Everyone knows that pecans are native to North America, so it is no surprise that 80% of the world’s pecans come from the US. The US grows anywhere between 250 and 300 million pounds of pecans each year.
Being the largest producer of pecans, the US commercially grow pecans in fifteen states. Pecans are grown in these states: Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Texas.
Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are the leading states in growing pecans. San Saba Texas is the Pecan Capitol of The World. In the remaining states, Oklahoma and Louisiana produce the largest number of pecans. The pecan is the state nut in Arkansas and Alabama, and the tree is the state tree in Texas.
Growing pecans take a lot of care and effort. It takes seven to ten years for a pecan tree to fully mature and yield a good supply of nuts. Pecans are commercially grown in orchard farms. Most pecan farms in the US are fourth or fifth generation family farms. At the beginning of the harvest season, farmers may need to plant new trees in the orchard. For that, they have to plow the land and spread fertilizers on it.
For a tree to mature in seven years, there is a need to provide the utmost care and maintenance. Farmers ensure to provide the best growing conditions from the trees and prevent any damage from the insects, pests and animals. When the trees mature, they began to flower in the spring season.
When they are pollinated by wind, they form into husks. The husks contain nuts in them. When the nut matures, the husks began to crack. Cracking of the husks is the indication that the trees are ready for harvest. The harvest season for the pecan tree begins in late September and ends in November.
The husks drop to the ground when the nuts inside them are fully formed. However, farmers do not have time to wait for each husk to drop down and so they use a harvester to shake all the nuts from the trees. The nuts are kept on the ground for three to four days for drying out. Then, they are collected by harvesting machines and then go through washing, processing, and packaging.
Cracking the Pecan
Pecans are considered as top-tier nuts of the world. The United States is the largest producer of the pecans, grows between 200-300 million pounds each year. This accounts for 80% of pecans grown worldwide. Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are the other top-producing states of the pecans.