South Mississippi's pecan crop is picking up

By Bobby Allen - email

STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pecans are a big part of holiday cooking in South Mississippi. And this year they will be plentiful, according to agriculture experts.

Overstreet Pecan Warehouse has handled more than 300,000 pounds of pecans so far this season.

"We have had an abundance of pecans," said Donald F. Parker, owner of Overstreet Pecans. "They were a little light and the moisture and heat of this year has been unusual. And we had a few bad ones at first, but they are clearing up."

In October, when the harvest started, we had above average rainfall. That made it hard for growers to get into their fields. Now things are picking up.

"On a factor of one to ten, probably about a nine. It's a real good solid meat," Overstreet said.

Just down the road at The Pecan House, the owner is glad to see a good crop.

"They are good quality pecans," said Pecan House Owner Phyllis Shoemake. "They have a great taste. I think our crop is coming back after Katrina. You know, it usually takes a couple of years for the trees to repair themselves and come back."

The Pecan House uses more than 100,000 pounds of pecans a year.

"We sell them fresh out of the shell. We coat them with chocolate, white chocolate, praline, honey roasted, and Cajun. We fry them and salt them. We do pies, fruitcakes, almost anything you can do to a pecan we do it."

Shoemake said the season is expected to last until mid January. For coastal homeowners, this is the best year for pecan tree production since Hurricane Katrina.

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