OREGON COUNTY -- This year's walnut crop in Oregon County is about ready to be picked. According to Hammons Product Company, hullers' prices are at an all-time high and it's time to gather the kids in the back yard and fields to pick up those walnuts.
Buying will begin Oct. 1 and will continue through early November or as long as this year's walnut crop lasts.
The buying station in the county will be the old Midway Truck Stop, two miles north of Thayer on Highway 63.
Hullers say the overall walnut harvest is expected to be better than last year's 27 million pounds.
The market price is $13 per hundred pounds for hulled nuts, up 2 cents a pound from last year. Hulling hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Missouri is the largest supplier of walnuts to the Hammons Product Company in the United States.
The walnuts sometimes known as "Black Gold" are ready for picking in many areas of the state, including Oregon County.
Since the mid 1940s, it has been a tradition in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri for entire families to make extra money picking up walnuts.
Hammons Product Company of Stockton, Mo., will be buying the walnuts picked up in the county. The buying station removes the hulls.
Hammons officials said the earlier the walnuts are picked up, the better the nutmeat is. They encouraged all who will be picking up the walnuts to start now. This is an advantage to the seller, too, because the moisture content is higher and they weigh more.
Hammons officials said they anticipate purchasing more walnuts this year than last year. In high production years the company has purchased more than 50 million pounds of nuts.
For more information about this year's walnut crop call Tom or Mary Marcum at 417-778-7925 or 417-270-0919.