Sprouting New Tree Nut Businesses in the Midwest: Five Case Studies

Are you thinking about organizing a business to process nuts? You might want to take a look at this executive summary that covers five other nut processing and marketing businesses. Upload the document from this link: sproutingtreenutfinalweb

Growers in the Midwest are awakening to tree nuts as a possible source of farm income and a way to diversify their production. While U.S. almond production is based exclusively in California, the Midwest is well-suited for the production of black walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, heartnuts and chestnuts, and pecans will grow in the region’s southern states.

Increasing tree nut production in the Midwest can potentially increase the sustainability of agriculture and food systems in this region. Diverse agroforestry systems, including systems with nut trees, have the potential to provide farm revenue, environmental benefits and resilience in the face of variable weather and extreme weather events. Edible nut production can be an integral part of diversified agriculture, including forest farming, which incorporates a variety of perennial plants. It is especially well suited to marginal land in rural areas. Because nut trees don’t require annual tillage, they hold the soil in place during extreme rainfall and wind events. Hazelnuts provide soil cover throughout most of the year. As part of a complex cropping system, nuts and other perennial tree crops can contribute to productive landscapes that help address the challenges of climate change, pests and diseases.

The report chapters include:

  • building a supply chain
  • production challenges
  • processing options
  • marketing and pricing unique products
  • lessons learned

This research emerged from regional work to support the emerging hazelnut industry, and will be posted on the Hazelnut link on this site, as well as at the UW-CIAS site.