Current Hazelnut Growing Area: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Presently, 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop is produced in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The Oregon crop represents between 3–5% of the world hazelnut crop. The average farm-gate value (net value of hazelnuts when they leave the farm after marketing cost) of the U.S. crop in the past three years was about $63 million, with a processed value of nearly $160 million. Unfortunately, currently available cultivars are mostly adapted to areas with a Mediterranean climate, which have moderate winters and summers.
Potential Commercial Hazelnut Growing Area (Zones 4 to 8)
An increase in adaptation and disease resistance of new cultivars gives the United States the potential to become one of the world’s leading sustainable hazelnut producers. Expanding the growing region will create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. In addition to commercial nut production, homeowners, organic farmers, and gardeners would be able to grow and enjoy tasty crops of high-quality hazelnuts, which was never before possible.
Read: Developing Hazelnuts for the Eastern United States (148 KB)