MINEOLA, Texas (KETK) – 2022 wasn’t the best season for the pecan crop, thanks to record drought.
Last year, pecan quality was inconsistent, as explained by Monte Nesbitt, Extension Specialist Horticulture Department at Texas A&M AgriLife.
“Quality of the crop was pretty significant, and that all means that people had pecans they were not satisfied with the quality, in some places really good and some places not,” Nesbitt said.
The Pecan House Country Store in Mineola is an old-fashioned general store that offers pecans, homemade nut butters and sweet and savory snacks. Owner Mike Griffith said 2022 was a hard one for the pecan crop.
“Had we been depended on a Texas pecan last year, we probably couldn’t have opened our doors, you know it was brutal,” Griffith said.
The Pecan House manager Pam Franklin says the lack of high-quality nuts affected how they ran their business.
“Instead of cracking thousands of pounds of pecans for our customers, you know, pick them up off of their yards, we had just a few hundred,” Franklin said.
Owner Mike Griffith said despite hurdles, he wanted to make sure his customers had pecans. He went looking outside the state.
“We pulled in, all of our pecans came from Georgia last year, which Georgia had a really good season,” said Griffith.
Right now people are seeing pecans on their trees, but the question is, will the drought that we’re currently facing affect them?
“We’re concerned about the dry weather, the heat, whether pecan farmers throughout Texas have enough water to keep up with the tremendous demand that the trees are under right now,” said Nesbitt.
Nesbitt said right now is a critical time for pecans, and water– or the lack thereof– can make or break the pecan crop.
“Water deficits now are going to mean the pecans will not develop the kernel, so you’ll have lightweight kernels, shriveling, and other certain stress-related problems,” said Nesbitt.
Griffith and Franklin are hopeful things will turn around and it will be a great season for this East Texas staple.