Walnut buying stations in south-central Missouri — including in this area — will begin buying the black gold on Monday.

Hammons Products Co. of Stockton said the opening price for this year’s crop is $16 per 100 pounds after hulling. “While we’re glad that we can again provide a market for black walnuts, the uncertainty of nutmeat yield is a factor,” said Jacob Basecke, executive vice president of Hammons Products Co. After last year’s drought, the nutmeat yield (percentage of good kernels) was just 5.2 percent, down 27 percent from the prior year and the lowest Hammons had seen. “That increased costs considerably,” he said. Last year’s price started at $20.

With the drought in much of Missouri this summer, the nutmeat yield could be below normal again, Basecke believes.

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