Growing French Walnuts For A Profit

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Specialists say that growing French walnuts is one of the most profitable investments these days for those who like to blend passion for horticulture and lucrative ideas. One just has to be a little patient since, speaking of fruit trees, it may take years till the first concrete results show up. Here is more on growing French walnuts for a profit.

Choose a cultivar that has been bred for its nuts and you will be rewarded with consistent crops of nuts of a specified taste and quality.  Even more attractive is the fact that a grafted walnut cultivar may start producing nuts only 3 years after planting in the garden or orchard; compared to the 15-20 years for a seedling tree. Below are three French walnut varieties that are known for their significant outputs.

Fernor – A modern (1995) French variety.  Late to leaf, precocious flowering, lateral fruiting and blight tolerant. Its fruit is late to ripen, large size and of excellent quality. In France, yields of 1 tonne per hectare at 6 years-old are usually attained, and 4-5 tonnes per hectare when mature. Noyer ‘Fernor’ is an outstanding new disease resistant French hybrid. It has high yields of large flavorsome nuts which store well and it grows well in hedgerows.

Franquette – A traditional French variety, representing 75-80% of orchards (15,000 ha) in just two French production areas (ref).  Late leafing, good productivity, excellent nut quality.  It is a terminal bearer (1-2 fruit per terminal) which requires only light pruning. Yields are only moderate compared to modern lateral bearing varieties such as Fernor and Lara. Partly self-fertile, bearing fruit at 3-5 years. Late fruiting season, nut size mid to large. Resistance to blight. It has a light blond shell, and its fruit has a delicate taste.

Noyer ‘Franquette’ is also a disease resistant variety that has excellent productivity of outstanding medium sized nuts, bearing fruit around four years after planting. As it is not self-pollinating unless you have other walnuts close by it is recommended to plant with another variety such as ‘Ronde de Montignac’.

Lara – French variety (developed 1980s), good fruit quality, precocious and highly productive. Early bud break and fruit ripening. Average vigour, quite upright in habit and lateral bearing.

In Europe, prices for walnuts and walnut based products are the following: whole unshelled walnuts 4.00€ per 1kg pkt or 19.00€ per sacks of 5kg; Freshly shelled walnut kernels 4.50€ per 200g; Walnut oil 10.00€ per 25cl.

Sources: Gabrielhemery.com, Livingmagazine.fr

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