A few bad actors in the pecan industry have American farmers questioning the legitimacy of their newly formed federal marketing order, and the greed of a few may have put the entire project at risk.
Since the inception of the federal marketing order American pecan farmers have seen the price of their product drop more than 26% in value, all while demand continues to increase. The USDA published Pecan Production Report in March of 2019, documenting the previous three years of pecan production by state* showing the average production per state, yield per acre, and the price per pound. The prices on average have dropped over 25% by state with growers in Georgia taking the biggest hit with of loss in value of 34.8%, dropping from an average price of $2.50 in 2016 to $1.63 in 2018. Growers in Oklahoma suffered the least with only a 19.42% drop in price from $2.06 in 2016 down to $1.66 in 2018.
Since the onset of the federal marketing order in 2016 American pecan growers have lost nearly 40% of their crops value, in dollars the loss to American farmers equals just over 274 million dollars.
The American Pecan Council has been effective in its work promoting pecans and increasing demand, even in the face of a trade war with what used to be American Pecans biggest customer the APC has still increased demand. Farmers overlooked one important fact when forming the council, its board members. While the council is made up of many hardworking pecan industry participants, some of the members on the council are there only to serve their own best interest and not that of the pecan growers that fund the marketing order.
American Pecan Council member(s) have been caught utilizing American pecan dollars to promote foriegn pecans grown in other countries. Navarro Pecan who sits on the APC, even had the audacity to send a letter to the staff of the APC asking about the use the American Pecans logo on Mexican pecans, in order to deceive buyers into believing the pecans are grown by American growers.
This problem may be getting even more prevalent as the new USMCA deal may eliminate the country of Origin labeling laws when moving between the US and Mexico allowing bad actors like to take their malfeasance to even greater heights.
These bad actors in the industry have put American growers on edge and now has them questioning the legitimacy of the federal marketing order.