Pecan Production Drops 6%

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Pecan

Photo by Clint Thompson/Shows pecans harvested in Chula, Georgia.

Pecan production was down this past season, especially in the Southeast, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Utilized production decreased by 6%, compared to 2022, totaling 271 million pounds. Bearing acreage was estimated at 441,000, also a decrease from the prior season. The average yield was 616 pounds per acre, down 36 pounds from the previous year. The crop’s value was $460 million in 2023, down 12% from 2022 with an average annual price of $1.69 per pound.

New Mexico had the highest utilized production at 100 million pounds followed by Georgia at 88.3 million pounds. Georgia’s production dropped significantly from the 131 million pounds in 2022.

Expert Analysis

Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Extension pecan specialist, was not surprised at this year’s decreased production.

“That was in the range I was expecting it to be. Have we not had the situation we had two years ago, I probably would not have thought that. A couple of years ago, it looked like one of the shortest crops that I had ever seen just looking at what we were seeing out in the orchards. That would have put it somewhere around 40 million pounds, but once it was all said and done, it came in at 87 million pounds,” Wells said. “This year was very similar to that as far as what the crop load looked like on the tree. That year, most all of that production was coming from young trees. The older trees didn’t do much. That’s pretty much the same thing we saw this year.

“I think that 87-88 million pounds, that’s the new off year in Georgia.”

Georgia’s bearing acreage stayed at 146,000, though its yield per acre dropped from 898 pounds in 2022 to 605 last year.