SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The LSU AgCenter says Louisiana pecan growers who were eager to bounce back from last year's disappointing crop will likely have their hopes dashed this year.

Pecan specialist Charlie Graham predicts a smaller than usual harvest.

Graham said in a news release that insects, mites and disease have caused trees in Louisiana to defoliate and yields to drop. But fortunately, prices and demand remain strong.

He says Louisiana growers will likely harvest 4 million to 5 million pounds of pecans this year.

Pecan trees alternate between "on years" with heavy production and "off years" with lighter production.

Harvest in Louisiana typically begins in October, and most growers want to finish by Thanksgiving. But wet weather can prolong harvest into January.

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