2017 Black Walut Harvest

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Eugene
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2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:20 pm

Gonna be a bumper crop after two years with next to nothing. Previous two years had barely enough nuts for personal minimal usage.

Waiting to see if there is going to be a buying station in town. If there is no in town buying station, not worth picking up more nuts that I can personally use.

Problem is, there is about $40- worth of hulled nuts in a full pickup bed. If no hulling/buying station in town, 30 mile round trip to sell. Take out the mileage, hourly wage, not enough profit left to make it worth the effort.

In town hulling/buying station, 3 pickup loads pay the property taxes on the acreage. That's about 9 or 10 man hours worth of work, or about $12- a man hour.

Wife likes to mow. Think I will start her on mowing to bare ground under the black walnuts, blowing the debris out from under the drip line. Hoping that they open the in town hulling and buying station.

Any way, currently trimming up the black walnuts for future saw logs and a perhaps a few veneer logs. Trimming go into the fire wood pile.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby randallc » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:10 am

Black Walnut - advertise to wood turners.
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Eugene
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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:39 am

randallc wrote:Black Walnut - advertise to wood turners.
Black walnut is a common tree in this part of Missouri. Not worth much on the stump. Only worth high dollars after it has been felled, milled, handled a couple dozen times before getting to the retailer.

Most of the trimmed branches are less than 2 inches in diameter. If I can get some firewood out of a branch, I do so. Other than that the branches are hauled to the edge of the woods and deposited for wildlife habitat.

Had a state forester on the property several times. There is not enough current suitable timber of interest a logging company in felling the trees. Second thing making the available timber unattractive to a logger is that the larger, mature trees are on very steep slopes. Once a tree has been felled and trimmed, it would have to be cable skidded up the slope to be loaded onto a truck.

Have some 20 - 30 year old trees in the lower, flat area and a row in the pasture that I'm working on. Some time in the future these trees will be easily accessible to a logging company.

Guessing, I have around 400 black walnut trees on 35.92 acres, various ages and sizes.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby StaffordCub » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:11 pm

I had a question about harvested and cleaned black walnuts. Each year I sort the hulled nuts and place in a 5 gallon bucket filled with water to determine which are good and which are not. This works well, after hosing and cleaning I place them in a shallow screen bottomed frame to dry. But I always get a yellow mold like growth on the drying nuts. No matter how careful, this yellow bloom (?) seems to form. I dry them out of direct sun on my covered porch. Have any of you found this and is it harmful? I usually discard these walnuts but that could be half the harvest. I have sent notes to the extension office and they don't seem to know about this. Also searched online but find vague references to a toxic yellow mold but I don't know if what I have is the same thing. Thanks all and I enjoy reading your posts about farm life.
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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:27 am

StaffordCub wrote:I always get a yellow mold like growth on the drying nuts.
The only time I have had a bit of a mold problem is when I have the drying walnuts piled to thick/deep. Drying walnuts should only be about 3 walnuts deep. I agitate the drying walnuts every day, stir them up. Drying cage is off the ground and located in the breeze.

After drying in the cage for 3 to 5 days, the nuts are placed in old plastic milk crates, filled only about 1/3 full. The crates are set on the front porch rail and the nuts agitated every day for up to 3 weeks to continue drying. Individual crates are then filled up, hand hold holes covered, and a lid placed on top. Crates are stacked on 2X4s, in a breezy area of the front porch for 6 to 8 weeks to cure.

Some resources on your mold problem.

I have found the local USDA and Dept. of Conservation offices very helpful and informative.

Might try the authors of "Green Horizons", Univ. MO. Ag. Dept. specializing in forestry products/crops. There is/are nut production councils. Might contact Hammons, they do research in black walnut trees/production.

Don't know if your are not letting the nuts dry long enough before storing for the curing process or it's something in the atmosphere. Also might ask the resources if you could wash the nuts with a very mild Clorox solution.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby rockfarmer » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:38 pm

I love walnuts...the price at the grocery store does not reflect what your saying. Who's making all the money?

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:43 am

rockfarmer wrote:I love walnuts...the price at the grocery store does not reflect what your saying. Who's making all the money?
Nobody. The operating margins on products sold in the store are quite small. Every operation, step, procedure, handling, transportation, taxes, and a bunch of other things, from harvest until the product is sold in the store adds a small percentage to the final cost of the product.

Example, a hulling station takes 2 or 3 people to operate. Cost of the hulling machine, farm tractor and manure spreader, labor, administrative (book keeping), fuel, electricity, etc..

I did a cost analysis several years ago on prepping for and harvesting black walnuts. My return was $8- per hour labor in harvesting and transportation to the hulling station. The $8- per hour did not include prior labor, expenses for mowing and pickup fuel, depreciation and maintenance on equipment, and taxes.

2017 black walnut price is $15- per 100 pounds, hulled. Hulling stations open 2 October. The walnuts are starting to fall, 2 or 3 weeks early.

