Georgia pecan growers are enjoying a good crop this year. ButUniversity of Georgia experts say last year’s bad crop will continueto haunt shoppers, creating higher retail prices.Over 100 Million-Pound Crop Expected”After the devastating crop last year, Georgia pecan growershave come back with estimates of 100 million to 110 million poundsof pecans,” said Tom Crocker, a horticulturist with the UGACollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”This is good news for growers, because their inventoriescoming into 1999 are low,” he said.Crocker, an Extension Service pecan specialist, said earlypecan harvesting is a definite marketing niche for Georgia growers.”This early market is good for Georgia growers,” hesaid, “but after Thanksgiving we may see a drop in the market.”Unlike other Georgia crops, pecans weren’t drastically affectedby this year’s drought. “It may have affected some of thenonirrigated trees and caused the nuts to not fill out,”Crocker said. “But for the most part, the quality of thecrop looks very good.”So what does this mean for shoppers who want Georgia pecansfor snacking and holiday baking?Prices Will Be High”Despite the decent crop this year, prices will stay relativelyhigh because of the low carry-over inventory from last year,”said Wojciech Florkowski, a CAES agricultural economist.”The retail prices are going to be at least as high aslast year’s prices,” he said. “And last year’s priceswere high because of the poor crop.”Florkowski has worked closely with the pecan industry for thepast 10 years. He says wholesale pecan prices have risen $2 perpound over the past four years.Higher wholesale prices turn into higher retail prices. “Thisyear, if you can get shelled pecans for $6 a pound, that’s good,”he said. “The prices are quickly moving up into the $7 range.”Wholesale pecan prices have been exceptionally high over thepast few months due to low supplies from last year. “We’veseen very little product movement because there was very littleinventory from last season,” Florkowski said. “The carry-overfrom last year is one of the lowest on record.”Florkowski said retailers sell pecans “first in, lastout.” “When they get the new pecans in,” he said,”they take last year’s pecans out of storage and sell themfirst.”For This Year’s Crop, Shop Farmers MarketIf you plan to buy more than just a pound or two, considershopping the nearest farmers market.”The farmers market offers a fresher product, and youmay get a better price because there’s lower overhead,” hesaid. “Farmers markets sell the pecans straight from thegrowers, and most growers don’t have cold storage facilities.They sell their nuts as they harvest them.””Desirables” and “Stuarts” continue tobe consumers’ favorites, Florkowski said. Both are widely grownin Georgia. Desirables have a naturally light-colored skin andkernel. Stuarts are prone to be darker-skinned nuts. But paststudies have shown they taste the same to consumers.(Photograph by Scott Bauer, United States Department ofAgriculture.)
OSBORN, Mo. – Due to overnight rain and more forecasted thunderstorms, US 36 Raceway officials have made the decision to cancel racing for Friday, May 24. Modified Madness will be rescheduled and the new date will be set in the upcoming week. Due to the many rainouts and rescheduled events the track has seen early in the season, US 36 Raceway officials will be making a few adjustments to the 2019 schedule in order give each class enough opportunity to race at the high banks. Those adjustments will also be made available in the upcoming week.