Pecan growers across the southern US begin to monitor their irrigation more closely now as the tiny pecans on the trees begin to demand more water as they begin early sizing and the trees shed some of the nuts.
The “June drop” of pecans has not been significant yet this year, however growers are watching Desirables and Sumners among other varieties to monitor the nut drop. Desirable pecans can and will drop anywhere from 30% to 60% of the current crop load in the month of June depending on the conditions. Sumner trees also shed pecans, however they are typically slightly behind the desirable drop.
So far the US pecan crop looks good with a few exceptions. Growers from various parts of Texas are reporting little to no native pecans on the trees, and Oklahoma is also reporting a lighter native crop as well. While it is still early in the season and there may be more pecans than meets the eye in the native crop, most growers in the middle region of the US are reporting the native trees to have little to no crop.
In the southeast growers are reporting a good crop and in some cases a “great crop”. While it is early in the season and most of the trees will still shed more pecans into July and August, the crop that is currently on the trees looks great. The crop in the southeast area is still recovering from the hurricane damage from the year before last when hurricane Micheal wiped out a large portion of the crop along with a significant portion of planted orchards in the direct path. Growers in the region expect this year crop may bring fully recovery to the trees damaged in the sustained high winds.
In the southwest the crop is reported as a mixed bag, but not a bad crop. Most growers have reported an average crop, with several saying freeze damage may have an effect on their crop this year. Overall the western crop looks good with more young trees coming into production the crop is expected to grow again in New Mexico. California has also seen an increase in young pecan orchards being planted and is expected to increase its production in the coming years as well.
The US pecan crop still has about 4 months left to grow before harvest begins to ramp up in the southeast and march its way west, but most growers are optimistic about the quality of the pecan crop this year.