Frances shakes pecans from trees too early - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Frances shakes pecans from trees too early

September 7, 2004

Albany- In Bill Cobb's Terrell County orchard, the trees have been shaken, but two weeks too early.

"If you look down through the orchard, you'll see the ground covered with green pecans," Cobb said. "Right now, I'm probably looking at 20 (percent) to 25 percent of my crops already on the ground."

High winds from Tropical Storm Frances blew over young trees, snapped branches and left perfectly good pecans ruined just a couple weeks before harvest.

"It hurts to lose real good pecans. Especially when you know the price is going to be high."

But instead, they'll turn black and be worth nothing.

"When you have a hurricane that comes in September, it's always the worst time to come."

And it could get worse with Hurricane Ivan moving through the Carribean. If it blows into south Georgia, it could devastate this year's pecan crop.

"With the pecans loaded like they are, what you see with a few trees, you could see the whole orchard like that."

What he has left on these trees is a great crop, there's just a little less of it.

"God answered some prayers and it lost a lot of strength before it hit. It could have been a lot worse."

Bill's one of many pecan farmers who hopes it doesn't get any worse before the trees are ready to be shaken and the harvest begins.