Tropical Storm Irma knocked down pecan trees, broke tree limbs and blew nuts off the trees and out of their shucks when it moved through Georgia in September, but a local pecan expert is still optimistic about this year’s crop, estimating yields up to 100 million pounds. Lenny Wells, pecan specialist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Tifton, says the pecan harvest is well underway and farmers are taking advantage of dry weather and good prices. As a result, the pecan market softened in recent weeks, but Wells doesn’t expect the price to stay low for long. “We often see this trend when the nuts really start rolling in every year. The last several years, the price bumped back up again after a couple of weeks as many growers started holding pecans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen again,” Wells says. The crop’s development was ahead of schedule by about 10 days this year. All varieties are currently being harvested, and because of the early timing of nut maturity, Wells expects most of this year’s harvest to be completed by early December. Before pecans fully mature, they are enclosed in a green shuck, or husk. When Tropical Storm Irma moved through on Sept. 11, a lot of those immature pecans were knocked to the ground, rendering them useless.
Source: Tifton Grapevine