Organic Pecan Crops Show Higher Yield

ARS scientists show conventional pecans have lower yields, organic pecan farmers could make higher profits.

by Dani Yokhna

organically grown pecan trees can offer more pecans, better nuts
Courtesy USDA/Scott Bauer

Is a pecan or other nut tree orchard in your future? Consider the opportunities related to another popular and reemerging nut–the chestnut. Read about chestnuts here>>

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Here’s some good news for current–and future pecan farmers–who want to go organic.

According to USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists, organically treated test trees out-yielded the conventionally managed, chemically fertilized orchard in each of the past five years.

Specifically, the organic test site surpassed the commercial orchard by 18 pounds per tree in 2005, and by 12 pounds per tree in 2007.

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According to the ARS, “The conventional management system generates about $1,750 per acre when the crop is sold. But the ARS certified-organic-management system would gross $5,290 per acre.

“These greater dollar returns prove that adopting an organic system and obtaining certification could provide more income for pecan growers, thanks to increased yields and improved kernel quality.”

Considering that U.S. growers provide about 90 percent of the world’s pecans (according to ARS), with an annual crop of about 200 million pounds worth about $400 million, this is good news for pecan farmers or those interested in beginning their own pecan farm.

Read more about the ARS’s pecan research here>> ARS is a scientific research agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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