By Clint Thompson
Estimating this year’s pecan crop in Georgia is easier said than done. That’s why Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Extension pecan specialist, steers clear when making such predictions.
Various factors can impact the crop between now and harvest time. It is compounded by the expected increase in the number of young trees coming online this year.
“Giving the crop estimate is something that I think is a loaded question. With all of the trees that we have planted over the last 10 or 15 years, we’re seeing more and more of those coming into production every year. I don’t really think anybody has a good handle on actually what an on-crop and an off-crop actually is in Georgia at this point,” Wells said.
“Starting in 2010 or so, the planting really started ramping up in Georgia. We were planting 10,000 acres a year and possibly more in some of those years. Anything planted six years ago or more is contributing to that crop now. Some of those are contributing quite a bit.”
This year’s crop will also be impacted by an expected increase in scab disease. The wet summer conditions felts across most of South Georgia made susceptible trees more vulnerable this year. That remains a big question mark.
“Like this year, we’ve got a lot of scab and a lot of Desirable (variety) out there, so how much of the crop is going to be taken from scab? There’s just a lot of questions out there that make me hesitant to even put a number on it,” Wells said.
Wells remains steadfast in his belief the crop will be smaller than last year but bigger than the crop in 2021.