Pecan growers in the eastern part of Georgia have been going through the orchards in an effort to assess damage and clean up what they can to salvage the remainder of their crop.
Georgia is the largest pecan producing region on the planet, with orchards spanning nearly the entire state; a significant weather event like hurricane Idalia passing through has the potential to disrupt large portions of the pecan crop.
Hurricane Idalia crossed into Georgia around 11am on August 30th about 2 weeks ago. Growers have now had time to assess the damage and losses are significant in the Southeastern part of the state.
Areas in the city of Valdosta have trees down and large portions of this year’s harvest on the ground. Wind speeds were exceeding 100 mph for sustained periods with gusts even higher. The high winds knocked much of the pecan crop to the ground prematurely in these areas and is now unsalvageable.
The high winds and prolonged deluge of rain caused some growers to lose not only much of this years crop, but also trees in the orchard which causes much more issues. Now the grower has to deal with long term loss of the tree as well as the immediate clean up in order to have any hope of salvaging any remaining crop that may not have been knocked down prematurely in the storm.
This years crop is expected to be an off year with last season production being an on year. With an already dwindling cold storage inventory and an “off year” the crop in Georgia’s southeastern region could further impact the availability of the overall supply this year.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the growers impacted by the storm.