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Western Region Pecans: Harvest Just Picking Up, Demand Is Good

Ernst Undesser
From USDA December 13, 2017

Western Region Pecans: Harvest Just Picking Up, Demand Is Good

Tree shaker used for automated pecan harvest. Credit: Matt Lollar

Deliveries by growers to delivery points of Improved varieties were light. Demand was good for good quality pecans. Harvesting is still in its early stages, but is picking up considerably, with almost all areas currently harvesting. Numbers are expected to continue to increase leading up to Christmas. Harvested quality has been variable.

Some areas in the southeast region of New Mexico have seen crop damage from pecan weevils. The counties of Chaves, Curry, Eddy and Lea are currently under a 180 day quarantine restricting crop shipments.

The weather forecast for the next week calls for low temperatures in the mid-20s to low 30s, with highs in the upper 50s to low 60s. A 10-20 percent chance of precipitation is projected for Sunday, December 17. No precipitation is projected for the other days this week. The first light freezes of the season were experienced in late November, while the first hard freeze of the season across most of the region occurred last week.

Buying interest displayed by end users was fairly active for in-shell, gift pack use, and moderate for commercial sheller use as shellers continue to utilize inventories on hand or make purchases from other production areas or wait for additional availability of nuts. Trading was moderate for in-shell and gift pack uses.

Deliveries and purchases of Improved varieties mostly Western Schley were fairly light. Some growers are deferring making marketing decisions, opting instead to concentrate on harvesting and storing nuts for later sale. Interest in exporting pecans to China has been shown by buyers.

Prices paid to growers (from the start of the season through noon Tuesday, December 12, 2017) at buyers delivery point or f.o.b. the orchard including direct sales to end users, cents per pound in-shell of generally good quality pecans in lots of 20,000 pounds or less unless otherwise stated.

  • Western Schley 55-58% meat yield 250-278 mostly 253-273 occasional higher and lower
Ernst Undesser
From USDA December 13, 2017