Pecan growers concerned about winter warm spells - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pecan growers concerned about winter warm spells

Pecan grower, Roy Goodson showed off the buds that have already sprouted due to this year's unseasonably warm winter. (Source: WALB) Pecan grower, Roy Goodson showed off the buds that have already sprouted due to this year's unseasonably warm winter. (Source: WALB)
Pecan grower, Roy Goodson (Source: WALB) Pecan grower, Roy Goodson (Source: WALB)
Buds on a pecan tree (Source: WALB) Buds on a pecan tree (Source: WALB)
Roy Goodson's 130-acre pecan grove (Source: WALB) Roy Goodson's 130-acre pecan grove (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Pecan growers are worried about this year's unseasonably warm winter.

Pecan grower, Roy Goodson showed off the buds that have already sprouted.

Because of this, Goodson's 130 acre-grove could be affected by any significant cold snaps. 

"We have not had much cold weather, the sap has already started coming up," said Goodson, and a good indicator that pecan buds have sprouted.

Once the buds pop open, the leaves will also bloom.  

"The first bud gets frozen we won't have nuts on it this year, it will be next year before it can have nuts again," explained Goodson. 

Luckily for Mr. Goodson, the leaves didn't sprout out of the buds which means they were less likely to be affected by freezing temperatures.

But he's not out of the woods quite yet given the buds sprouted three weeks ahead of time. 

UGA professor Dr. Lenny Wells said there wasn't enough chill hours this year, only 358 hours as opposed to the 559 in 2015. 

"If you don't have enough chill hours, you don't have enough bud breaks at the same time," said Goodson.

His pecan varieties could sprout at different times. 

But he was hopeful that God will allow him to see another 1500 pounds as he did last year.

"He says he won't give us anything we can't handle," remarked Goodson, and since 1971, he's built for whatever mother nature throws at him. 

"All of this is a part of what pecan farmer has to deal with," said Goodson. 

Goodson said if he could make it to the end of month without temperatures falling below 32 degrees, his grove would be fine.

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