State pecan crop will be down

Thursday, October 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Oklahoma's pecan growers say this year's crop could be less than one-tenth of last year's record harvest.

Freezing temperatures that covered most of the state earlier this month are being blamed for devastating much of the crop that had survived the summer drought.

John Grundmann, who operates a nut-cracking and shelling business, says the freeze causes the hull to stick to the shell and kills the pecans on the tree.

Recent rains are causing another problem, according to Jerry Rutledge, who owns Oklahoma Pecan Company in Ardmore.

Rutledge says the rain is causing the pecans to mature faster, but is making it nearly impossible to get harvesting equipment into the orchards.

Growers harvested 63 (m) million pounds of pecans last year. Officials say this year's harvest could be four to five (m) million pounds.