Pecans in general

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Pecans are usually rather expensive.  I'm curious as to why?
A pound of pecans will cost you about what a pound of steak 
would cost at the grocery store.  It's important to understand 
that raising pecans is first and foremost, one of the most 
labor intense undertakings in the world of agriculture.  A 
pecan orchard requires daily management, from pruning, 
weed control, irrigation to the enormous task of harvesting, 
especially in small, young orchards likeo ours that will not 
acommodate large harvesting equipment.  For pecan trees to 
produce a crop ofpecans, an unimaginable amount of water 
must be supplied, a huge expense.  Pecan trees need 
nitrogen and zinc.  If predator insects invade the orchard, 
pesticieds must be applied.  Weed control and orchard floor 
management is required.  The list goes on and on as to the 
expense and labor required to produce a crop of pecans.  
One must also remember...A pecan tree (or a whole orchard 
of trees) will not produce a single pecan for the first five 
years, and will only begin to produce a sufficient crop to 
break even somewhere in the ten to fifteen year range.

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How many pounds of pecans per year does Texas produce?
In most years, Texas is the second largest pecan-producing 
state. An average crop for Texas is about 60 million pounds.

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How long can I keep pecans fresh?
Shelled or unshelled pecans will stay fresh in the freezer for 
two years.

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Where do pecans grow?
Pecans are native to North America. Almost all of the world’s 
pecans are grown in North America, specifically the southern 
part of the United States. The pecan industry in Mexico is 
growing and that country now produces about one-fourth as 
many pecans as the United States. Much smaller amounts of 
pecans are grown in Australia, Israel, South Africa, Argentina 
and a few other places.

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Where are most commercial pecan orchards located?
Pecans are grown commercially in every state on the 
southern border of the United States from California to 
Florida, in addition to others such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, 
Kansas, Missouri, Georgia and the Carolinas.

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How many different kinds of pecans are there?
There are over 1,000 improved varieties (sometimes called 
papershell pecans) of pecans, in addition to the native pecans 
which grow along almost every river in Texas. 

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How much usable meat comes from in-shell pecans?
A pecan in the shell will yield between 40-60 percent 
nutmeat; i.e. the weight of a pecan is comprised roughly of 
half shell and half meat.

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How long does it take a new tree to start producing pecans?
A pecan tree will begin producing a few pecans by the time it 
is 4 or 5 years old but it is usually 8-10 years old before a 
pecan tree produces enough pecans to pay for the cost of 
producing those nuts.

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Just how important are pecans to Texas?
The pecan is our state tree! In 1919, shortly before he died, 
Gov. Hogg requested that a pecan tree be planted at his 
grave, and that the nuts from the tree be given out to the 
people of Texas to plant so that Texas could become a land of 
trees. Native pecan trees grow along almost every river in 

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Where did pecans come from?
The pecan is native to North America. For thousands of years 
before the discovery of America, North American Indians 
were the only people who knew about pecans. No person 
from any other part of the world had ever seen this nut.

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Who introduced pecans to the rest of the world?
Two Spanish explorers were the first to write about pecans in 
historical documents. In 1533, Lope de Oviedo wrote in his 
journal in about 1533 that “there were on the banks of this 
river many nuts, which the Indians ate.” Eight years later in 
1541, Cabeza de Vaca, who had been taken prisoner by the 
Indians, wrote about these nuts. “It is the subsistence of the 
people (the Indians) for two months in the year without any 
other thing.” Both explorers observed the pecans along rivers 
in what is now Texas.

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What did Native Americans use pecans for?
By the year 1762, North American Indians had carried pecans 
from their native habitat throughout the southern United 
States and the Atlantic Seaboard. In addition to eating the 
pecan nutmeats fresh from the trees, the Indians also took 
the pecan kernels, pounded them with stones and added 
them to boiling water to make seasoning for foods such as 
venison broth, hominy and corn cakes.

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