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Lack of rain impacts production

Pecan prices remain high after Thanksgiving

Pecan prices are holding firm post Thanksgiving, a time when prices are anticipated to be lower. “We were really expecting prices to get soft after Thanksgiving because of the rush of shellers to get nuts into the plants and get everything done by Christmas,” says Lawton Pearson of Fort Valley, Ga.-based Pearson Farm. “Typically that abates after Thanksgiving. But the market is still firm for good pecans.” So firm, says Pearson, that he anticipates that overall, prices will average out 10 per cent higher than last year’s. “I think it’ll hold firm for the rest of this crop year because the crop is 60-70 percent in and there’s not a ton of nuts left to come in on the East Coast,” he adds. “Not in Georgia.” 

Supply shortage
Good prices are not a surprise given the shorter supply of pecans in Georgia. “Supply is steady but not what we expected. But not terribly light either,” says Pearson. The reason? Weather conditions that have included some two months without rain. “It really affected dry land pecans and quality has been excellent on irrigated pecans,” says Pearson. “It just cut into the volume that we thought was there so our volume is about 10 percent less.” 

Feeling the Mexican heat
Meanwhile, Pearson is anticipating competition on the supply side to come in from Mexico. “Last year the Mexican crop was as big as the United States crop which is a dramatic increase,” he says. “But overall there’s just not enough nuts to meet demand.” 

While Pearson doesn’t feel that pressure yet so much, he believes he could down the road. “We are so dependent on the weather to make crop that it can cut our crop by 20-40 percent in any given year if it gets wet,” he says. “If we have huge crops in the next four or five years, it could really impact us soon. But if we have really wet years, there are not enough nuts to go around.”

For more information:
Lawton Pearson
Pearson Farm 
Tel: 478 952 1906