Weak Season For Pecan Growers Hikes Prices Up

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BURLESON COUNTY Pecan pie is a holiday favorite, but it's not only rich with warm, wholesome flavor; it's costing more to eat.

"Prices have gone up this year," said Andy Sherrod, the orchard manager at Royalty Pecan Farms near Caldwell. "The supply is down."

He said pecan prices are up this year because last season they had an extremely heavy crop and the trees are not producing as much this year. "That's not just true for us, that was true for the state of Texas and pretty much across the whole pecan producing region," Sherrod said.

Pecan industry officials said it is normal for the supply to weaken ever other year. Last year produced about 302 million pounds of pecans, but this year, farmers are shelling out a lot less. Nationwide, officials said they expect the crop to shrink by about 35 percent.

"On our wholesale market, we aren't able to meet the needs of all of our wholesale customers," Sherrod said.

Even though it will cost them about a dollar more per pound than last year, customers say they are willing to pay more for premium pecans.

"Even if it's gone up a dollar, I will continue to buy from here no matter what because they are just excellent," said customer Samantha Wetterman.

Shoppers everywhere aren't nuts. Prices are going up nationwide, but that doesn't seem to matter. For customers, these nuts are everything they are cracked up to be.