Georgia pecan growers have suffered another blow from mother nature. Hurricane Idalia entered Georgia near Valdosta as a Category 1 Hurricane with maximum wind speeds of 90 mph. Early inquiries into damage to pecan orchards from the storm suggest that the area between southern Brooks and Lowndes county received some of the worst damage, with thousands of trees reported down. Reports from growers along the path of the storm suggest that the greatest tree loss occurred for trees in the age range of 20 and under. Many of these trees were blown over. Some growers in the hardest hit areas report 80% loss or more in some orchard blocks of trees in this age range. Of course, many limbs of all sizes are down as well. According to reports I have received so far, trees roughly 25 years and up, especially where hedging was employed, have suffered less damage. We are still trying to get a handle on the extent of damage to orchards as the storm moved into the region near Reidsville, Statesboro and other areas in Eastern middle Georgia later in the afternoon. I have heard reports of serious damage as far west as Irwin county as the storm moved Northward in the state. So far, with the exception of counties along the Florida border, most of the serious damage seems to be largely confined to that part of the state East of I-75. All affected growers I have spoken with along the storm’s path are estimating at least 50% crop loss in the form of nuts blown from trees. The storm continued through Georgia, headed toward  South Carolina as a Tropical Storm with 60 mph winds. We will be assessing the situation further over the next few days and will provide updates.

Posted in: