Minutes of Directors Meeting
Fort Worth, Texas
September 10, 1965
MEMBERS PRESENT were: President Johnny Harris, Vice President Jim Anthony, Secretary-Treasurer J. B. Storey, District 1 Director R. P. McCoy, District 3 Directors Floyd Gage and Tom Denman, District 4 Director Newell Atkinson, Director-at-large O. P. Leonard, Extension Horticulturist. B. G. Hancock, and Editor F. R. Brison.
Guests were Dean Bagley, Lucius M. Stephens, W. B. Martin, Jr. and Leland Hodges.
President Harris opened the meeting by stating that some pecans had sold recently for 6½ cents and some as high as 9½ cents per pound. If many more of the 1963 crop pecans are sold at these prices the market will be established for 1965 and there will be nothing that we can do about it. The 1963 crop is thus held over our head until it can be taken out of the way. If we do not act in some manner which would take it off the market then we will be faced by prices set by the 1963 crop. The consensus of opinion is that 1965 crop pecans will be sold for about 12 cents per pound if the present situation continues. Find out what the current price of pecans is here
Vice President Anthony stated that the plentiful food program was being initiated for this fall's crop. These people need feature ads and displays which are being developed by the National Pecan Council. They will need 27,000 copies of recipes for five or six different ways in which to prepare pecans in 100 serving blocks. He stated that steps are being made to prepare the recipes in the proper form and to the proper specifications so that this program can be placed into effect in October. Part of this will involve the school lunch program but because pecans must be purchased from the grower it will by necessity only be an outlet for the 1965 crop of pecans.
Vice President Anthony further reported that the government has stated that if the National Pecan Council can supply $5,000 they will supply $35,000 on a program to contact European markets for the purpose of encouraging them to buy pecans. The Federated Growers can be credited for $100 per day toward the $5,000 if they send people to participate in this program. Ray Bass and Warren Meadows will be leaving from Washington. D. C. September 23 for a 24-day trip through Europe for the purpose of promoting pecans in Europe.
Mr. W. B. Martin presented a prepared statement in which he pointed out that if 50 to 60 million pounds could be purchased there would be a healthy trend back in the market and the 1965 crop would move at good prices.
An article written by Mr. Brooks of the Cotton Producers Association, which is the parent organization of Gold Kist Pecan Growers, indicated that growers must be willing to meet the prices in pecan prices by taking a reduced rate on their advance. Mr. Lucius M. Stephens stated that he had been in the pecan business since 1907. He had seen years when money was so short that no one could buy pecans so they were sold on an I. O. U. basis. He stated that in 1932 mohair was in the same shape as the pecan industry is today. He stated that there are 27 million pounds of pecans in the hands of speculators as best as he can estimate. He feels that we must get rid of this surplus before prices for the 1965 crop can be anywhere close to their true value.
Dean Bagley stated that a floor should be set on pecan prices.
President Johnny Harris pointed out that the estimated crop in Georgia in 1966 will be 110 million pounds which indicates that next year will be the big year in the Southeast rather than this year. With the Southwest having a heavy crop in 1965 there is no justification for feeling that next year will be a light year in pecan production.
Director O. P. Leonard stated that the pecan price dilemma of today is our own fault. We have not given sufficient thought to quality and the buying public has gradually reduced their enthusiasm for pecans. He pointed out that he had been in several parts of the country where pecans were found on the market and had not been able to purchase edible pecans.
Martin stated that the school lunch program would not take enough pecans off the market to do any measurable good.
President Harris read the following letter:
The Officers and Directors of the San Saba Pecan Growers Association would like to go on record as favoring any action taken by the Texas Pecan Growers Association officers and directors in their meeting on Friday, September 10, 1965. Respectfully,
Billy F. Kidd, Secretary
San Saba County Pecan Growers Association
President Harris also read the following letter:
“In all indication, I will not be able to attend your Directors Meeting in Fort Worth Friday. I can see the urgent need for the meeting and would like very much to attend. Mr. Storey pointed out a few things to think of. One was the acceptance of government support. To me, this is the last thing I would like to see in our pecan industry. We are growing more pecans so the only thing to do is to try to sell more. A good pecan selling program with the shellers help would stabilize our market. Again I regret not being able to attend the meeting.”
