Stockton-based Hammons Products Co. this fall is paying the highest price for black walnuts in the company's 75-year history.
Independent operators who harvest black walnuts and sell them to the company will receive $20 per 100 pounds after hulling, according to a news release. That's up 25% from last year.
Hammons Products President Brian Hammons said a strong season this year is needed "after the past three years with below-average crops.”
“This year’s crop of wild black walnuts looks to be good throughout the Midwest region where the trees grow naturally,” Hammons said in the release. “We hope for an abundant harvest of at least 24 million pounds of nuts, and perhaps as many as 30 million pounds."
This fall, the company expects to spend an estimated $8 million on payments to harvesters and commissions to small businesses that operate hulling stations, as well as machine and freight costs, Hammons said via email.
Harvesters are encouraged to pick up black walnuts within the first few weeks of October. While Hammons Products will continue buying walnuts through mid-November, the company expects prices to change mid-season, according to the release.
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