Heavy rainfall damages pecan orchard - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Heavy rainfall damages pecan orchard

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Recent rainfall is costing some farmers. Sunday night's storms caused damage to a Dougherty County pecan orchard.

Farm manager Gordon Chapman spent all day cleaning up damage at his 150 acre pecan orchard. He says his orchard has received 8 inches of rainfall within the last two weeks.

In less than two weeks, heavy rainfall caused tree limbs to snap in two, sending 40 pounds of pecans to the ground.

"We got about 5 and 1/2 inches here last night, and you know with the weight of the nuts and the weight of the water, and the wind, you know stuff like this happens,” said Gordon Chapman, Farm Manager.

Most of the damage was cleaned up early Monday as farm crews used a tractor to remove the fallen limbs and damaged pecans to a burn pile.

"We take equipment and pick it up and haul it to a burn pile, so we try to clean up the orchard as fast as possible,” said Chapman. “Because when we do harvest all of this debris would be in the way.”

Chapman says it's not uncommon for damage to happen as it gets closer to harvest season.

"We usually have this around harvest time, if you have a good crop,” said Chapman. “I would say we have about an average crop this year, but looking at the nuts on this limb it's pretty good."

Chapman says he won't know the quality of his pecans until that time and that he's had to invest more money into his crop because of the rainfall.

"This year we had more money tied up in this crop because of the rainfall,” said Chapman. “We had to spray more for scabs, we've had to spray more for insects. I've had mites I've had to spray three times for. Each time you spray for mites, it runs around 24 bucks an acre."

He's now looking forward to drier weather.

"Dry weather is perfect for pecan harvest,” said Chapman. “So, I'd like to see at least a couple of months of dry weather."

Chapman says the rest of the damage will be cleaned up within the next two days. He says he should know the quality of his pecans when harvest season rolls around on October 15th.

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