Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Watch Out Almonds! Pecans Aim to Displace America’s Nut

A harvest of Pecans from Austin, Texas.

Mose Buchele

A harvest of Pecans from Austin, Texas.

This is a story of two nuts: the almond and the pecan.

In the 1960s the pecan industry loomed large over the almond. But, then, something changed. Since then, the almond crop has seen a nearly 33-fold growth, while the pecan crop has seen little to no growth. But things are looking up for the once-proud pecan.

You’ve heard “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner,” and “Pork, the other white meat.” But now it’s the humble pecan that might be getting its own catchphrase.

The pecan is the only commercially grown nut in Texas, and now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is agreeing with the pecan industry that it should be allowed to start something called a “federal marketing order” for the official nut of Texas.

The order allows pecan distributors to pool their money and fund large-scale research and marketing campaigns. Other commodities — like beef, pork, avocados, almonds, walnuts and pistachios — have been doing it for decades, says Texas pecan farmer Mike Adams.

Adams is also president of the American pecan board. He thinks this will increase demand for the nut and get new pecan products out on the market. So watch out, almonds.

“I think you’ll see pecan butter. I think you’ll see pecan milk,” Adams says.

Adams thinks the growth of the industry would help the economy here in Texas. Of course, increased demand and the cost of marketing and research could drive prices up for consumers.



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