A new $4.4 million grant may greatly improve pecan production in the US. The grant was funded by the Specialty Crop Research Initiative through the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
New Mexico State University Research Associate Professor Jennifer Randall submitted the grant application in March. She says:
I think this will help our U.S. growers, as pecan is grown in 25 states, she said. It’s one of our native trees to North America, and there’s a lot of genetic diversity that has not been described, and growers are not yet reaping the full benefits. Although pecan has been grown as an industry for over 100 years, it’s still in its infancy as far as a crop goes, as the trees differ very little from native pecan trees. There’s a lot of room for improvement that will help growers.
NMSU will be working on the research project along with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; USDA in Texas, Georgia and Louisiana; the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; and the University of Arizona.