Local News

N.C. pecan trees yielding a hefty crop

Posted November 23, 2008

— This time of year, pecan farmers in North Carolina are busy harvesting their crops. This year, their pecan trees are yielding a hefty return.

“We’ll walk for a half a day to find three pecans in the orchard. That’s just what we do. It’s just a passion we enjoy doing,” farmer Billy Bunn said.

Bunn, the president of the North Carolina Pecan Growers Association, says production this year is up about 200 percent.

While pecans are considered a minor crop when it comes to North Carolina's multimillion dollar agriculture industry – this year pecans are holding their own.

“So 1.3 million pounds a year is a good crop. At $2 a pound, it's a $5-6 million economic impact,” Bunn said.

“I just love them,” shopper Anne West said of pecans.

Pecan Day at the State Farmers Market last week attracted a lot of people shopping for the holiday favorite.

“I had pecan trees on my grandparents’ farm. I always picked them, cracked them and ate them, West said.

So what about folks the argue over the pronunciation, "pee-cans" or  "p-cans."

“It’s regional. In North Carolina, it's "pee-cans." If you go to Georgia, Alabama down there, it’s "p-cans" and it takes me about twenty minutes to start saying p-cans down there,” Bunn said.

Bunn says this year's crop was three years in the making. He says after a good year, a bad year usually follows and that is just the nature of pecans.

He suggests freezing some extras for next year.


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  • oldrebel Nov 24, 2008

    Love pecans in almost any way they can be done. But, do you say "pee-can" or do you say "pee-con" in your family. I think we usually go with the "can" variation but I do hear "con" used also.

  • PaulRevere Nov 24, 2008

    Abundant pecans, acorn, and walnuts means a very harsh winter. Dangit!

  • HappyGirl08 Nov 24, 2008

    let it snow

  • chargernut69 Nov 24, 2008

    sorry, it's "p-cons"... a "Pee-can" is something you use in the bathroom...

  • 4DukeTillDeath Nov 24, 2008

    I know that this is certainly the best year we've had out of our pecan trees since we bought the farm 8 years ago. No problem with worms at all this year. Would have even more if the tropical storm didn't blow a third of them off.

  • LaLa-Land Nov 24, 2008

    I'm glad the crop is good this year. Maybe the price will go down some. Too dang expensive.

  • hi_i_am_wade Nov 24, 2008

    I heard there were a lot of acorns too. I have a friend that lives near a lot of woods and he said he put some deer corn out for the deer, but they wouldn't eat them because there were so many acorns. Because of the acorns, he thinks we will have a cold winter. Maybe the pecans meant that too.

  • SuperNupe Nov 24, 2008


    Yeah, I've heard something like that before about that being a sign for a rough winter ahead... ie. ladybugs/crops

  • nealsgirl Nov 24, 2008

    That's a good sign for a rough winter, squirrels are hoarding them up for the winter, lots & lots of ladybugs.

  • tangerine Nov 24, 2008

    Is this another sign of a harsh winter?