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Nov 25, 2022
Upper Midwest Hazelnut celebrates 15 years

Fifteen years ago, early-adopter growers, private breeders and researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin got together to set an ambitious goal: build a new crop and industry from scratch. This was no small task given it takes 20+ years to develop a new hazelnut variety, and we were starting with zero dollars and zero staff.  Thanks to ongoing collaborations with our community of early-adopter growers and stakeholders, we’ve come a long way in 15 years:

  • UMHDI 1st Generation Hazelnut Varieties have been selected after more than a decade of evaluation and are being propagated as we speak for growers to start planting.
  • More than 20 acres of new breeding populations have been planted as we work to develop even better 2nd Generation varieties.
  • A grower-owned hazelnut processing and marketing company (American Hazelnut Company) is up and running providing an easy market for hazelnut growers.
  • The UMHDI processing line in Ashland makes it possible for anyone to turn in-shell hazelnuts into saleable kernel.
  • Six grower networks are in operation, providing assistance to growers in planting, producing, and selling hazelnuts.
  • More than 20 researchers and graduate students are conducting a range of research and development projects working on propagation, agronomics, plant breeding, harvesting, de-husking, and marketing.

– Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative

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