Iowa Hazelnut Project

Background - The Future of Iowa is Nuts!

Iowa faces many challenges heading into the 21st century, none as important as the future of agriculture. Members of the Iowa Nut Growers Association believe the Future of Iowa is Nuts! This simply means that the future of agriculture in Iowa must include nut trees and shrubs on thousands of acres across the state representing roots in the ground all year long and contributing to a healthy environment, vibrant communities, and resilient farms.

Opportunity - Money Does Grow on Trees

Agroforestry, as the name might imply, is the intentional combination of agriculture and forestry. Agroforestry is the land management technique whereby you can legitimately say "Money grows on trees." Establishing, managing, harvesting, and marketing trees and shrubs is possible with specialty nut, fruit, timber, and other enterprises featuring trees and shrubs.

Opportunities exist right now for farmers and landowners that have sites suited for chestnut production. These growers are making more per acre than commodity crop farmers with a fraction of the inputs and labor needed. Of course perennial crops, like trees and shrubs, take time to grow and produce regular harvests; but once they do, profitability can be achieved.

Iowa Hazelnut Project

Reaching our Objectives - The Path Forward

  1. Lead Outreach and Learning Opportunities
    1. Facilitate Learning Groups, Field Days, and other outreach events
    2. Develope Educational materials and Guidance Documents for new and prospective growers
    3. Assist growers in all aspects of hazelnut production
    4. Communicate to stakeholders and partners
  2. Establish Field Trials throughout Iowa
    1. Facilitate on-farm research sites and train landowner partners
    2. Confirm and validate productin assumptions
    3. Communicate research results
  3. Develop Value Added Opportunitires and Processes
    1. Lead processing activities to diversify end markets
    2. Assist growers with processing and marketing options
    3. Increase grower profitability through value added sales

To get involved, learn more, or support this work contact Jeff Jensen @ 515-320-6756 or

To learn more about the on-farm Hazelnut Test Plot opportunity see this fact sheet Test Plot Fact Sheet