WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, more than 99% of the State of Texas is experiencing a drought, and it’s those hot and very dry conditions that have been posing a threat to farmers across the state.
Pecan Shed Manager Jill Montz said last year’s crop could make up for the shortage of this upcoming harvest, but they’re also faced with another problem, inflation.
“My dad always says, we’re one day closer to rain,” Montz said.
Words that Montz has lived by since her dad opened The Pecan Shed back in the early 90s. She said this year’s crop will help make up for the lack of rain we’ve received this past year that will affect the upcoming harvest.
“This past crop’s year was great, it was a bumper crop for the area and we typically have those every three years if mother nature cooperates with us, so it was a really big year anyway,” Montz said.
Montz said although this upcoming crop would be low, that downtime can go a long way.
“We know we’ll have crops for the store you know and kind of what happens with us is when we have good years and big years. We’re able to reinvest into the business, were able to upgrade our equipment, we’re able to plant more trees, we’re able to buy more land,” Montz said.
And without adequate watering for the trees, not only could they produce smaller, weaker pecans, they could lose them completely.
“Especially, coming up here in the next few weeks. If we don’t see a good amount of rain, a lot of people might see the trees just dropping the pecans that they have already still in that green hole. It’s kind of a way for the tree to like save itself. It’ll just go ahead and drop off the crop,” Montz said.
But no rain means having to water the trees more and increases the upkeep for the orchard, which Montz said isn’t cheap, especially in these times.
“It’s just like everybody else, the cost of diesel has gone up so high, the cost of all of our fertilizers and things have quadrupled so that’s actually hurting us more than the drought,” Montz said.
Montz said this is nothing new seeing as how they’ve gotten through tornadoes, droughts, pests as well as other problems, but said with the community support the orchard has received in the past 40 years, she’s hopeful they will bounce back.
Montz said having 25,000 trees in their orchard gives them plenty of wiggle room when times get bad.
For more information on The Pecan Shed and all they have to offer, click here.