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High Winds Killing Pecans in West Texas and New Mexico

The bustling pecan industry has changed from a side crop for farmers, to a global supply and consumption market where demand seems to continue to outpace the current global supply. With the majority of the pecan crop produced in North America, weather events in localized areas can have a big impact on supply to the pecan market. We all experience just how real this can be when hurricane Michael wiped out 50 million pounds in October (2018) while we slept and of course the long term removal of supply estimated to be between 9 – 14 million pounds per year for the next 3 – 4 years.

Earlier this week New Mexico received damaging high winds to the Mesilla Valley area and even into parts Mexico, and west Texas. The high winds have continued over the past few days causing damage to homes and businesses. The winds have hit pecan orchards pretty hard with estimates currently at 5% to 10% crop loss in the area. That may not sound significant but when you consider the amount of pecans produced in this region, losses ads up fast. The region produces roughly a third of the world pecan supply indicating that we may have already lost somewhere between 5 to 10 million pounds of the current years crop, with demand continuing to rise, savvy pecan buyers continue to watch the developments of the crop in the western US.

Damage from high winds across the Mesilla Valley, pecan terminals lay on the floors of the orchards.

You can see clusters of pecans blown from the trees all through the orchard floors. The high winds cause the terminals to twist and break off in sustained high winds.