US: Missouri pecan growers see much better harvests after last year's disappointment

Missouri area pecan growers are expecting better production this year compared to last years dismal totals.

“With the pecan industry you have a lot of highs and lows,” Joe Wilson said.

Wilson is an area pecan grower and co-owner of Missouri Northern Pecan Growers.

Following last years harvest of a mere 250,000 pounds of pecans in the Vernon and Bates County area, Wilson said he is expecting as much as 3.5 million pounds — almost double the average — out of this year’s harvest which began in mid-October and will continue into early 2018.

He said dramatic variations in pecan harvests are not uncommon — a low crop last year and good moisture this year contributed to the above average crop.

Wilson estimates the pecan industry adds between $7-8 million dollars to the local economy and creates jobs for more than 100 seasonal workers, many of whom return year after year.

“One thing we’ve seen in the last 15 years or so is that a lot more farmers are recognizing the value of their pecan trees and the price is higher for pecans now typically,” Wilson said.

He explained the price of uncracked pecans has tripled in recent years.

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