Pecan prices are going nuts.
The rise is causing local farmers to hire extra security to safeguard their crop.
Forget drought conditions or insects. With pecan prices at an all time high, local pecan farmers are also having to worry about pecan thieves.
"It's been a pretty good year, " said Fabens pecan farmer Scott Roosevelt of Lutich Farms.
He's getting top dollar for his crop this year.
The reason is a strong demand from markets in India and China.
"They make a lot of candy and crush them, a lot of people are buying them just to eat them, " said Roosevelt.
The pecans popularity boosted by its reputation as a "healthy" nut.
"The Chinese call it like a nut of life. It's supposed to be very good, very healthy, " said Roosevelt.
Pecan trees across the nation tend to produce a heavy crop one year and a light crop the next.
This is an off year for most orchards.
"The pecans have produced a little more than we thought they would," said Roosevelt.
With fewer pecans harvested, prices per pound have tripled to about $3 a pound. Each tree's crop is worth about $1,000 or about 5 cents a nut.
"We've caught quite a few people" trying to steal nuts, said Roosevelt.
Pecan thieves also want a piece of the pie.
"Some people have hired off-duty security officers to patrol their fields, and we've had to get up at night to make sure no one's in there," said Roosevelt.
That adds to the cost of the highly profitable and expensive nut.
"I think it's a real good year to be in the pecan business," said Roosevelt.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Department confirms deputies have been hired to patrol local farms after getting calls about pecan thefts.