Pecan Harvest Time

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Last year, Hurricane Ivan ravaged areas, damaging the pecan crop, resulting in the shortest crop in 50 years.

But now things may be looking up for them just in time for the holidays.

The sound of machines cracking pecan shells is a good sign for many pecan growers, who rake in extra income, and even better for pecan buyers.

Sandi Hodge works with Shute Pecan Company.

She says, "The crop has been really good, its come in a little later than we expected but its been a good crop, its probably going to end up being a moderate crop.”

Heavy rains in March delayed harvest three to four weeks.

Sonya Harrison works with Troy Simms Pecan Company, she says, "Everything was a little late this year, a lot of produce not just pecans."

Steve Park also works at Shute Pecan Company, "Initially, we was probably estimated to get 15-20 million pounds, but with the weather cutting it short we gone probably would up with 10 million pounds instead."

Weather has all but cut out most of Mobile’s supply which means they have to rely on southeast Alabama for pecans.

Hodge says, "They lost a lot, we're getting a lot of customers in our retail from Mobile."

And with prices ranging from 40 cents to $1.50 per pound, sellers will keep coming.

Erik Sanders is one of them, he's sold for about 20 years, and just sold 22 pounds.

He says, "My grandmother picks 'em up for baking pies, mostly so we do pretty good by selling them to the family.”

Harrison says, "People use it for various things which really comes in handy for the season.”

The fear of bad weather however, has some folks putting pounds of the tasty pecans away for rainy days. Too much rain will produce soggy, wet, unusable pecan crops.