LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Pecan Specialists are projecting Georgia's pecan production will fail to meet projections by as much as 20 million pounds.
Experts are blaming the cloudy weather towards the end of September for the reduction and one South Georgia pecan farmer says he's behind schedule.
It's harvest time for pecan farmers and Roy Goodson says it's going slower than normal.
"Yield is probably less than what we thought it was going to be," said Roy Goodson, Goodson Pecans.
Experts are projecting pecan production between 90 to 100 million pounds, that's 20 million pounds less than what they projected a month ago at the start of harvest season.
"I wouldn't be surprised if they don't drop it to 80 or 90," said Goodson.
Experts says this Fall had warmer temperatures followed by heavy rainfall. Goodson says sunlight is important for growing pecans and it was lacking a couple of months ago.
"We had low light intensity in August and part of September and it's resulted in big nuts and light nuts that aren't filled out," said Goodson.
Goodson says they're also fighting an unknown disease affecting the crop.
"About the first of September it started showing up a black watery stuff inside the nut and they don't know they haven't seen it before," said Goodson. "This is the first time we've seen it."
Goodson says he has a lot of work to do and is hoping to finish harvesting before Christmas.
"Normally I'm finished by Thanksgiving and I'm just trying to wind it up now so we're a week, 10 days, 2 weeks short," said Goodson.
Pecan Specialist also say growers were also fighting spider mites in September. Growers had to apply additional spray applications to preserve their crop.