State pecan crop worth $50 to $100 million - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State pecan crop worth $50 to $100 million

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Southwest Georgia is world famous for pecans.

The crop is worth $50 to $100million every year, but the size and quality of the crop can vary a lot year to year.

Too little or too much rain can harm the pecan crop, and they're just weeks before the harvest. Despite a wet start, the crop looks promising.

"It's the second of October we're about a week or so away from the harvest," said Larry Willson, Willson Farming Company Manager & VP.

Willson said this year's harvest should be strong even though heavy spring rain caused some scabs on the trees and nuts.

"Sometimes if you don't get a good cover when you spray, it can cause the quality to be poor and even causing the nut to fall off of the tree, said Willson.

Two years ago Willson had his largest crop ever, about a million pounds.

Last year it was way down to about 70,000lbs., this year it's in the air.

"One of the saving graces of the pecan industry the last few years is the Chinese have learned they really like pecans especially in the shell and that has kind of supported the market for the farmer," said Willson.

"You can crack some nuts and cut them and they look pretty good," said Willson, "or sister company Sunnyland Farms is in the mail order business and you're seeing a little effect from the economy."

Growers will begin harvesting pecans this month, and they'll wrap up around Christmas.


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