2013 will go down as one of the worst years ever for a signature Georgia crop. Farmers had warned of a bad year, as record-shattering rainfall in central and southern Georgia led to widespread "pecan scab," a devastating fungal disease. Industry analysts say the final tally of about 40 percent below average yield is even worse than they'd feared.
Southwest Georgia’s pecan farmers are in the midst of harvesting their crop, but they’re a couple of weeks behind schedule and they’re losing a lot of the nuts to a fungal disease called pecan scab. What will all that mean for holiday pecan prices? Not much right away, but it could push consumer prices up down the road.
Georgia pecan farmers are planting thousands of new trees. It’s all to keep up with a growing demand for their product more than 7,000 miles away in China and they’re not stopping there. Farmer Trent Mason stands in the middle of his 2,000 acre pecan orchard in Fort Valley. On one side are 20-year old trees covered in tiny nuts and on the other 300 acres of saplings, planted in January.