Chestnuts have been grown
commercially for hundreds of years in Europe and Asia. Here in the
North America and specifically in the United States of America, commercial
chestnut production is in its early stages of development. The theme
growers constantly hear is "your a pioneer", and "the commercial
chestnut industry had still has a lot of unknowns and areas where there
are no answers". Yes, commercial chestnut production in the USA is a
pioneering endeavor. The difference between a pioneering endeavor and
a well refined endeavor is a wide knowledge base.
How can pests be controlled since there are few products
labeled for use on chestnuts?
Here is a list of some of the areas where there are needs for greater
knowledge in growing chestnuts and bringing them to market. Some would
even comment, "What market? There is little consumer awareness of chestnuts
as a food item in the USA. How can you sell something if nobody knows
how to use what you are selling?" With that said here is a short list:
For chestnut growers in the northern part of the Midwest states there are
several scientists working with local growers to help them develop a
chestnut industry in the United States of America. Dr. Fulbright from the
Michigan State University's Department of Plant Pathology has been and continues
to be instrumental. Dr. Fullbright aided the Michigan growers in obtaining
a grant for the purchase of a chestnut shelling processor from Italy. Dr.
Fulbright has written an excellent article
"Growing Chestnuts for
Commercial Markets in Michigan and other Midwest States: A Poineer Industry".
In the northeastern states Dr. Anagnostakis of the Connecticut Agricultural
Experiment Station in New Haven, CT.
has been providing assistance to the efforts to reestablish the American
chestnut in the eastern US forests. She also has collected soil and leaf
sample results from commercial growers across the entire USA. Her efforts
also include lists of known chestnut varieties and their basic characteristics
of growth habit, nut size and quality.
The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry has continuing efforts in
research of commercial chestnut production and marketing. For a good business
perspective of the chestnut industry in the United States the
"Chestnut Market Analysis Producers' Perspective" is a must read. Potential
chestnut growers should read
"Growing Chinese Chestnuts in Missouri". This guide was written by Dr.
Ken Hunt, Dr. Michael, Dr. William Reid, and Dr. Michele Warmund.