Tropical Storm Hermine moved through South Texas early on Tuesday morning, September 7th. We are very fortunate that the storm passed to the east of the orchard, and the heavy rain and winds did not materialize in either RGO orchard. The original projected path of the storm would have passed right over the Crystal City, Tx area, and the storm could have potentially reeked havoc on the pecan crop. At this time, the trees are already straining under the heavy pecan crop load, and additional weight from the rain, combined with high wind, would have broken many limbs. Once again, we are reminded that there are many risks involved in the production of food, and we certainly can’t control the path of a tropical storm.
Hurricane Katrina produced wide bands of rain and high winds, and the threatening weather from the massive storm stretched all the way to South Texas.
Dark, ominous clouds from Hurricane Katrina move over the pecan orchard. The pecan limbs are already heavily loaded from the growing weight of the nuts. High winds and rain increase the strain on the limbs, and can in fact cause 70% or more of the crop to be lost.
A sky, such as the one in these images, at ten o’clock in the morning, can put great fear in the pecan grower. An entire seasons work can be lost in a matter of minutes. There is no insurance available to protect a nut grower from weather damage.Look how the outer bands of Katrina move over Quemado, Tx. Fortunately, the orchard did not suffer any major damage from the terrible Katrina storm.
Our nuts are almost fully formed by the end of August, as you can see in the last couple of pictures here. Now, the liquid material inside the nut is hardening into what we call the ‘dough stage’. Over the month of September, the ‘dough’ will harden into the final nut. The big green ‘shuck’ that you see here protects and nourishes the nut forming inside.
If you look closely at the last picture, you will see many nuts that are slightly covered by the leaves. We will start to shake the nuts out of the trees and harvest them on October 1.