Bumper Year for Pecans

Wiregrass peanuts get a lot of attention, but some local growers are having the best pecan harvest in years.

People brought their pecans by the truckload into Shute Pecan Company on Friday morning, hoping to turn crop into cash.

"I had several trees in my yard and usually, I bring ‘em up here to the pecan place. They usually pay good money every year; I wanted to see what the price was bringing this year," says Francis McArdle.

Prices ranged from 70 cents to 75 cents a pound on Friday as this year’s crop came in three weeks earlier than usual. Scale operators work from sun up to sun down taking bag after bag from growers.

"Right now, the prices are good, because we went into the season with lower inventories than usual," says Jean Shute.

Dry weather appears to be good for pecans only, and some people are saying this year’s crop is the best they've had in a long time.

"We have a lot of rain periodically here in the growing stage; you tend to get more things like fungus and insect damage, but you don't see it this year. They are about as perfect as they can be," said Shute.

It turns out, the pecan tree is a resilient one. While the dry weather has had a negative impact on other crops, these pecans might be better than ever.

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, pecans are the state's leading "income producer" in the fruit and nut-tree category.