If you're a pecan lover, the news isn't good coming out of Georgia.
2013 was not a good year for nut producers in the state, and one University of Georgia expert predicts this year's crop could be even worse—if history repeats itself, according to a news release.
Lenny Wells, a pecan specialist, blamed 60 days of rainfall and the fungal disease, pecan scab, for decimating the 2013 crop.
A similar weather pattern in 2003 led to about a 75 million pound crop.
In 2004, the crop declined to just 45 million pounds.
“Too much rain and disease is not just bad for the year it happens, it’s bad for the next year, too," Wells said in the release. "All of that disease pressure, all of those cloudy conditions and some late-season pressure from some insect pests put a lot of stress on those trees at the wrong time. That generally doesn’t bode too well for the following year.”
Orchards that either yielded well or had no crop one year have the potential to rebound with decent crops the following season.
But orchards that had a good crop until August, then spiraled downhill, are likely to yield a poor crop the following season.
It's during August that the tree physiologically determine the following year's crop.
Any type of stress put on trees during the period, whether from insects, crop load, drought or other environmental conditions, will affect the following year's crop.
Last season, yields appear to be higher in an area that runs north of Highway 280, which runs through Crisp and Sumpter counties.
South of that line in areas, such as Tifton, Thomasville and southeast Georgia, production struggled in large part because of scab.
Forecasts indicate Georgia growers will harvest about 60 million pounds this year, slightly more than originally predicted.
Many growers are waiting to sell their crop because of low prices.
Between 10 million and 15 million pounds likely remain in storage.