- Nuts: hazelnuts
- Crop Production: irrigation
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns
- Production Systems: general crop production
This ambitious, producer driven and implemented project was established to accelerate the short and long term development of profitable and sustainable woody-based agricultural systems in the Midwest. It integrated two woody crops into small-to-medium farm enterprises – woody florals and hybrid hazelnuts. It strategically targeted key barriers that limit commercialization and built on establishing stronger producer links to promote large-scale adoption. Producers “owned” this project, and ensured that solutions were feasible, relevant, and permanently integrated into their enterprises encouraging rapid spread.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
Increased woody floral visibility and demonstrated profitability through 12 new on-farm demonstration plantings in 4 states.
Develop a permanent network of 12 woody floral (WF) producer “agents” to promote specialty woody crops, and who are regarded as reliable local sources of information.
Significantly increase the number of woody floral growers as a result of project-supported direct landowner contacts and assistance by WF producer agents.
Conduct joint processing, marketing and market/product development via a specialty woody crop cooperative leading to greater farm profitability, greater market options for producers, and stronger producer-consumer links.
Enhance producer access (24/7) to woody floral information, hybrid hazelnut production, processing, marketing, price and financial return information via an improved web-based market information system.
Increased farm profitability by using superior cultivars of both WFs and hazelnuts, and through more efficient processing procedures and equipment.
Successful hazelnut tissue culture leading to the capacity to mass produce superior disease-resistant, hybrid hazelnut seedlings at a low cost.
Development of experience-based enterprise budgets for woody floral enterprises.
An expanded and strengthened specialty woody crop community of interest region-wide through the use of both “high touch” and “high tech” approaches.
Increased production and marketing knowledge of producers, agency personnel, florists, and teachers of vocational agriculture, floral design and natural resources in Native American Tribal Colleges through 8 targeted workshops, 5 field days, 3 publications, and quarterly e-newsletter.