Winter storm, heavy spring rain bring plenty of pecans to Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Nothing says ‘fall is here’ more than the smell of freshly baked pecan pie sitting in the window.

As temperatures begin to drop along with the leaves, so do the pecans, and this year is considered to be the biggest harvest the Big Country has seen in recent years.

Waylan Jackson, owner of Jackson Bros. Feed and Seed, said he knows fall has arrived by the sound of his cracking machine runs, constantly.

From before Thanksgiving up until Christmas time, Jackson said that his machines will run 11 hours a day for almost two months.

But he was unsure how the February winter storm would affect the pecan harvest, as were many farmers.

Taylor County Extension Agent Steve Estes said the winter storm helped the pecan harvest this year, sending the trees into “shock” and allowing for new growth this spring.

Shortly after the winter storm hit, the Big Country received ample rainfall that penetrated deep into the soil and helped push the trees through the hot, dry summer months.

All that rain brought on rapid growth and clusters of pecans the size of softballs began to pop-up around the city.

“The best thing that could’ve happened to them was to get a lot of that rain,” Estes said. “And this looks to be one of the heavier years for many trees.”

While the actual pecan harvest is still a few weeks away, Estes said that homeowners with pecan trees should begin to see them dropping soon, if they have not already.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Estes has one thing on his mind.

“You can’t go wrong with a good pecan pie,” Estes said.

Waylan Jackson looks to stay busy at the store, but also to make some lasting memories with his grandkids.

“I can crack them almost as fast as they can eat them,” Jackson said.

The 2021 Abilene Area Pecan Show will also be held on December 1, with entries being accepted beginning on November 15.

All entries are free and will be accepted from Taylor, Callahan, Fisher, Jones, Nolan and Shackelford Counties.

For more information, call the Taylor County AgriLife Extension at (325) 672-6048.

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