NMSU: Buyers and Custom Shellers in the Western Pecan Growing Region
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Buyers and Custom Shellers in the Western Pecan-Growing Region


Guide H-630
Esteban Herrera, Extension Horticulturist
College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University


There were 13 commercial pecan buyers and 9 custom shellers in the Western pecan-growing region as of July 2001 (tables 1 and 2). The Western region includes West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. In 1999, about 113 million pounds of pecans were produced in the region. Most commercial shellers who traditionally buy from big pecan lots in the region are not involved in custom shelling pecans. However, the number of cracking/shelling operations (table 2) in the area has been increasing to serve small farmers.

Most pecan buyers have similar standards for buying pecans. They prefer to buy pecans that have about 55 percent kernel (meat). Prices improve when pecans yield more than 55 percent meat and decrease when they drop below that mark. Kernels should have the distinctive bright golden color characteristic of the region. However, approximately 4 percent amber color and 4 percent light color usually are acceptable and don’t incur a price penalty. Prices drop when there is a larger percentage of off-color kernels.

Some buyers require a nut size of 70 to 75 nuts per pound. They discount the price if the nuts are smaller. Most buyers give more attention to kernel percentage and good golden color than to nut size, which is usually acceptable for ‘Western’ and ‘Wichita’, the varieties most often planted in the region.

Kernel moisture also is measured. The accepted standard is about 5 percent, with price penalties usually occurring above 5 percent.

Other characteristics that can affect price include factors related to the nuts’ edibility. No credit is given for inedibles. Pregerminated and shell-split nuts occur mainly in ‘Wichita’ nuts, but their occurrence varies from year to year. Embryo rot and poorly filled kernels also can occur in pecans. Nuts affected with any of these problems usually are eliminated, bringing kernel percent down and affecting the net return pecan growers receive. Stink bug damage (black spots in kernels) also affects the final grading. When only one spot is present, most pecan buyers eliminate the area on the nut where it occurs. Final kernel percentage also will be affected.

Pecan buyers (shellers) usually take four samples from a truckload (one sample per 10,000 pounds). Each sample is graded for color, kernel percentage, and inedible nut percentage. A four-sample average is calculated before the final grade is given to a sampled lot. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has offered a pecan grading service to growers. This service has proven valuable when there is a disagreement in the final grades obtained by farmers and buyers.

Table 1. Pecan buyers in the Western pecan-growing region (2001).

ARNOLD BROTHERS**
Gary Arnold
P.O. Box 450
Fairacres, NM 88033
505-526-6165
ATKINSON FARMS***
Newell Atkinson
1117 Zuni
El Paso, TX 79925
915-778-8738
GLOVER FARMS**
Johnny Glover
P.O. Box 405
Tularosa, NM 88352
505-585-2489
Fax: 505-585-2817
GREEN VALLEY PECAN CO.***
Richard S. Walden
P.O. Box 7
Sahuarita, AZ 85629
520-879-7429
Fax: 520-791-2853
Steve Salopek
New Mexico, West Texas, Chihuahua
Las Cruces, NM
505-526-6800
Fax: 505-526-2671
Mobile: 505-644-0022
David Spillsbury
Cd. Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico
011-52-154-22109
Fax: 011-52-154-21508
Cell: 011-52-169-50248
Jorge Noriega B.
Mexico Operations
Sonora, Mexico
011-52-62-13-2101
Cell: 011-52-62-58-0540
HARRELL PECAN***
Marty Harrell and Lewis Williams
275 Industrial Bld.
Camilla, GA 31730
1-800-526-8770
912-336-7282
Fax: 912-336-1177
SAN SABA PECAN**
R.D. “Buddy” Adams
2803 West Wallace
San Saba, TX 76877
1-800-638-2101
915-372-5727
Fax: 915-372-3571
Phillip Arnold
2301 S. Main St.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
505-526-5745
Fax: 505-526-8061
Gustavo Batista
Mexico Operations
Calle 2A, PTE No. 1806
Cd. Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico
011-52-147-44648
011-52-147-44647
Fax: 011-52-147-44645
Adam Hajost
13709 N. Loop
Clint, TX 79836
915-851-2003
915-533-0790
Fax: 915-581-0554
John Ortiz
11-A Leigh Fisher
El Paso, TX 79906
1-800-726-2222
915-722-5871
Fax: 915-778-1732
JOHN B. SANFILIPPO & SON INC***
Everardo “Lalo” Soria
2299 Busse Rd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
1-800-423-6546
Fax: 847-593-3085
Phil Azar
P.O. Box 13440
El Paso, TX 79913
915-585-7976
Cell: 915-526-2777
Jeronimo Salazar
Mexico Operations
Torreon Coahuila, Mexico
011-52-17-27-12-23
PHELPS WHITE**
Phelps White
P.O. Box 874
Roswell, NM 88201
505-622-5701
THE NUT HOUSE**
Drew Wilson, owner
John Wilson, contact

419 E. Second
Roswell, NM 88220
505-622-4300
505-622-4361
SEVEN RIVERS INC.**
Gil Moutrey
P.O. Box 1598
Carlsbad, NM 88220
505-457-2506
SOUTHWEST NUT COMPANY***
Sam DiGregorio, Chris Spence, Jess Harrell
825 W. Main St.
Fabens, TX 79836
915-764-4949
Fax: 915-764-5959
Cd. Juarez, Mexcio
011-52-16-82-14-48
011-52-16-82-25-34
STAHMANN FARMS***
Sally Rovirosa-Stahman
Highway 28
P.O. Box 70
San Miguel, NM 88058
505-526-2453
YOUNG PECAN COMPANY***
Paul Koenig
New Mexico and West Texas
Las Cruces, NM 88001
505-526-7740
Malcom Burdette
Mexico
011-52-16-82-0662
Ing. Francisco Javier Paniagua
Ave. 14 Pte #305-A
Cd. Delicias, Chih. Mexico
011-52-147-40101
011-52-147-40102
011-52-147-40657
011-52-147-40658
Fax: 011-52-147-40657
Cell: 011-52-147-50127
** small and large lots
***large lots only

Table 2. Custom shellers and crackers in the Western pecan-growing region (2001).

GARDENDALE PECAN*
Rick and Connie Eicher
P.O. Box 826
Gardendale, TX 79758
915-550-7609
ADAM HAJOST**
Adam Hajost
13709 N. Loop
Clint, TX 79836
915-851-2003
915-533-0790
HAMILTON RANCHES INC.**
James Hamilton
318881 Road 160
Visalia, CA 93292
559-730-8638
JOHN CLAYSHULTE JR.**
P.O. Box 113
Mesilla, NM 88046
505-523-0067
505-882-3505
LAGOMARSINO FARMS**
Fred and Frank Lagomarsino
P.O. Box 981
Tulare, CA 93275
559-688-6626
Fax: 559-688-3542
NUT CRACKER SUITE**
Sandra Portillo
P.O. Box 2628
Anthony, NM 88021
505-882-3505
PECOS VALLEY PECANS, CARC INC.*
Manny Jimenez
902 West Sherry Lane
Carlsbad, NM 88220
505-887-2585
THE NUT HOUSE**
Drew Wilson, owner
John Wilson, contact

419 E. Second
Roswell, NM 88220
505-622-4300
505-622-4361
ROADRUNNER PECANS**
David Salopek
1985 Salopek Road
Las Cruces, NM 88005
505-526-5949
*small lots only
**small and large lots
***large lots only

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Revised and electronically distributed February 2002, Las Cruces, NM.