Bixby Farmer Getting Ready For Pecan Harvest
BIXBY, Oklahoma - It's that time of year again when pecan growers start their harvest just in time for fall goodies like pecan pie. We wanted to know how this year's harvest is doing, so we asked an expert.
This year's pecan harvest begins in just about a month, and Bixby farmer Paul Hudson with Hudson's Pecans explains what the crop could look like. Hudson is a retired Tulsa firefighter who's been farming pecans for about 30 years.
"That's a shuck split; what we can a shuck split," he said of some of his harvest. "And it'll dry, and open up and fall off."
His father bought the farm back in 1948 and grew just about everything. Now, Hudson and his son stick to pecans.
But growing pecans can be tricky.
"Pecans are fickle," he said. "They'll produce good one year, and one year medium and one year none."
This year the trees have gone through the ringer: winter freezes, spring flooding and summer bag worms. Hudson say's this year's bag worms are the worst he's ever seen. One tree is completely covered in the pest and could cause problems when it's time to harvest the nuts.
"Now I do not know whether those pecans will will go ahead and open up and be harvestable - I don't know," he said.
It's a problem he's had before but say's it doesn't always impact the pecans. Hudson has also had a few trees die from too much rain - but not enough to make a big dent in his crop.
Hudson predicts this year's trees will produce some good numbers in spite of the set backs.
"I'd say it's average or a little above average," said Bixby pecan farmer Paul Hudson, talking about this year's harvest.
Hudson tends to about 1,800 trees on his farm and says some trees will be covered in pecans this year - and others won't have any. He say's that's just the way things go.
As for the season, they'll be harvesting through January. But that's just part of the job for a hardworking farmer.
"When you're through picking, it's not over," he said.