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Georgia expects sizeable pecan harvest

Pecan harvest is in full swing in Georgia, the nation’s largest pecan growing state. “We are looking at a nice crop,” says Al Pearson with Pearson Farm, a fifth generation family farm. “Pecans have the natural inclination to be alternate-bearing and this is definitely an on-year,” added Pearson. 

Ideal weather circumstances
Production is up significantly from last year, driven by two important factors. It starts with last year’s crop. “In winter, trees need to be full of energy and some of this year’s goodness is due to last year’s weather circumstances that resulted in a good start for the trees going into the spring season,” mentioned Pearson. “Additionally, we had sunny and rainy days at the right time this season.” 

Harvest through Christmas
Pecan harvest started about three weeks ago and Pearson hopes to wrap up by Christmas. “In January and February, the days are short and there are many leaves on the ground,” he said. “Consequently, we would much prefer to be done before then.”

China is key export market
US pecan supplies are growing in line with increased demand for the nut variety. Over the last five to ten years, lots of new orchards have been planted, but it takes time for the trees to become productive. “After 5-7 years, the tree has some nuts, but it doesn’t reach full production until it’s at least 10-12 years old,” shared Pearson. “The new orchards planted over the last ten years will result in a gradual increase in production and allow the market to expand in an orderly manner,” he commented. The majority of pecans are being shelled prior to retail and wholesale distribution. The domestic market is the dominant market of sales, but outside the US, China is the largest export market.

For more information:
Al Pearson
Pearson Farm
Tel: (+1) 478-827-0750

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