The Potential of Greater Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima) Production in the Central Region of the United States

in HortScience

Although many areas of the United States are suitable for chestnut (Castanea sp.) production, less than 1.0% of chestnuts are domestically produced with most U.S. orchards less than 30 years old. Furthermore, the majority of U.S. citizens are not accustomed to chestnuts as a mainstream nut crop but rather associate them with winter holidays. Because nearly all chestnuts are imported, agricultural producers have a significant incentive to expand U.S. chestnut production and command top dollar because of their crop being locally produced and potentially certified organic. With cultural and postharvest practices becoming more refined, growers are poised to seize this niche crop opportunity.

Contributor Notes

This paper was part of the colloquium “Alternative Specialty Crop: Opportunities and Challenges,” presented at the 2015 ASHS Conference, New Orleans, LA, on 4 Aug. 2015, and sponsored by the Working Group of Asian Horticulture, Tropical Horticulture Working Group, and Pomology Working Group.

This paper is partially supported by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.

Professor and Extension Specialist

Corresponding author E-mail: mike.schnelle@okstate.edu.

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