Prior to last 2007 harvest, pecan grower Jerry Calvani, Carlsbad, N.M, hoped for higher prices the following season than he ended getting for his Pecos Valley crop. Coming off their tremendous production of 74 million pounds of pecan in the heavy-crop cycle year of 2007, he and other Land of Enchantment producers expected the much lower off-year 2008 production to give prices at harvest a healthy boost.
In fact, their orchards yielded about 45 millions pounds or so this past season. That’s about 4 percent less than the last off-year, when the 2006 crop totaled 47 million pounds.
In addition to being in the low-yield half of the alternate bearing cycle, a late spring freeze severely damaged many of Calvani’s pecan blooms, cutting his production even more. “It was a lot smaller than a typical off-year crop,” he says. In the meantime, his fuel, fertilizer and other inputs rose out of sight.
“The pecan prices offered during harvest were really disappointing,” he says. However, those initial prices of around $1.35 per pound have since moved up about a nickel or so.