Hugo Pape's 1957 President's Address

Hugo Pape's 1957 President's Address

Pecan Research

PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS H. C. PAPE Seguin, Texas Fellow members of the Texas Pecan Grower's Association: We, as officers, want to welcome you to South Texas for our 36th annual convention. We believe your visit to San Antonio will be a very pleasant and instructive one. Our committees have worked hard to give you a good program. During the past years the main problems confronting pecan growers has been organization, research-extension, and marketing. I am glad that some progress has been made to correct these problems, but we have made only a small beginning. It is up to you and me and the other pecan growers to continue to put forth special effort to correct these problems. The main feature of our convention program this year will be marketing. You will hear several speakers discussing this topic. I would like to discuss briefly the other two problems-organization and research-extension. Organization: We have in the Texas Pecan Growers Association, one of the finest and oldest organizations of its kind. We cover a large territory---nearly a thousand square miles, divided into four districts. It takes four years to make the rounds, to have a convention in each district. Our membership has fluctuated in each district during the four years. It increases during the year where the convention is held and then gradually goes down the next three year.

How Can We Correct This? Permit me briefly to relate how this problem was solved in my home county and it's relation to interest fostered in our state organization. In Guadalupe County two years ago, we organized the Guadalupe County Pecan Growers Association. The objective of our organization is to improve the knowledge and management of its members---To promote the pecan industry, by educating its members thru scientific and technical information available through the County Extension Agent and A&M College Extension Service, to exchange ideas between members of the organization and correlate its program with the Texas Pecan Growers Association. We have eight specific projects, each with a chairman and committee. They are---variety studies, pecan tours, insect control, crow control, pecan show, irrigation, disease control and fertilizers. We have about fifty active members and have created a local interest in pecans never thought possible. Our membership in the state organization has increased over one hundred percent during the past two years. I would also like to point out another advantage of strong county pecan organization, that is---one is able to stimulate interest in pecan production. As an example: When we first organized in Guadalupe County there was not a grower in the county who was controlling the pecan nut case bearer. I grant you that a few growers, some years ago, did spray, but became discouraged when they failed to control. After organizing our pecan growers and working closely with our county agent, Extension Service and Research Experiment Station, we set up two insect control teams and received good control. In 1956 the work was continued by 15-20 growers who sprayed with good results. Therefore, we feel that a county organization stimulates the interest in pecan production. The county Extension office can give more assistance to an organized group like this that has a desire to know more about its particular industry. Therefore this type of a county organization is conducive to a stronger state association. I would, therefore, strongly urge pecan growers in every county to organize a county pecan organization with the help of their county agents and officers of the state organization.

RESEARCH AND EXTENSION: Hereto we have made a good beginning. We have made wonderful progress considering the little money and manpower that has been allocated to this problem of research and extension work. We, as your directors, during the year, made special effort to get more money appropriated for pecan research and extension work. So far, we have had very little result but if we keep after our representatives long enough, we will get our rightful share. It is a disgrace and a great loss to our pecan industry in Texas to lose such a capable and ambitious young man as Dr. A. H. Krezdomn. It is inadequate to have only one part-time Pecan Extension Specialist as Mr. Blueford Hancock to cover the entire state of Texas. We have the equivalent of one-half of one man's time devoted to pecan research in the entire Texas Pecan Experiment Station program. Only recently has the research which the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station has been conducting on disease and insects of pecan been suspended. Our state once was the leading producer of pecan in the world, a position we no longer maintain. I believe one of the primary causes of this loss of leadership is due to the miserably small amount of money devoted to research and extension for pecans in Texas. In 1954 Louisiana spent \$3.23 and California \$24.47 per 100 acres farm land on agricultural research and extension work. In 1954 Texas spent less than$1.50 per 100 acres of farm land, and ranks 14th in this respect. I do not know what portion of the above funds is slated for work with pecans, but ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you that it is pitifully small. The pecan crop in Texas returns 7 to 10 million dollars to the growers each year and is of considerable additional value to buyers, shellers and processors. Production of pecans could easily be doubled in a few years with proper research and extension services. The way I see it, to accomplish this we must do two things. First-we must have a stronger state association and many strong county associations. Then we have to make known our demands to the proper authorities. It is our own fault that this pitiful condition exists in the pecan industry. We have been too easily satisfied in the past. Fellow pecan growers, the time has come for action. We cannot produce pecans profitably in a haphazard way. We must have a modern scientific grove management program. We cannot do this alone as individual growers. We must have a stronger association and a more adequate research and extension service which is rightfully ours, and gentlemen, it is up to you and me to accomplish this. Organize more strong county organizations that will work closely with the state association and thus present a united front with our requests to state and federal representatives. It has been a pleasure to work with men of the caliber of my fellow officers and the pecan growers of Texas. I deemed it a great honor to serve our fine Texas Pecan Growers Organization and am looking forward to the future with great anticipation for its continued success. Thank you for your kind attention.

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