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This is the fourth installment of our blog series a Year in the Life of an Estate-Grown Pecan Farm. This series provides you behind the scenes look at Stahmanns Pecans, one of the largest New Mexican pecan companies. This series will also include details about the harvesting of the fresh pecans to get them ready for commercial and industrial markets all over the world. If you missed Part 3, of A Year in the Life of an Estate Grown Pecan Farm, check it out here.

January – Wrap Up and Clean Up

In January, things slow down around the farm. They pecan harvest is complete. All of the pecans have been harvested, collected, bagged and begun the sorting process. Winter sets in at Stahmanns, but there is still plenty of work to do.

Pecan grove of a New Mexico pecan grower

The most important tasks in January is to begin the clean-up from this year’s harvest. This involves cleaning up the debris left over from the harvest, as well as checking on the health for each of our 150,000 pecan trees. Looking for pest infestations, dead branches and other issues that may hurt the production of the trees is easier to spot and address after all of the leaves have fallen and the pecans have been harvested.

Pecan farmers pruning trees

One of the most important parts of maintaining the pecan orchard is to make sure that the trees are periodically trimmed back so that all farming equipment can easily get around on the farm. Cutting back the trees also strengthens the branches that remain, making them heartier and help them flourish when the new growing season begins in the spring. When you have over 150,000 trees, pruning your pecan trees is a labor-intensive task.

After pecan farmers pruned trees

Sorting the Fresh Pecans

Meanwhile back at the sorting plant, the processing of the recent pecan harvest has already begun in earnest. The first stage involves separating the whole, raw pecans from all of the branches, dirt, leaves and other debris collected along with it during the harvest. This is done by bringing the entire mixture from the harvest to the sorting plant to the highest point of the tower.

Pecan shelling plant

The raw harvest is then dumped into the sorting tower where the pecans tumble down through a complex series of slots, filters and conveyors–and some help from our employees–that sort the pecans by size and pack them into crates. The crates are then put into storage within a climate-controlled warehouse until the shelling plant is ready crack them and collect the golden pecans within.

Pecan growers sorting pecans at shelling plant

Return next month for Part 5 of our blog series about a year in the life of an estate grown pecan farm, where we continue the care for the pecan orchard and begin shelling the pecans of the new harvest.

Looking for High-Quality Fresh Pecans by the Case?

Buy them from Stahmanns, one of the largest pecan farms in New Mexico. We supply SQF certified pecans for commercial and industrial markets. For more information about our wholesale pecans for sale, call us at 844-739-6887 or contact us using our simple online form.

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