Oregon Hazelnut Farmers Expect Big Crop
SALEM, Ore. -- A U.S. Department of Agriculture survey says Oregon farmers expect to harvest 41,000 tons of hazelnuts this year -- 49 percent more than last year's crop.
From 1992 to 2003, hazelnut production had a biennial bearing pattern; large harvests one year were followed by much smaller harvests the next. That pattern changed in 2004 and 2005, when hazelnut production declined for two consecutive years.
Agriculture officials say the 2006 crop might be a return to the biennial bearing pattern.
This year, an average of 380 nuts were picked per tree for the USDA's Hazelnut Objective Yield Survey. This is the highest average since 2001, when the average was 574 nuts picked per tree.