Pecan Production: Fears of Oversupply on Minds of Growers

Jim Rogers Pecan

By Clint Thompson

A 200-million pound production season is in the near future for Georgia’s pecan producers. That’s a belief shared by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells.

Georgia pecans
Lenny Wells

It’s also a concern on the minds of growers in the Southeast. If the leading pecan-producing state expands that much in the next few years, due to more trees coming online with production, that could create a problem for farmers looking to sell their pecans come harvest time.

“That’s definitely a concern on every pecan grower’s mind is all the trees out there that’s going to be in production. We’re already seeing it affect the state crop. We’ve had years recently where if you go out and evaluate the crop midseason, and if your mind is calibrated to what that crop looks like; what it used to mean 10 to 15 years ago was a lot lower crop than what it is now. What used to look like a 40 million-pound crop 10 years ago now looks like an 80 or 90 million-pound crop,” Wells said.

“We’ve just got so many more trees out there. That’s definitely an issue on everybody’s mind. We’ve got over 200,000 acres of pecans in Georgia now. Georgia’s not the only place planting them. There’s more pecans that are going to be produced in the world and we definitely have to find a way to get rid of them.”

That’s why it was a “huge deal” recently that India reduced tariffs on pecans by 70%. It will assist producers who have suffered in recent years through suppressed prices. Another export market is essential if growers are going to remain sustainable now and into the future.