question’s and interaction observed.
Following a refreshment break courtesy of the Orchard Tour Sponsors, “Fertilizer Application, Timing, Soil Samples and Leaf Tissue Analysis” was addresses by Mr. Ronnie Fish, Dr. Mike Parker, and Mr. Allan Thornton. Here, again another discussion that precipitated interaction and question’s from the attendees.
Ronnie Fish discussed “General Orchard Management Concerns” His topics included a discussion of many orchard predators, birds (crows), deer fencing, squirrels, and other vertebrates. This session generated some legal question’s relative to the control of these pests.
Last on the packed morning agenda, was a walking tour to focus on “Equipment Descriptions and Demonstrations”. Mr. Fish demonstrated his cracking and shelling equipment and operation. This was followed by a walking tour to view Savage shaking and harvesting equipment with general discussion and experiences by Association members.
These educational events can only be presented with the generous financial assistance of our loyal and faithful sponsors. This 2021 Pecan Orchard Tour was sponsored by:
American Pecan Council
Indian Springs Pecans and Farm, LLC
NC Farm Bureau
Cape Fear Farm credit/AgCarolina
Taylor Pecan Company
Dark Branch Pecans
Allen Family Orchards
Coastal Windows and Doors
Elizabeth’s Pecan Products
Golden Kernel Pecan Company
Ronnie’s Berry Farm
CW Flowers Store
–Phillip R. Ricks, N.C. State University (retired)