Revised January 2024


The United States is the top producer of pecans. Pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) are native to North America. There are two types of pecans produced within the United States: native or seedling, and improved varieties.

In 2022 U.S. pecan crop totaled 278 million pounds. The value of the 2022 pecan crop was $500 million. Commercial pecan production was reported in 15 states, Georgia leading the U.S. as the top producer of pecans (NASS 2022).

Marketing Channels

The main marketing season for pecans is from the beginning of October to the end of March. However, growers have been able to extend the marketing season by using proper storage methods, such as cold storage. 

Farmers have many different options when selling their pecans. Farmers can sell their pecans in-shell or shelled. They also can sell straight to consumers through farmers’ markets and online websites for retail prices or to accumulators, wholesalers and shellers for wholesale prices. Farmers shelling their pecans prior to selling must keep in mind the costs for shelling equipment and additional labor (NMSU – Cooperative Extension, 2017).

Buyers are mainly concerned with the price they can receive for the pecan nutmeat. For this reason it is extremely important for farmers to know the shell-out percentage of their pecans to receive the greatest value for their crop. The shell-out percentage is the amount of nutmeat yield in relation to the weight of the entire pecan (NMSU - Cooperative Extension, 2017) (NMSU – Cooperative Extension, 2017).

Shellers not only sell pecan nutmeat, but also pecan shells for use in products such as particleboard and landscape mulches. Farmers who shell their own pecans could add value to their crop by selling the shells in this same manner (NMSU – Cooperative Extension, 2017).

Pecan nutmeat can be used in a variety of ways. Fresh pecans have a slight buttery taste and are an extremely healthy snack on their own or can be added to meals. Fresh pecans are said to have the highest antioxidant content of all tree nuts (NPSA, 2021). Shelled pecans are often processed further. Bakers and confectioners are the largest buyers of shelled pecans, using pecans in cakes, pies, pralines and brittles. Farmers who shell their own pecans could add value by selling to local bakeries and restaurants (NMSU – Cooperative Extension, 2017).


Pecans were produced on 409,000 acres in 2022, down slightly from 2021. 235.4 million pounds were sold shelled and 42.3 million pounds were sold in shell, resulting in a total production of 278 million pounds. The value of the crop totaled more than $500 million. (NASS 2022)

In 2022, Georgia led the nation in pecan production, with utilized production for all pecans reaching 132 million pounds, followed by New Mexico at 74.7 million pounds, Arizona at 39.1 million pounds, and Texas at 25 million pounds. (NASS, 2022).

Exports/Imports/United States Consumption

The U.S. produces nearly 80% of the worlds pecans. In 2022 the U.S. produced 409,000 acres of pecans and harvested 278 million pounds. 42.3 million pounds of pecans were sold in-shell while 235.4 million pounds were sold shelled (NASS 2022). Approximately 28 percent of the U.S. pecan supply is exported (USDA ERS 2022).


Helpful enterprise budgets for pecans:


Cultural Management of Commercial Pecan Orchards, University of Georgia – Cooperative Extension, 2020.
Global Agricultural Trade System Online (GATS), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA.
National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA).
Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), USDA.
Pecan Prices and Grades, New Mexico State University – Cooperative Extension, 2017.
Storing Pecans, New Mexico State University – Cooperative Extension, 2021.
Table-A1: Fruit and tree nut per capita, U.S., ERS, USDA.