The 2015 Black Walnut Harvest was smaller than usual. At 9.3 million pounds, the crop was shorter than 2014’s near-average harvest of 22 million pounds. We’re thankful that 2013 was a strong 3o million pounds, providing good carry-in prior to fall harvest for both 2014 and 2015. Our customers should have plenty of Black Walnut nutmeats for 2016 until next fall.
Missouri especially was down this year, although the eastern areas of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan produced more than they usually do. The price paid remained at an all-time high of $14 per hundred pounds (after hulling) throughout all the buying area during the entire season.
Why was the crop in Missouri so short? Part of it is the alternating cycle of nut production for wild trees. After 2 straight years of good crops, it was time for a shorter crop so that the trees could store energy for the future. Some folks point to the wet, cloudy days we had in the spring as preventing good pollination.
Whatever it was, we do believe that with the moisture the trees received throughout the spring and summer in most of the Midwest, along with a great amount of healthy foliage all summer, the wild Black Walnut trees are positioned to produce a very strong crop in the next year or two.
The harvest this fall is in and it’s a time of Thanksgiving! We’re very thankful and hopeful for many more blessings to come!