US Hazelnuts: Gotta Sell 'Em All
Oregon hazelnut-bearing acreage has increased roughly 17% during the last ten years, as new eastern filbert blight-resistant (EFB) varieties have been released. In the past five years, prices have been well above breakeven, encouraging new plantings.
It is estimated that, in the US, there are currently more than 40,000 acres planted in hazelnuts, of which 25% is considered non-bearing, while half of total acreage planted is comprised of an older variety more susceptible to EFB. While these trees slowly die or are pulled from production, yield gains will be minimised during the next three to five years, but will be significant in the long term, as the new trees mature. As production increases, producers and processors will have to augment their marketing strategy to a broader market base in order to keep prices above the historic ten-year average.