Walnut as a farm crop in the Netherlands: an agroforestry project in the east and selection of cultivars for organic cultivation in the north

A. Oosterbaan, H. Schepers, E. Kwanten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

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Foreign and Dutch walnut cultivars have been evaluated in experiments at the Research Station for Fruit Growing located in the Southwest. The cultivars that performed best in these trials originated from British Columbia (`Broadview¿) and The Netherlands (`Buccaneer¿). In an agroforestry project in the East, 8 farms planted 10 ha of walnut (`Broadview¿, `Buccaneer¿), cherry and sweet chestnut at a spacing between 10-20 metres. The initial investment for trees, poles, wire netting to protect against animals, resulted in a low net income for the first 5 years. Thereafter, the income from the combination of walnut and quality timber with grass is reasonable and may exceed the income from subsidised, extensively managed grass. The grass production varied from 3 to 9 tons of dry matter per hectare per year. In the 4 years of investigation there was no visible evidence that the presence of the trees had influenced the composition and production of the grass vegetation. Based on predicted crown development grass production will be possible for a long period. So far, the nut production from the young plantations has not been profitable. In order to find walnuts that were better adapted to the cooler weather conditions of the North, walnuts were selected from green areas in the North and evaluated for their characteristics. This resulted in at least two cultivars (`Dionym¿, `Amphyon¿) with excellent yield potentials together with a good external and internal quality. Both cultivars have a low susceptibility to disease and are particularly suitable for organic cultivation. `Dionym¿ and `Amphyon¿ are planted in private gardens but also in a commercial organic orchard of 1.5 ha in which the 200 walnut trees are grown together (mixed cropping) with hazelnuts and Sea Buckthorn.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th international walnut symposium
EditorsD. Avanzato, M.E. Malvolti
Place of PublicationLeuven (Belgium)
ISBN (Print)9789066054264
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event5th international walnut symposium; Sorrento (Italy) -
Duration: 9 Nov 200413 Nov 2004


Conference5th international walnut symposium; Sorrento (Italy)


  • walnuts
  • crops
  • crop establishment
  • agroforestry
  • cultivars
  • organic farming
  • netherlands
  • crop yield
  • selection
  • nut crops


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