Pecan Growers Say This Year’s “Most Expensive Crop”08/21/2015
Georgia’s pecan industry is one of the fastest expanding agriculture crops, but growers say this year’s is the most expensive crop they have ever grown.
This spring and summer’s frequent afternoon showers have caused a lot of disease problems for pecan growers, and it has been expensive fighting scab.
Roy Goodson is staying busy spraying his 190 acres of pecans in Worth and Lee Counties, fighting disease on his trees.
But the almost daily rains have made it hard to keep up, and expensive.
“You just couldn’t spray enough,” said Goodson Pecans owner Roy Goodson. “This time we’ve doubled up and tried to stay on a 10 day or two week schedule.”
Almost daily afternoon rains can wash off those fungicides, which means they have to do it again to be effective.
And all that spraying costs a lot of money.
“Sometimes we’ve used airplanes and ground spray. So that’s really putting on two sprays when we do that,” Goodson said. “We’ve got scab even after all the times we’ve sprayed, and expense we’re going to. We’ve still got scab on these nuts.”
Scab is a disease that can reduce the size and the quality of the pecans.
And in today’s world market, the size of the pecan determines how much farmers will make.
The cost to grow this year’s crop is high, but growers feel it will be fair to good, and the global demand is there.
“We’re in China, and that’s a good market,” Goodson said. “India is fixing to start into it. And some of these smaller countries are fixing to play a part in it also. So we’re optimistic.”
In 2014, Georgia growers got about $3 per pound for good quality Schley and desirable varieties.