The weather for the last couple of years has put a choke-hold on this year's Oklahoma pecan crop. This means Oklahoma farmers may be out millions of dollars. It also means you'll be paying more at the store.
Bixby farmer Don Charmicael's job is pretty simple today. He's busy preparing pecans, putting them in five-pound bags for the holidays. But he says it's nothing like last year. "It was almost chaos,â€ he said. We had so many pecans last year." Last year's Oklahoma's bumper pecan crop produced about 40 million pecans. What a difference a year makes. â€œI'd say we'll be lucky to get a million pounds out of Oklahoma this year."
Charmichael Farms has about 1,500 pecan trees. They didn't harvest even one pecan this year. They've had to call other states for help. "We can blame it on the drought last year, the early rains this year, some of the drought this year, and whatever we had left, the freeze in October got it," Charmicael explained.
To handle the demand, pecans are being shipped from Georgia, Missouri and Texas. Expect prices to be about 20 to 30 cents higher than last year. Charmichael hopes business doesn't drop in his produce store, because not as many local folks are coming in with their own pecans. â€œWe do a lot of cracking for other people,â€ he said. â€œAnd you got extra crackers that are just sitting idle."
Relying on other states to ship in millions of pecans, takes a scoop out of Oklahoma's economy. Farmers say even if this year's weather would've been good, the crop would still be low. Last year's bumper crop of pecans put a lot of stress on the trees.