South Georgia pecan growers report bumper "off year" crop - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia pecan growers report bumper "off year" crop

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email
October 8, 2008

LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) - After a record Georgia pecan crop in 2007, growers say they expect the 2008 crop to be another excellent one. Despite the drought's effect, South Georgia pecan limbs are again heavy with nuts.

Lee County pecan grower Roy Goodson checks his trees, and likes what he sees.

 Goodson said "I think the Lord's been extra good to us, because we had a heavy crop last year. And we've got another heavy crop this year."

This normally would be the off year for pecan trees in South Georgia. But Goodson had to shake his trees early this year, to remove some of the pecans.

Goodson said "Because we had too many of them. If we hadn't shook them we wouldn't have had any limbs left on the trees."

Goodson repairs his irrigation equipment, and prays for forecast rain. The board member of the Georgia Pecan Association has been irrigating his trees most of the summer, and now is running sprinklers 12 hours a day, because water is essential during this critical time for his crop.

Goodson says without irrigation they would be in trouble, and even though it has been expensive to run, the irrigation should pay off come harvest time.

Goodson said "I think it's some of the best quality we've ever had. Because of the sunshine, because we got adequate water, it makes a big difference. We got a good crop set, so it's gonna be one of the best crops we ever had moneywise."

Last year top quality pecans like these brought between $1.25 and $1.75 per pound, and Goodson expects about the same price this year. A good rain this week, and he will begin harvesting the last week in October.

Last year Georgia produced a record 150 million pounds of pecans.  This fall, in the off year, ag experts predict to harvest between 75 to 80 million pounds.

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