Alabama, Georgia pecan production forecasts increased

The Dec. 1, 2007 pecan production is forecast at 334 million pounds utilized (in shell basis), up 4 percent from the Oct. 1 forecast and 62 percent more than last year's crop. Only Georgia and Alabama have changed total production expectations since October, increasing their forecasts by 10 million and 4 million pounds, respectively.

Nationally, improved varieties are expected to produce 270 million pounds or 81 percent of the total, while native and seedling varieties, at 63.2 million pounds, make up the remaining 19 percent of production.

The 2007 crop is expected to be larger than last year's mainly due to the alternate bearing pattern typical of pecans. Exceptions to the up-cycle are in Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri where a severe Easter freeze limited production, and Louisiana which is in a down-cycle production season.

As harvest in Georgia passed the half way mark, it was evident the 2007 crop will be larger than earlier expected. Production is now expected to total 110 million pounds, 10 percent more than Oct. 1 and 162 percent more than last year.

The 10 million pound increase from Oct. 1 accounts for 71 percent of the U.S. increase. Trees put on a large nut set after the light crop in 2006 and the major growing area of southwest Georgia escaped most freeze damage in early April. Dry weather limited disease and insect problems and nut quality has been very good.

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