Pecan farmers hopeful for good crop yield after three years of poor harvest

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 4:46 PM CDT
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South Georgia pecan orchards will soon be busy as growers start their harvest. Many are counting on this crop after several disasters in a row.

Georgia pecan growers need a good crop yield this year. That’s whether they have a hundred trees or hundreds of acres of trees.

Glenn Nessmith walks through his orchard and sees fruit on the trees that are almost ready for harvest. He has nearly 300 acres of pecan trees. They’ve seen rainfalls this year, coupled with irrigation, that helped produce what looks to be a good crop. Back in 2016, ’17, and ’18, hurricane winds knocked much of the crop to the ground before it ripened. Last year, drought took a toll on its own. He says growers need a good crop to offset losses from the past four years, but it’s too soon to get excited about this one.

“Can’t count your eggs until you get them in the basket,” said farmer Glenn Nessmith. “A lot can happen. We could have a hurricane come through and wipe us out.”

Georgia ranks first in the nation for pecan production, growing almost one-third of the crop by themselves. On average, they harvest about 88 million pounds of pecans.

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