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Abstract

Very few hazelnuts are produced in Australia, yet we import more than 1800 tonnes of kernels valued at more than $10 million per annum. Hazelnuts are a deciduous tree crop, that requires mild temperatures, well-drained soils and good soil moisture. Although Australia generally has a semi arid climate, climate comparisons for some areas in South-eastern Australia, compared with key production areas in the northern hemisphere, indicate there are areas in Australia with a suitable climate. Field evaluation of a range of cultivars and grower selections indicates some genotypes with potential for Australian conditions. Yields recorded for young trees grown at Myrtleford in northeastern Victoria compare very favourably with commercial yields in some of the highest producing regions in the world. Technology and equipment is available overseas for crop mechanisation. It is concluded that hazelnuts are a crop with potential for select parts of Australia, but key elements for success will be growers working collaboratively to develop a productive, highly efficient industry with good marketing strategies.

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