It must be written in the imaginary 'Pecan Sheller's Handbook' that when you bring your pecans in for processing, they must sit in a dark corner for two, three, or four weeks before being processed. I've taken a load into the sheller and there not be one single pecan in the whole place...and it's still two weeks before I get my shelled pecans back. The fact that it may be two weeks before Thanksgiving and I have a hundred or so eager customers ready to pounce on my new crop of pecans simply does not matter to them. They're not shelling my pecans until they get good and ready. The folks at the shelling facility would tell you that new crop pecans are harder to shell, and if they sit for awhile they shell better. They might tell you the new crop of pecans you bring in are green...which means they're FRESH. What they are really saying is that their sixty thousand dollars worth of pecan equipment can't shell a fresh pecan. I can't make those customers up in Oregon understand that they will have to have their Thanksgiving pecan pie for New Years.Another issue I have with pecan shellers is the quality of their work. I visited a pecan sheller around the first of October one year, about a month before my crop was due to come off. I walked into his plant and saw at least two dozen or so metal garbage cans with plastic bag liners, all filled to the brim with the prettiest pecan halves I have ever seen. I asked him about his shell-out ratio and what percentage would be halves compared to pieces. He told me he had brand new equipment and was sure he could turn out 80% halves. The man must have been dyslexic, because when I got my first (and last) batch back from him six weeks later, about 80% were pecan 'crumbs' and the other 20% were pecan halves, and they looked like they had been in a train wreck. Worse than that, the shell-out ratio was only 48%. I know my pecans, I know how to grow them, and I know they will shell out at 55-58% nutmeat.
Inevitably there will be some of you stumble across this page. I'm sure all those tacky things I said above are about your competitor, at least I hope so. Mr. Sheller, I want you to know that I need you, that thousands of pecan growers need you...and we do appreciate your being there for us. This is a golden opportunity for you to let folks know you are in business and want to do business with pecan producers. We invite you to contact us about promoting your business to thousands of people who stop by our website in search of pecan information. They really do want to know that you are out there. We are just the place to advertise your business!