It’s Black Walnut Week in the state of Missouri! Governor Parson has so declared, recognizing the impact of wild Black Walnuts in rural communities as Stockton celebrates its 58th annual Black Walnut Festival.
Plus, we’re only a few days away from the beginning of the 2018 harvest season. Beginning this Monday, October 1, thousands of people will be out enjoying the fall weather and harvesting wild black walnuts as they fall to the ground. They’ll deliver those nuts to local hulling stations, earning money for various things from winter boots to extra spending money for Christmas. We have about 220 hulling stations in 15 states that will be buying nuts through November 5.
Opening price is $15 in Missouri and states west of the Mississippi River, and $14 in areas east of the Mississippi. That price could change as the crop comes in, so harvesters are encouraged to get their nuts in early, just after they fall from the trees.
The crop looks good in much of southern Missouri, from Stockton to West Plains (including Springfield). Other areas, including eastern states like Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, have a moderate crop but not as big as last year. So at this time we’re expecting that about 19 million pounds could be harvested. That’s down from last year’s abundant 31 million pounds, but near the average of 23. Much will depend upon the weather during October. We hope for nice, mild days so folks can get out and enjoy this traditional fall activity.
Let the Black Walnut Harvest begin – here we go!