Oklahoma Pecan Harvest Sees Impact Of May's Flooding

Tuesday, October 8th 2019, 10:44 pm
By: Justin Shrair

An Oklahoma pecan farmer is still feeling the effected of the state's 2019 May flooding. 

Mike Spradling, a member of the American Pecan Council, said while his orchards made it through the flooding with little damage, others weren't so lucky. 

Using a piece of equipment nicknamed "the shaker," he is able to harvest pecans from trees. 

For farmers like Spradling, every pecan goes toward a paycheck. Last year there were only about 3 to 6 million pounds of pecans harvested in Oklahoma. Then historic floods hit green country.

"We had a lot of people up in the northern part of the state along those rivers. They had 18 feet of water in their orchard," Spradling said.

Spradling says he lucked out because water only flooded his irrigation pump, and delayed spraying for insects and fertilizing trees. He says other farmers weren't so lucky.

"A lot of the orchards lay in low. Lying areas to begin with along flood prone rivers and streams. Yeah there was a lot of damage," he said.

Spradling says although the floods hit hard, the state is still in great shape.

"We are estimating a little over 20 million pounds in the state of Oklahoma," he said. "We supplement in March with fertilizer and take good care of the leaves." 

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