Area hullers paying ‘all-time highest price’for black walnuts
The annual black walnut harvest has begun, according to a news release from Stockton-based Hammons Product Co. announcing the opening of its hulling stations on Oct. 1. The company said hullers will be paying a higher opening price this year than in 2018: $16 per 100 pounds after hulling ($15 for locations east of the Mississippi River). Individuals and groups are encouraged to bring freshly fallen black walnuts to a nearby huller, which, in this area, includes Elite Lawn & Home on Washington Avenue in Ava; Jason Cotter at Highways 101 and 160 in Caulfield; Larry Russell, Route 1 Box 4280 in Dora; and Dan Janes, 180 Janes Hill in Gainesville. For more locations, visit black-walnuts.com.
Early harvest projections are mixed, according to the Hammons announcement. “This year’s crop of wild black walnuts looks to be better in Central Missouri and east of the Mississippi,” said Brian Hammons, Hammons Products president. “While some trees in southern Missouri don’t have as many nuts this year, we’re beginning to see more in several spots and hope the weather cooperates so folks can get them in. We’re hoping for a harvest of 22 million pounds with this all-time highest price.”
Hammons added, “The Midwest is the only place in the world where black walnuts are collected and sold on a large scale, so it’s something that is very unique and special to these rural communities.”
Buzz for wild grown foods and plant-based proteins has been increasing in the global food market, the announcement said. With the highest protein of all nuts, wild black walnuts continue to grow in popularity. Chefs, dietitians and “foodies” exhibit growing interest in the nut’s natural bold flavors and significant health benefits.