John Braden, Jr.
President Harris stated that a telephone conversation with W. S. Price revealed that Price was in favor of a floor to support the pecan prices.
Denman stated that Mr. Martin should be invited to attend any meeting that was scheduled to discuss this situation on a national level.
Mr. Stephens stated that the National Pecan Shellers and Processors Association will be meeting in St. Louis on September 23, 24 and 25, 1965.
Mr. Martin stated that the pecan processors could probably process pecans for 12 cents per pound. Thus, 50 million pounds of pecans would cost about$8 million plus $3 million for processing. Thus, about $10 million would be expended which could be sold for about $5 million so the loss would be about $5 million on the deal to the government.
Brison stated that it seems we will have to adopt a support program for the 1963 crop of pecans because nothing else seems to provide an answer. We must insure good quality in our pecans in order to sell them in the future.
Martin stated that it was a proved fact that Texas pecans contained about 3 to 9 percent more oil than pecans produced in some other areas.
Brison pointed out that any pecan purchase programs should consider quality as a measure of price for the pecans. Quality indices would be kernel percentage and oil content.
Hodges stated that we must do something about our inventory problem the market during the last 90 days has gone down and down and that it change from phone call to phone call.
Denman felt that we should get rid of the 1y6s surplus as soon as possible. Brison suggested 22 to 25 cents per pound for shelling pecans as the price which should be established.
Dean Bagley recommended that the Directors request assistance from Commodity Credit Corporation.
OP. Leonard supported the feeling that we must seek help from the Commodity Credit Corporation in this situation.
Floyd Gage requested that a set of standards should be established which the 1963 pecan crop could be purchased.
Bob McCoy expressed hesitancy in getting involved with the government. H. felt that we might not be able to get rid of government support once we had established. He stated that we need to develop a market so that more pecans could be purchased. However, he stated that for this specific situation on this year that it seems we have no alternative but to ask for C. C. C. assistance.
Atkinson wanted to know what the government would do with the 1963 crop if they purchased it. Atkinson stated that pecan oil would have to bring about 26 cents and Brison felt that this would not be possible and that the government would not be able to do anything with the pecans they purchased.
Martin stated that pecans are low enough in price to give walnut people real trouble.
Atkinson stated that some regulations should be established to keep the pecans purchased by the government from being sold.
Anthony stated that if the pecans were sold on the basis of grade that some of them might not be worth more than 10 cents per pound.
Leonard moved and McCoy seconded a motion that we request the Federated Pecan Growers Association to have a called meeting as soon as possible.
Gage moved and Leonard seconded the motion that Mr. Brison be requested to work up the standards to be used in purchasing the 1963 carry-over. Motion carried. It was further stipulated that the standards would contain a grade somewhat in excess of U. S. No. 1.
Johnny Harris, F. R. Brison, James Anthony were designated as the Federated Pecan Growers Directors representing the Texas Pecan Growers Association. Secretary Storey was requested to urge the Federated to set a meeting for either September 16 or 17 in some place to be designated by the Federated. Memphis, Tennessee, was suggested as a possible meeting site.
Following a noon adjournment President Harris discussed the need for establishing better grades and standards for Texas pecans. He stated that Commissioner John White stipulated that the legislature would have to set up the grades and standards and that it would be difficult to get them to do it. Commissioner White felt that the main objection to grades and standards would be among the pecan growers themselves for this had been the history with other commodities. He stated that he would charge the legislative committee with the problem of setting up an improved grades and standards designation for pecans in Texas.
The pecan report came in with an estimated 1965 crop of 256,300,000 pounds. Texas crop was estimated to be 42 million pounds in 1965. Meeting adjourned.
J. B. Storey