Yesterday, picked up a dozen nuts, drove over them with the pickup to crack the hulls to check quality and size of the nut. Today, will start getting set up for my personal use. Will probably not bother to sell walnuts at the hulling station, no or very little profit margin.

Edit. The profit in black walnut is not in selling to the hulling stations, but at some time in the future. In another earlier post, son and I have been cleaning up, clearing pasture land on the acreage for 17 years. Wife and I have spent several hours per day in the past week trimming up black walnut trees for future saw logs. Most of the estimated 400 black walnut trees are in pasture. The pasture needs to be mowed, maintained.

Ag land in this part of Missouri appreciates at around .03% per year. Based on reasonable value of the acreage, $2400- appreciation in value for maintaining and improving the property in 2017.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby rockfarmer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:51 am

That's pretty tight.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:42 am

rockfarmer wrote:That's pretty tight.
Nice conversation this morning with another local "farmer" about black walnut and other things. Black walnut trunks 18" diameter and over are bringing a premium price. And local saw mills are not taking black walnut 8" in diameter and under.

Some of the non direct financial benefits of owning an acreage. Firewood, son partially heats with wood. Recreation, hunting. Shop for storage and working on tractors. Black walnut meats, daughter makes me black walnut and raisin cookie dough. Wild fruits which daughter turns into jellies. And most importantly, a place to go to keep me out of trouble and active.

When we first purchased the acreage, one pickup load of black walnuts, $40- would pay the property tax. Since we have improved the acreage and added the shop building, property tax has more than tripled.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby rockfarmer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:03 pm

I have a friend who builds furniture mainly out of mesquite. Occasionally he gets a piece of black walnut and it is usually some of his most beautiful stuff. He may be interested in buying a truckload or more if you have dead trees to get rid of. He makes knife handles, saw handles, bar stools, tables etc. all exotic high dollar stuff.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby v w » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:06 am

We have one tree in our yard so harvest only for personal use. I do get some yellow on the hulled nuts but not sure it is mold. Use them and we're still alive. I crack nuts just before they are dry which I think is easier. Meats are then dried in shallow pan and frozen. Seems to work for us. Vern

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:08 am

Eastern Texas is within the black walnut growing range. Have your friend contact a number of saw mills within that area. See if they occasionally handle black walnut. Purchasing directly from the mills would be less expensive, if your friend provides the transportation, than driving to central Missouri.

I know of several saw mills within Osage County, Missouri that ship sawn lumber. One company ships eastern red cedar to the far east, Asia.

There is a good chance that dead black walnut trees will be hollow. Last two that I dropped were. No saw logs, only good for firewood. The dead trees were dropping limbs into the mowing area of the pasture.

Dead trees, any species. Currently have two fallen over dead trees. One on the line fence, other one into the edge of the mowing area of the pasture. Later this fall I will clean these trees up, cut into firewood because they are easy to get to. Have two massive oak trees that went over in a storm a few years ago. They are still where they fell because they are very hard to get to, they are not in pasture or on one of the tractor paths.

I have plenty of dried firewood, enough for several years. Cleaning up bothersome trees maintains the firewood supply.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:39 am

v w wrote: I crack nuts just before they are dry which I think is easier. Meats are then dried in shallow pan and frozen. Seems to work for us. Vern
Cracking and picking black walnuts is one of my winter time activities. After picking the meats, they are sorted for shell fragments. Then placed in sealable bags in the freezer until I have 2 or 3 quarts of meats.

The frozen meats are vacuum sealed in 2 cup quantities. I place a tag in the vacuum sealed bags listing the product name, year, and a note to check for hull fragments before using.

Picked up 6 or 7 gallons of walnuts yesterday. Place on acreage drive and ran over with pickup.

Still need to mow down under the black walnut trees on the ridge. Mowing makes picking up the nuts much easier.

Did a test run on about 18 nuts picked up a couple days ago. Only two nuts floated, should be a good year with a high percentage of filled out nuts.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby Eugene » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:55 pm

Medical appointment yesterday. Hands black walnut stained. Had to tell the Doctor that I wasn't dying from the black plague. Then a lengthy conversation about black walnuts.

CT scan and a bunch of other tests. CT scan, an improvement - thought that I may have had a previous bit of infection. Other tests, no change - excellent condition overall.

Today, purchasing new tennis shoes. One of the women said that I have been picking black walnuts. She knew exactly what the stain was.

Currently only picking up tennis and baseball sized nuts. Have about 4/5th of what I want for this winters nut cracking and meat picking out.

Nut fall is way early. Ground is well covered. Open of the hulling season is still 2 weeks away. Most of the walnuts on the ground and falling in the next week won't be good for black walnut meats.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: 2017 Black Walut Harvest

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:43 pm

Dr told "Pap" Snelson (previous owner of our farm) "Pap, you would live 10 years longer if you quit eating black walnuts and pork." Mr. Snelson looked at him and asked "What makes you think it would be worth it?" :lol:
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