Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia
Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

pecan harvest, photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

An alternate bearing crop and a strong export market have converged to create the perfect storm for Georgia pecan growers this season.

Pecan trees alternate bear, with one season being light followed the next season with a heavy crop, according to a news release.

2011 happens to be a heavy or "on" year, and growers expect to harvest 90 million to 100 million pounds.

Although the yields are high, they won't set a record.

But prices are bringing $3 or more per pound, which could push the crop's value to more than $300 million or $100 million more than any previous year's.

Credit the Chinese and their new-found taste for pecans for the higher prices.

That country has imported 40 million to 90 million pounds annually.