Improved Pecans Crop Guide

Estimated Cost $2,000 per acre establishment; $600 annual operating per acre; 7 years to first harvest; harvest October to January
Market Outlets Accumulators, retail at orchard, mail order, shelling plants
Market Potential Fair room for some expansion
Profit Potential $0 to $1,200 per acre
Adapted Areas All of Texas south of Hale County and north of Nueces and Webb counties
Labor Requirements One man per 50 acres; five men at harvest
Equipment Requirements Ranges from $40,000 to $200,000 for tractor, speed sprayer, disk, shredder, shaker, cleaner, harvestors, herbicide sprayer, scales
Soil Requirements Deep, well-drained river bottom, upland sands and well-drained clay
Water Requirements 42 inches per year from rain or supplemental irrigation
Minimum Size 10 acres
Risk Factor Moderate to low
Other Limiting Factors Alternate bearing; high establishment cost with long term pay-off limits most pecan operations. Major insects and diseases include scab, nut casebearer, yellow aphid, hickory shuckworm, stink bug, stem end blight, phylloxera and weevil.
Comments Approximately 50 percent of the improved orchards planted in Texas are on soils which limit economic returns. Pecans require 7 years for the crop to pay annual expenses and 12 to 15 years to recoup the investment.

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