The annual Bell/Williamson County Pecan Show was held Thursday at the Bell County Extension Office. Sixty-one entries from 22 varieties were submitted from homeowners and commercial growers across the region. Pecan growers in Bell County typically harvest 2,000 to 3,000 acres annually, most of which are native trees.
The pecan entries consisted of 40 nuts, of which 10 were weighed, cracked and shelled; then the kernel was weighed separately. Calculations are made on the percent kernel and the number of nuts per pound. The percent kernel is an indicator of quality. Typically, the higher the percent, the more filled out the nut will be and more appealing in appearance. Uniformity of the sample and lack of damage to the kernel from insects also are indicators of quality.
In general, the percent kernel was below average, but was a direct result of the 2011 and 2012 drought conditions.
The 2012 winners are:
Grand Champion/Commercial Division: Robert Kaderka of Williamson County, Kiowa variety.
Reserve Champion/Commercial Division: Edward Zucknick of Williamson County, Sioux variety.
Grand Champion/Classic & New Division: Ken Gerstenberg of Bell County, Manden variety.
Reserve Champion/Classic & New Division: Darwin Karkoska of Williamson County, Apache variety.
Grand Champion/Native Division: Mia Fillpot of Williamson County.
Reserve Champion/Native Division: Orville Michalk of Bell County.
The Bell County Master Gardeners Association and other volunteers helped organize, weigh, crack and shell pecans for this year’s show. The Bell County Pecan Growers Association will host a grafting clinic in April and a field tour in September.
For more information about upcoming events, call the extension office at (254) 933-5305.