Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet the Partners: Nebraska Forest Service 
& the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Nebraska Forest Service and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) have been conducting research on hazelnuts for 10 years, focusing on yield, oil yield, cold hardiness, drought resistance and bioenergy. In addition to plant research, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has developed mechanical equipment for harvesting hazelnuts.

Through an array of strategic initiatives and partnerships, the Nebraska Forest Service (NFS) fosters tree- and forest-based economic development across the state. It has worked on numerous extension and outreach programs to educate farmers and other agricultural professionals about hybrid hazelnuts.

Above & below: Thousands of hybrid hazelnuts are
 being tested at Horning Farm in Nebraska.

NFS is doing the majority of field testing for hazelnut cultivars produced through Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium breeding efforts at Rutgers and Oregon State. Thousands of hazelnuts are planted at NFS’s Horning State Farm Demonstration Forest near Plattsmouth, Nebr., and on UNL’s East Campus, where they’re being studied for resistance to eastern filbert blight and their ability to survive in extreme weather. 

Tests at UNL have shown that hazelnut oil's characteristics make
it an excellent candidate for biodiesel and other oleochemicals.  

The Industrial Agricultural Products Center at UNL has analyzed hybrid hazelnut oil as part of its work with the Consortium. The analysis has yielded some interesting findings: 
  • An average hazelnut produces nearly twice the amount of oil per acre as soybeans.
  • The physical/chemical characteristics of hazelnuts for biodiesel are substantially superior to soybean oil.
  • The percentage of oil per hazelnut kernel ranges from 56.1% to 75.2%.
  • Hazelnut oil has a unique fatty acid composition, thermal stability and low temperature properties that should increase its value over soybean oil for a number of applications.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone interested in a patch of 'wild' Hazel nuts in Michigan? We have a patch growing on the berm of a dam in one of our parks, and the newest dam inspector wants us to get rid of everything but grass on the dam...Just wondering how they may be saved?