It’s about time to start harvesting 65 percent of a national crop…..raised in Missouri. Almost two-thirds of the nation’s black walnuts are produced here. But the head of the state’s only commercial processor, Brian Hammons, says this year’s crop might be half of last year’s crop…. Thirty-six million pounds of American Eastern Black Walnuts came out of Missouri last year. That’s just the meat of the nut. Hulls and shells don’t count. Hammons says this year’s dry weather has had an impact on the crop. He says many trees don’t produce in alternate years…and this is the off-year in many areas. He says buying stations will open October 2nd…will stay open four to six weeks… Hammons says the nuts are hulled at those buying stations then taken to the processing plant where large steel wheels crack the shell and the nutmeat is taken out. The nutmeats are then shipped to companies that make commercial products; the shells are ground up to make abrasives or glue; and the hulls—they’re not good for much more than stain and fertilizer.