An Agroforestry Opportunity
We believe tremendous opportunity will exist for U.S. farmers and nut growers when disease-resistant, climatically adapted hazelnuts are developed. Why? Because hazelnut plants require less water than annual crops, are drought resistant and can be grown on hilly, sloping or marginal soils. Our research in Nebraska has shown that hazelnuts can be a high-yielding dry-land crop.
Hybrid hazelnut shrubs will be suitable for integration into farming systems as orchards or income-producing windbreaks or snow fences. Used in riparian forest buffers, they will reduce erosion, store water and trap soil, chemicals and nutrients while producing additional income for landowners.
They also may provide revenue-generating capability for small, difficult-to-farm parcels of land, such as corners created by pivot irrigation systems or in areas where unusual topography is unsuited for cultivated crops.
And where ever they’re planted, they’ll provide year-round habitat for wildlife. Check out our website at www.arborday.org/programs/hazelnuts/consortium for more information about the potential of hybrid hazelnuts.