Dothan, AL It has been nine years since the Wiregrass area has produced a bumper pecan crop.
1963 was the best producing year of all time.
Sandi Hodge, Owner of Shute Pecan Company says:
"it's been a very short crop, we didn't anticipate that till towards the end we felt it was going to be a good year so we have all been a little surprised."
While unfavorable weather conditions have been the "major" impact on pecan growth, it has been a buildup of many things throughout the years.
Hodge continues with:
"We've had mild winters you know we've not had a good cold winter in a long time so there are several things we have kind of had a seasonal shift in the last few years and it's warmer much later in the year and I don't think the pecans like that. I think we are looking at trees that are a little stressed."
Hodge says pecans need a fair dose of dry spells and cold winters.
But in recent years that just hasn't been the case....
Steve Parker, Manager of Shute Pecan Company says
"On a normal year we have bought 40,50,60,70 to 80,000 pounds a day here. We haven't bought one load this year here yet which is terrible."
Although pecans are grown around the entire u-s, southern pecans have more to offer.
"We have a different type of soil and everybody wants ours they are just more flavorful and it's just a better pecan."
With a dead season, workers are already looking forward to next year…
"I've noticed a lot of good signs this year. I’ve noticed the foliage on the trees that have stayed on there a long time which is a great sign for the next year."
Despite poor weather conditions, sales have been up in retail departments because the pecan demand is still high.