By Clint Thompson
This year’s pecan crop has the potential to be really strong, though harvest season is still a few months away. The question is will market pecan prices also be good for growers following last year’s down production season?
Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Extension pecan specialist, provides an outlook on the current market situation facing pecan producers.
“We’re cautiously optimistic on price. Everything that we’re told right now is that demand is great. The domestic consumption has gone up 32% since 2016. That’s driving a lot of this demand and the market,” Wells said. “I’ve talked with a lot of the shellers out there. What they’re telling me is that we should see good prices for the growers even with the big crop this year if the demand continues with what it has been doing the last few months.
“We had a down year last year so that drove prices up. Certainly, demand is there right now.”
Pecan production in Georgia was estimated at 70 million pounds in 2021. That was not even half the crop Georgia produced in 2020. But it led to improved prices a year ago which appears to have carried over into this season.
Pecans are an alternate bearing crop, meaning one year they will produce a heavy crop load likely followed by a very light year. Growers should expect an improved crop this season.
“It’s definitely a good crop. I don’t think it’s going to be any kind of a record crop, but it’s a really good crop. Two years ago was a really good crop, but this (year) will certainly be a lot better than last year,” Wells said.