UW Extension recently released a new report “Setting A Yield Goal for Hazelnut Breeding in the Upper Midwest”. This report summarizes some of the work-to-date on an ambitious project to improve hazelnut germplasm, develop appropriate-scale nut processing equipment, and develop sustainable business models to support commercial hazelnut production in the Upper Midwest. University of Minnesota is the project lead, with partners at UW Extension, UW Stevens Point, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture and CIAS. The project is part of The Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative, a collaboration of researchers in Wisconsin and Minnesota working with early-adopter hazelnut growers to develop an Upper Midwest hazelnut industry.
Hazelnuts are native to the Driftless region, with considerable potential as a perennial, high-value, drought-tolerant, permaculture-friendly crop. Keep your eye on this project and tell us your interests and concerns with hazelnuts.