Pecan trees weather drought quite well - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pecan trees weather drought quite well

September 13, 2007

Dougherty County --  The extreme drought in Georgia this year wiped out many crops, but that's not the story for many pecan farmers. They're hoping for one of their best harvests in years.

At first glance you may think the pecan trees at Sunnyland Farms are drooping because of our ongoing drought, but that's not the case. These tree limbs are actually filled with a heavy load of healthy pecans.

"We have had real good growing conditions, it was dry earlier and those of us who have irrigation really like to see dry weather because of the disease problems that we have on pecans. The dry weather is more conducive to growing pecans without disease and if we can add the extra water its good," says Larry Willson of Sunnyland Farms.

The crop did need a lot of watering during drier periods this year. Now, pecan farmers like Wilson worry about too much rain. If the end of hurricane season brings several tropical systems our way as it did in 2004, that could stand in the way of a good harvest.

"We don't want to see anything like that, but you never know, its September 12th and we have a long way to go," says Willson.

Only time will tell if the majority of these pecans make it to market safely, but if they do Wilson anticipates a crop that could be the best since 1993.

Growers say right now, they expect to get good prices when they start to harvest their pecans in October. They hope that won't change because of the weather.

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