Pecan harvesting begins in Lowndes County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pecan harvesting begins in Lowndes County

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Pecan harvesting has just started for farmers.

Pecans are expected to do well this season even with the large amount of rainfall received over the last several months.

Workers sift through the first pecans harvested this season to separate the good nuts from the bad ones. 

First the trees are shaken. The harvester picks up the pecans, blows out the sticks and rocks and the pecans are placed in a cart behind the harvester. The cart is taken to the warehouse where cleaning and grading begins.

The first nuts harvested are pawnees. Desirables, the nuts most buyers prefer because of their quality won't be harvested for another couple weeks.

"Desirables use more chemicals because the scab gets really bad so we have to spray every seven days," said Juan Garcia, Shiloh Pecan Farm.

The thousands of acres of pecan trees at the farm takes a lot of tender, loving care.

For six to seven months, the trees are sprayed to protect the leaves. The leaves provide nutrients to the nuts.

"A tree's like a baby if you don't treat it good you're going to see it on your crop," said Garcia.

Pecans like other crops have felt the impact of the excessive rain from earlier this year.

"When you have excessive rain you have mold and fungus, something farmers refer to as scab, said Jim Worn, President of South Georgia Pecan Company. "It attacks the nut itself and affects the quality of the nut."

However, both the buyers and the farmers expect a good harvest this year.

"They'll still be good pecans but they just won't be as filled out or in as high yield as they've been the last couple of years," said Worn.  

Garcia says pecan trees show what you work hard for all year.

Shiloh Pecan Farm harvests about 25 varieties and two million pounds of pecans per year.


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