The USDA released the first pecan report of the season last week on October 12th, 2023. The report covers pecan imports from Mexico prices paid to growers in the southern regions and crop quality and quantity throughout harvest.
The first report of the season this year also included a crop prediction spearheaded by major commercial growers across the US in the various states. The prediction shows a much smaller crop than most expected earlier in the season.
The 238 million pound pecan crop estimate possibly better accounts the losses in both Georgia and Texas with weather related conditions. The crop quality is still expected to be in the higher range but the quantities have dropped significantly.
This season is an “off” season however with the bigger crop losses in Georgia we are expecting to see much smaller yields this season. On our farm we are already into the Pawnee’s and seeing much lighter crop loads than last year. Many growers are reporting the same across the southeast.
The impact of the high winds from recent storms here in Georgia is what is causing the more unexpected crop losses. Nearly a month ago we saw Hurricane Idalia sweep across the southeastern portion of the state impacting growing regions here and in North Florida.
We have already seen a tightening supply here in the US with cold storage numbers falling to longtime lows and handler inventories, for what their worth, have shown similar patterns. With a short crop this year, supplies are likely to tighten even more.