Pecan Problem

By Ben Wolf
Monday, December 4, 2006

The past few years have nearly made some pecan farmers go nuts.

"'04 was hurricanes and the trees suffered damage and the end of '05 year was a severe drought," said pecan farm owner Buck Paulk.

Mix that with a natural low pecan season this year and that makes for some hard times and some high prices for pecan companies.

"The price is probably a third higher than what it was last year, and of course we don't like it, but we've had to pass it along to our customers. Obviously you know it goes back to the consumer," said south Georgia pecan company CEO Jim Worn.

Despite Georgia's output projected to be 19 million pounds below usual expectations, farmers aren't too worried.

"We're kind of in a niche market so there will be a price increase there, but we're selling a premium product and people will usually be willing to spend a little more money," said Paulk.

"It's just a good tasting nut. Everyone thinks of the holiday season. They think of pecans. Pecan pies, pastries, or cakes," added Worn.

Now that more expensive bite of pecan pie might mean a little more to you. Despite the low amount of pecans this year, farmers say it's quality over quantity and their crops are better than ever.