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University of Nebraska-Lincoln & the Nebraska Forest Service

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been conducting research on hazelnuts for ten years. This research has focused on yield, oil yield, cold hardiness, drought resistance, and bioenergy. In addition to plant research the University of Nebraska-Lincoln developed mechanical equipment for hazelnuts. Furthermore the Nebraska Forest Service has for many decades specialized in the extension of forestry entrepreneurship and tree care to landowners and the general public. The Nebraska Forest Service has helped spur or create numerous extension and outreach programs to inform and educate farmers and other agricultural professionals about hybrid hazelnuts.

Key Findings

  • An average hazelnut could produce nearly two times the amount of oil per acre compared to soybeans (Hammond, 2006).
  • The physical/chemical characteristics of hazelnuts for biodiesel are substantially superior to soybean oil (Xu and Hanna, 2007).
  • The percentage of oil per hazelnut kernel ranges from 56.1% to 75.2% (Josiah, 2007).
  • 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 (Xu, 2007).

Key Personnel

  • Dr. Scott J. Josiah Director of the Nebraska Forest Service: View CV (PDF, 53.2 KB).

    Dr. Scott Josiah is a forester with 41 years of short- and long-term experience in forestry, agroforestry, nursery management, and wildland fire protection in the U.S. and overseas. He has degrees from NY, IL, and MN in forestry, ecological restoration, and forest policy and administration. He has served as a forester in New York, wildland fire protection for the U.S. Territory of Guam, and containerized nursery production and project administration of a national agroforestry project in Haiti. He joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1998 as State Extension Forester, directing research and education programs in specialty woody crops production and marketing, community forestry, and agroforestry. He has been serving as State Forester and Director of the Nebraska Forest Service since 2005, administering a suite of programs in rural forestry, community forestry, forest health, rural fire protection, and forest products utilization. He has worked on hybrid hazelnut research and development for 20 years and leads the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s activities of the Hybrid Hazelnut National Research Consortium, working closely with Consortium partners Rutgers University, Oregon State University, and the Arbor Day Foundation.


  • Dr. Milford A. Hanna Director of the Industrial Agricultural Products Center and the Kenneth E. Morrison Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Food Science & Technology: View CV (PDF, 44.2 KB).

    According to Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters, Dr. Hanna’s work ranks in the top 1% among researchers worldwide in the field of Agricultural Sciences. He has also been named a Highly Cited Researcher in this field.

Publications/Research Papers (5 Selected Publications)

  • Xu, Y, M.A. Hanna and S.J. Josiah. 2008. Synthesis and characterization of hazelnut oil-based biodiesel. Industrial Crops and Products. Submitted.
  • Xu, Y.X., Hanna, M.A., and S.J. Josiah. 2007 Hybrid hazelnut oil characteristics and its potential oleochemical application. J. Industrial Crops and Products 26 (2007) 69-76.
  • Awada, T. and S. Josiah. 2007 Physiological response of four hazelnut hybrids to water availability in Nebraska. J. Great Plains Research 17 (2) Fall 2007. Pp 193-202.
  • Gold, M., Godsey, L. and S.J. Josiah. 2004. Markets and Marketing Strategies for Agroforestry Specialty Products in North America. Agroforestry Systems, 61:371-382. Also in: Nair PKR, Rao MR, and Buck LE (eds.) New Vistas in Agroforestry: A Compendium for the 1st World Congress of Agroforestry, Klewer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands (2004). 371-382.
  • Fernando, S. and M.A. Hanna. 2001. Comparison of viscosity characteristics of soybean oils with a mineral oil two-stroke engine lubricant. Trans. of the ASAE. 44(6):1403-1407.

See all publications & research papers from University Of Nebraska-Lincoln & the Nebraska Forest Service.