The increase from 200,000 to 12 million pounds of pecan production in the 30 year span from 1967 to 1997 of the zinc research in the Trans Pecos area of Texas is more than a coincidence (USDA Agricultural Statistics, Texas Department of Agriculture, 1997). This comparison is more justified than in other areas because lack of zinc was the limiting factor in that area. The zinc nutrition problem that confronted the industry in 1965 has been solved. Obviously, the efforts of a number of hard-working pecan growers and horticulturists were instrumental in securing this massive production increase.
There has been a long, unsuccessful struggle to develop a rootstock that will facilitate zinc root absorption. A small percentage of pecan seedlings will absorb and transport zinc. Zinc-regulated transporter proteins have been found in some pecan seedlings that promise to revolutionize the pecan industry and other species. This development is the future to which we can all look, for all of our zinc-deficient species. The preceding horticulturist and agronomists cited in this sections have discovered the problem. Now the next generation, using advanced technology like zinc-regulated transporter proteins, will eliminate the expense of foliar sprays and soil treatments.
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