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With Hurricane Michael set to rip through Georgia any second, it seems that the world’s supply of pecans is seriously under threat.
Before a natural disaster touches down, we tend to compartmentalise the potential damage. What it will hit, how much of it will we lose, and will we be alright afterwards. Fortunately, we’re spared most of the very crushing, very personal loss those in the predicted path face, so those at home tend to cling to more universal costs.
With that in mind, Hurricane Michael can go and dissipate over the nearest lake, as it seems that it is on course to take our pecans away from us. Why you blustery bastard, why? The problem is that Hurricane Michael is predicted to roll through Georgia’s pecan belt, where the yearly harvest has just begun. It’s a problem as that state grows the vast majority of the pecans in the world.
The problem is, there’s nary that these pecan purveyors can do, save for sprinkling some nutty thought on the sundae of eternal hope. Janice Dees, executive director of the US Pecan Growers Council, told Quartz that “…there’s nothing they can do right now until this passes…if the winds are as heavy or are going to be as hard as what they’re reporting…it’s going to be catastrophic.”
To be brutally honest, 2018 is a bad time for pecan farmers full stop. Save for the storm that looks to finish the job, they’re also battling the White House, namely Donald Trump’s measures against Chieyna. China, the top importer of US pecans, placed a 47-per cent tariff on the nuts this summer, as part of the trade war with Donald Trump. “A lot of nuts were going to Asia for Chinese New Year,” Dees said, noting that the South Korean and European markets for pecans have also grown in recent years. “There is going to be an impact, you can’t say that there won’t. You just don’t know how strong and deep that’s going to be right now, with the tariff situation.”
The whole thing is nuts. And natural disasters. And trade wars.
I suppose it could be worse. Michael could have hit the almond belt.