Hazelnuts are an unpretentious plant that requires basic conditions. In Italy, it is also called “the tree for the lazy”, as it does not require much maintenance. If you choose the right varieties, then large yields can be obtained both in the northern and southern zones. And the shelf life of cultivated hazel in the shell has a duration of 3-4 years in a dry and cool room.
Basic calculation of the profitability of a business idea:
The average yield of hazelnuts is up to 2 tons per hectare.
The yield of cores is on average 50%.
The wholesale purchase price for walnut kernels starts at $ 5800 per ton.
The price is growing every year because it is stimulated by the constant growth of demand.
What are hazelnuts useful for? This type of nuts is the unsurpassed leader in the number of useful properties among other food products. Like all nuts, hazelnuts stimulate the brain and improve potency. But its main advantage is the perfectly balanced 20 amino acids plus the perfect combination of protein and vitamin E increases the vitality of a person and perfectly helps against chronic fatigue. Athletes appreciate this product very much when they need to recuperate after repeated physical exertion. One hundred grams of hazelnuts contains 620 calories. This is an excellent indicator of the energy value of a product. For comparison, fried potato chips contain the same 100g. 530 calories.
To compete with foreign suppliers of nuts, it is necessary to choose varieties that give a yield close to world standards:
- fruits are round in shape with a rich brown shiny shell;
fat content – about 70-72%;
kernel yield – about 60%.
It is also important to take into account the climatic conditions for growing hazelnuts: the variety must be winter-hardy, drought-resistant.
To grow cultivated hazel in order to create a relic business, you need your own piece of land. If you rent it, then only with a subsequent purchase, that is, on lease. The fact is that it will only take a couple of years to make a profit from the hazelnut garden. The first nuts on the bushes will appear after 2 years, and they will begin to bear fruit at full capacity no earlier than in 3 years. Therefore, investing in leased land is risky.
Caring for hazelnuts does not require much knowledge and effort. This is an unpretentious plant to care for, but to get the best yields, you must follow the simple rules of agricultural technology.
Requirements for hazelnut agrotechnology:
- Soil. There are no special “wishes”. The best options are various chernozems and grey forest soils. Does not like hazelnuts in sandy, swampy and saline soils. It is advisable to lime acidic soil (for 1 sq. M – 500 g of lime). Bushes grow well in turf areas. But they respond gratefully to regular ploughing. In autumn – to a depth of 15-18cm. During the growing season – 4-5 times to a depth of 10-12 cm.
Planting time of seedlings. Autumn. The end of October. Hazelnut seedlings have a short dormancy period. Therefore, when planting in the spring, most of the seedlings die.
Landing scheme. The arrangement of the bushes depends on their size, the tendency to overgrowth. Planting in rows is possible. Patterns – 3X5 m, 5X4 m, 6X6 m Up to 5 bushes are arranged in a circle with a diameter of 1m. Subsequently, the plants are formed into stems. With an ordinary organization of the cultivation of a hazelnut garden, 500-700 bushes are placed on 1 hectare of land. When nesting – up to 1400.
Landing. The pits are prepared in advance, around the end of August. Depth – 30-50 cm. Each seedling is watered (20-25 litres of water). When the water is absorbed, the soil around the bush is mulched.
Watering. Required only in arid regions.
Pruning a hazelnut tree. The task is to remove broken, dry and diseased branches, all overgrowth, thin out the bush. All 4-5-year-old shoots are cut off. When the growth decreases, the yield weakens, the entire aerial part of the plant is cut off.
Fertilizers. A good filling of the soil with organic matter and minerals is recommended before planting. In the 1st year – 1-2 fertilizing with ammonium nitrate (per square meter – 15-20 g). In subsequent years – manure (3 kg – per sq. M), ammonium nitrate (40 g), superphosphate (40 g), potassium sulfate (30 g).
Protection from pests and diseases. Cleaning and burning of fallen leaves, dry and damaged branches. Deep autumn digging of soil. Preventive spraying with insecticides. Removing worm nuts.
Harvesting. When the nut itself falls out of the wrapper, it is ready. The optimal time – the pluses have just begun to change colour. If you shake the bush, the nut will fall.
Drying and storage. First, the nuts are stored in a dry room along with the wrappers. When the shell turns brown, the nuts are sorted out and peeled from the wrappers. Dry at room temperature by spreading out in a thin layer. If the nuts make a distinctive sound, they are ready. For storage, they are placed in a paper or cloth bags.
Grown hazelnuts can be stored for 3-4 years in a cool room (3-6 °). Humidity – 12-14%.
Nuts of cultivated hazel do not need advertising. They are constantly purchased and most often for export for resale to European countries. There, demand is growing rapidly every year. Especially in the fall, you can often find advertisements for the purchase of small and large batches. Who else buys hazelnuts besides dealers? For example:
- Most of all, factories for the production of chocolate, sweets and confectionery need tasty hazelnuts. These will be the main wholesale buyers.
In second place are grocery stores. The lots they buy will be smaller.
At the retail price, hazelnuts can be sold to the public.
Growing nuts is an investment in the future. Expect from this business idea not quick, but long and stable profit that does not require a lot of effort. One has only to work hard for the first year and enjoy the fruits of his labor for tens of years.
The calculations presented in the article are conditional and give only a general idea of the profitability of this type of activity based on the expert opinion of the author of the material. Our community strongly recommends that you independently make a feasibility study of the planned activity, based on the specific numbers of your region and the planned business size. The calculation of the payback must be done in a conservative way, that is, to take the costs to the maximum, and the proceeds from the minimum calculations.