As the official state nut since 1989, hazelnuts are a locally treasured and exponentially valuable Oregon crop expected to double in production outputs through 2025. Since 2015, the industry has experienced a boom, with the number of orchards growing by 50 percent with nearly 1,000 hazelnut farms in Oregon totaling 80,000 acres. More than half of current orchards are less than five years old and hazelnut trees can produce for more than 100 years. Oregon grows 99 percent of all hazelnuts produced in the United States and 4 percent of global production. With an increasing foothold in export markets, growers have found opportunities to increase bulk sales and value-added products worldwide.
As Oregon’s economy benefits on multiple levels from the hazelnut industry, production, in turn, relies on multiple actors to steward soil and water and support natural resources and land uses for the long-term stability of orchard production. The purpose of the Oregon Solutions facilitated process is to align and advance hazelnut orchard best practices in resource management to improve outcomes and expand partnerships in the Willamette Basin.