USA - Baldwin pecan crop still suffering after Hurricane Sally

23.11.2021 311 views

Locally grown pecans have been a staple for the holidays and this year like most everything else you will be paying more. Fifty cents a pound more.

Demand is still high however the supply after Hurricane Sally's damage to the local farms is at an all-time low.

There’s was a lot of action inside the Underwood pecan farm in Summerdale today. "We lost over 600 trees in the orchards we produced that we were farming and now I’m down to just a couple hundred trees that are here," said Gary Underwood with Underwood Farms.

You may recall Hurricane Sally destroyed 50 percent of the trees here. On a normal "hurricane free" harvest Underwood would be busy shelling from October through January... today this is it. One harvest and one day of shelling and processing.

"I planted these trees me and my dad and my uncle and now half of them are gone and I remember planting his in the mid 60's and over half of them are gone now," said Underwood.

Ever since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 pecan farmers have been required to buy crop insurance. After Hurricane Sally it did help. Underwood says he was reimbursed twenty cents, he says that's better than nothing. Still, pecans will be plentiful as Underwood and all other Baldwin County pecan farmers will process pecans shipped in from other Alabama farms not affected by the hurricane.

"I'm able to get all of my pecans out of Alabama right now, the south end of Alabama and we want to do that because it’s like the pecans that we have, the varieties I grow, so we've been lucky in that respect," said Underwood.

Underwood says next year’s local harvest will be better but it will take years for local farmers to return to what everyone is used to.

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