Improving Drought Conditions Come Too Late for Oklahoma’s 2013 Pecan Crop

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Though conditions in Oklahoma have improved over the past few months, two years of drought have taken a major toll on the state’s pecan crop.

Oklahoma produced 25 million pounds of pecans in 2012, but the 2013 projection is for less than 10 million pounds.

The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus talked with Dick Hoffman, who owns Hoffman Pecan Farm in Stillwater. There’s just one month left before the pecan harvest, and Hoffman says the nuts he’s seeing are smaller than usual.

The food manufacturers who typically buy pecans for products such as candy and pies require a certain range of sizes, and small nuts end up going to different markets.

…”The drought has been rough on us,” he said.

Of course, those smaller pecans are from the trees that survived the drought at all.

Hoffman’s orchard normally has about 1,000 trees, but 10 percent of those adult plants have died from lack of water and extreme heat. And Hoffman has been one of the more fortunate producers, he said — many of his peers in the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association reported losing as much as 20 percent of their trees.


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