November 26, 2014
The harvest is in, and it's time to give thanks!
The Black Walnut Harvest this fall resulted in about 22 million pounds of wild Black Walnuts. Hand harvested in 11 states, the nuts were sold at 215 local hulling/buying stations. Missouri led the way with about 70% of this year's crop.
The total was just under the average of 24 million pounds, but is better than expected earlier in the year after 2013's large harvest of 30 million pounds. Black Walnuts are usually an alternate-bearing crop. The "yield" of nutmeats may be down a bit, based upon early tests, although quality appears to be good.
The successful off-year harvest is great news for shelling plant workers who depend upon the annual harvest to have enough work; it's great also for consumers who love the bold, rich flavor of wild Black Walnuts as an ingredient in baked goods, ice cream, confections and culinary creations. Plus, demand for the hard shell is at an all-time high.
After crops of 30 million and 22 million pounds, what will the 2015 crop be like next fall? Check back next August for the early projection - but we expect to see another near-average crop. Though there is a lot of weather and time that could affect that.
In the meantime, we thank God for another successful harvest and the blessings it brings for the coming year.