Texas pecan growers harvest lighter, but high quality, crop

11/05/2013 02:20:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Texas pecansCourtesy Texas AgriLifeUnlike Georgia, where wet weather decreased pecan quality, Texas growers report good quality from the crop they harvested this year.

The down side is that yields are off slightly, according to a news release.

A lingering drought in 2011 reduced yields to about half of normal. The following year, insect pressure was light enough that many trees set a crop so heavy that it broke limbs, decreasing quality.

This year, dry weather and a somewhat lighter crop combined to produce high quality nuts.

Even irrigated orchards are seeing adequate, although not high, yields.

“This year the crop is much shorter; it’s not that big of a crop across the state,” Larry Stein, Texas AgriLife Extension horticulturist, said in the release. “There are pecans—it’s not like it’s a total washout, and in certain places there are more pecans than we expected.”

How that will affect prices is unknown.

“The market (for growers) appears to be a little soft—there’s not a lot of activity,” he said in the release. “Basically, I expect they (wholesalers) are trying to figure what kind of crop we have across Texas and the rest of the United States. Availability will increase as we approach Thanksgiving.

“But make no mistake: There are pecans across the state and they are available now and for Thanksgiving.”

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