Of the many high-profile laws that took effect on July 1 in Mississippi, a bill about pecans would fly under the radar. However, state officials, like Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson, felt it was time to increase penalties associated with pecan theft.
According to a statement provided to WJTV 12 News from Gipson’s office, the increased penalties in SB 2523 should help to deter those from stealing thousands of dollars worth of pecans from farmers.
“Just like any other crop, pecan growers put in a lot of time and inputs to raise their crops, and we must have laws in place to protect growers and the industry from thieves,” Gipson said.
According to Gipson’s statement, Mississippi’s pecan industry has expanded due to pecan acreage doubling since 2018.
Genuine MS, Mississippi’s Agricultural Branding Program, promotes multiple pecan products from vendors within Mississippi. According to Gipson, having SB 2523 in place helps to empower pecan growers and businesses in Mississippi overall.
“Having laws like this in place will benefit the industry and help it grow even further,” Gipson said.
Those who want to get some free pecans will have to wait until after the harvesting season, which is from around October to December. According to the Mississippi Code, pecans grown on private property on a public road, street, or highway can be picked up by the public if the harvesting season is over.