Future Nuts from Improved Cultivars
The future growth of the Black Walnut nut industry depends on those bold landowners who want to invest in nut orchards for long-term economic gain. The key to this growth is planting grafted trees from improved cultivars (tree varieties meant for harvesting nuts) and managing those trees specifically for nut production. Hammons Products Company is working with the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, the Missouri Nut Growers Association, USDA Forest Service, Forest Keeling Nursery, and other public and private organizations to help landowners establish profitable Black Walnut nut orchards.
Why do we want improved cultivars? Some improved varieties produce nuts with thinner shells and bigger nutmeats than wild nuts. With this increase in nutmeat to shell ratio, the nuts are worth up to five times as much as the wild crop. Demand for these premium quality nuts is continually growing and the long-term profit potential for acreage planted is enticing. With investment in cultivars, the American Black Walnut can become an important cash crop for the Midwest and generate significant income for entrepreneuring planters. An extensive economic analysis spreadsheet and other valuable information is available at http://www.centerforagroforestry.org