The Path to Harvest
Like all farmers, at FICO we stay busy throughout the year to ensure that each year‘s harvest of pecans is of the highest quality.
Through the Seasons
Starting early March, male and female flowers emerge in the same tree. Irrigation commences at this time. Soon after, pollination occurs with only the action of the wind. The male flowers will release a yellow powder which will stick to the top of the female flower. After the flower is pollinated a pecan will start to grow and catkins will fall to the ground.
During the transition from spring to summer the trees develop their full canopy. In the midst of the summer the temperatures in the groves can be 10° lower than the surrounding areas because of the shade canopy. Summer is the peak irrigation season and includes readying equipment for the harvest in the fall.
When fall arrives and the pecans have matured, the husks protecting the nut begin to dry and will eventually split open. At that time, the farm turns into a hive of harvest activity: mechanical shakers grasp each tree and shake the trunk causing all the pecans to fall to the ground. They are then blown into rows, picked up by machines, cleaned and stored for processing.
After the harvest and while the trees are dormant, pruning of the tops and sides of the trees is a major focus. This will ensure healthy growth and robust nut production during the next growing season.