Missouri's walnut crop could be lackluster

Sunday, September 30, 2012 ~ Updated 3:48 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri's walnut crop this year is expected to be lackluster.

Buyers start hulling the nuts this week, and prices are high, with buyers offering as much as $13 per hundred pounds after hulling. But no one is expecting a run to cash in.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that because of an odd mix of conditions, outlooks for the crop have been all over the map. The winter and spring were unusually mild, giving some hope that the walnut trees would produce heavily. But then the drought hit.

Patrick Byers, with the University of Missouri Extension office in Greene County, said nut production already would have begun by the time the drought hit, so numbers wouldn't likely be affected. But the quality of the nuts will be affected, he said.

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