The Black Walnut Harvest is going strong!
Now in the third week of the buying season, more Black Walnuts have fallen from the trees and harvesters are busy picking them up. Over 180 hulling stations throughout Missouri and 12 other Midwestern states are open to buy freshly-fallen Black Walnuts harvested by hand from thousands of people in rural areas. Picking up the “cash on the ground” is a fall tradition in the Ozarks and other parts of the Midwest, where resourceful people appreciate the chance to get some extra money.
The current price is very strong — $20 per hundred pounds (after hulling) in Missouri, and $18 east of the Mississippi. That’s 25% more than just 2 years ago. The price could change later in the season, so harvesters are encouraged to get their nuts in soon. For folks in the Ozarks, bringing in the nuts means local jobs, as well as some money in their pockets!
Our projection for the harvest is 16 million pounds, and our goal is 20 million – which will require a lot of work and nice fall days. We hope and pray that the weather cooperates so folks can get the nuts in.
Many hulling station operators report much stronger activity in the past few days. That looks to continue growing, especially with the frost and beautiful weather forecast for the area. It’s money on the ground, jobs for the economy, and food for great recipes. The Midwest is the only place in the world where Black Walnuts are collected and sold on a large scale, so it’s something that is very unique and special to rural communities.
Buying will continue through October and into mid-November — so there’s plenty of time to get out, enjoy some healthy fall air, and be part of this fall tradition!