THE STATUS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR THE AUSTRALIAN HAZELNUT INDUSTRY
The production of hazelnuts in Australia is currently limited to areas with cool to warm summers and mild winters. Orchards have been planted in parts of Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and the south-west of Western Australia. Although the industry is small and geographically scattered, the Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc. (HGA) was created to promote hazelnut growing and facilitate the exchange of information between growers through field days and conferences. Furthermore, the industry is supported by a research infrastructure that fosters its early development. Industry surveys have been conducted to ascertain the development of the industry. Although not all growers are members of the HGA, it was estimated in 2010, that the industry was growing by about 10% per annum and that total production was about 80 tonnes of nut in shell. This contrasts with the annual importation of about 2,000 tonnes of kernels. Challenges facing the Australian industry include a lack of horticultural skills and knowledge, industry fragmentation, the relatively high cost of land in the cooler climate regions, understanding the water requirements of the crop, assessing the feasibility of growing in warmer, semi arid environments and climate change. These issues are strategically discussed here and high impact research priorities in the context of this small, developing industry are proposed. For example, HGA and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation supported a cultivar evaluation research project. It involved cultivars × sites evaluation. No single cultivar performed best at all sites. In general, Barcelona and the Australian selection TBC were the best performing cultivars, but Tonda di Giffoni also performed well. Valuable data were also obtained on the effects of climate on floral phenology, time of nut fall, nut and kernel production and kernel quality. Guidelines were developed for growers, in order to optimise research knowledge transmission.
Baldwin, B. and Guisard, Y. (2014). THE STATUS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR THE AUSTRALIAN HAZELNUT INDUSTRY. Acta Hortic. 1052, 321-327
hazelnut industry, Australian hazelnut production, Corylus avellana