Many would-be holiday bakers are finding that one of their favorite ingredients is having a tough time this fall. As drought conditions in the South have worsened, and demand for Georgia pecans has risen in China, the perfect “storm” has arrived that is driving up Pecan Prices across the country.
Pecan trees in the United States account for approximately 80% of the world’s pecan crop. In Georgia, pecan season runs from late Fall through mid-winter. For years, Georgia has been regarded as the largest pecan producer. Even with this fact, the lack of water is causing many harvesting operations to increase their prices to consumers. Some other US states are reporting up to a 50% decline in pecan harvest numbers because of the absence of water.
At Pearson Farm, we have taken additional measures to make sure our prices remain low and affordable for our customers. Because we grow and process our own pecans, the water issues that have been discussed do not have as big an impact over our operation, as we can control everything from the ground up.
Many retail pecan outlets as well as mail order operations are really hurting because they have to purchase their pecans from another operation or grower. When the grower is struggling to water crops, prices will go up; this will be passed along to the reseller/retailer, and they will drive up the retail price of pecans. Right now, much of the pecan supply is low (because of the drought) and demand is high (because of the time of the year).
All pecan farmers that have invested in crop irrigation resources are not raising prices as their supply is just fine. Pearson Farm, for countless years, has worked diligently to ensure that our supplies, and our prices, are not impacted by drought conditions. We are proud that our pecan prices are extremely competitive and we continue to receive orders from around the country.
When pecan trees are not sufficiently watered, they will drop their nuts early. Furthermore, hot and dry conditions serve to keep nuts from opening; this makes mechanical shelling difficult as the husks must be open.