It’s here! Opening day of the 2019 Black Walnut Harvest season!
We’ve been watching the trees closely since April, as they sprang to life with leaves and new growth while adding nut “flowers” that were pollinated and developed into nuts. The nuts became more visible as they grew with abundant rainfall. We travelled extensively through the 13 state buying region, especially Missouri which usually produces 65% of the harvest. And we talked with hulling station operators all over, along with others involved in agriculture to understand many views of how the 2019 crop was developing.
And now, we’re ready to go – with about 230 hulling stations in 13 states where folks can deliver their hand-harvested wild Black Walnuts. It’s a fall tradition in many towns and rural areas, one we’ve been blessed to be part of for 73 years. And it starts again TODAY!
What will this fall’s harvest be? Well, it really depends upon the weather in October. Because with a wild crop of Black Walnuts, the harvest completely depends upon thousands of people getting out to pick up the nuts in yards and fields where they grow. We need nice, mild or cool days, with not too much rain – especially on weekends.
That said, our goal is 22 million pounds – just below average. We don’t see a big crop on the trees in much of southern Missouri, but there are some trees and areas where nuts are more plentiful, including central Missouri. Eastern states like Kentucky and Indiana seem to have a good crop.
Starting price is the highest opening price ever: $16 per hundred pounds (hulled) in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. And an all-time high in eastern states of $15 per hundred pounds. Buying continues through early November, and we encourage folks to get the nuts in early – freshly fallen while they’re still a little green and the best quality. Crop updates will be posted as the season progresses the next few weeks.