Hazelnut Farming Playbook – How to Farm Hazelnuts in India


Hazelnuts in India are mainly grown in the northwestern hilly regions, such as Shimla, Kinnaur and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh. Still in the nascent stages, the commercial hazelnut farming does possess a lot of potential for profitability. Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh are the states where hazelnuts grow quite prevalently. 

In India, the European hazelnut is the variety that people often consider growing. Such popularity is the direct result of it being the easiest to cultivate in temperate regions. That makes Jammu and Kashmir the leading producer, accounting for more than 98% of total hazelnut cultivation across 89,000 hectares of land area. Let’s explore some benefits of pursuing hazelnut farming in India. And afterwards, let’s look into technical factors or farming techniques required to grow this healthy and nutritious nut.

How to Plant, Grow & Harvest Quality Hazelnuts in India?

Soil Requirements

Well-drained loamy soils best suit hazelnut farms, they should also have a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. Moreover, the soil should be rich in organic matter and must be supplemented with enough lime. In addition, adding a good amount of zinc and boron in the soil can help increase metabolic reactions in all crops.

Climatic conditions

Hazelnut crops are not suitable for hot climatic conditions. These cash crops require cool climatic conditions. These crops, however, cannot tolerate frost conditions during the spring season.

Additionally, they require an annual rainfall of 800 mm, distributed evenly throughout the year. It’s better to avoid cultivation when the temperature exceeds 38 °C as it will lead to hull burn and kernel shrinkage, negatively affecting the overall yield.

Hazelnut trees require a long season for proper nut formation. These nuts are best when planted in areas with long and dry summers. So, low summer temperatures with a cold mountain climate could cause a decline in nut yield.

Land Preparation

Before planting the seeds, removing all the weeds from the field is important. Also, it’s important to cut out any old roots. Following this, plough the land 3-4 times until the soil reaches the tilth stage.

You must use high-quality implements like — a cultivator, plough, and harrow to prepare the field. Mount them on to your Swaraj 834 and drive them through your farm to loosen down the soil.

Propagation Techniques

For growing Hazelnut trees, you can propagate them through either:

  •  Seeds 
  •  Grafting 
  •  Budding methods

But experts say that propagation through seeds is the best move to achieve good growth. Also, make sure to use local hazelnut seedlings as rootstocks.

Planting & Spacing in Hazelnut Cultivation

Hazelnut farming is highly preferred on square patterns on flat land or contour planting across hills with steep slopes. Seedling trees should maintain a distance of 12×12 m for better growth and harvest. A happy seeder will be capable of finishing the job easily. All you have to do is get your Mahindra 575 DI XP Plus and mount the loaded happy seeder behind it. The seeder will take care of the seeding process.

Irrigation & Watering

If you are growing hazelnuts commercially, you can water them either through flood, furrow irrigation, basin irrigation, or sprinkler and drip irrigation. 

Most growers prefer to use the drip irrigation system. In this system, water is delivered directly to the root zone of the plants. This saves water and reduces weed growth.

Fertilizer Schedule

Adding well-decomposed farmyard manure during ploughing will help in fertilising the soil. Moreover, add NPK in the following quantities to the soil:

  •  Apply P & K about 100 grammes per plant in the initial 5 years. 
  •  Later add P @ 45-80 kg/ha. 
  •  Add K @ 65-100 kg/ha.

Note: For Nitrogen, add 100 gm per tree in the first year. Later, add 100 gm more every year for better plant and leaf growth.

Harvesting & Yield

Hazelnuts are ready to harvest within 10 to 12 years of planting the seedlings. In the case of grafted plants, the nut production starts within 4-5 years of planting. However, the grafted plants sowed for commercial purposes start producing within 8-10 years of planting.

Average Yield of Hazelnut

A mature Hazelnut tree can yield about 25 pounds of nuts in a single year. The full production of Hazelnut yield is 2,800 marketable pounds per acre. Commercial crop yields begin in the third year and full production is reached in the 12 th year. An orchard can remain productive for about 40 to 50 years if well-managed.

Hazelnuts are properly grown in:

  •  Jammu and Kashmir 
  •  Uttarakhand 
  •  Himachal Pradesh 
  •  Arunachal Pradesh 
  •  North-East states 

Hazelnuts are exported to mainly:

  •  Europe 
  •  USA 
  •  Canada 
  •  Turkey 
  •  China

Final Thoughts on Hazelnut Cultivation

These technical factors directly answer the most commonly asked question of “how to cultivate hazelnuts in India?”. This temperate nut is easy to grow and sustain in well-drained loamy soils and temperatures below 38 degrees Celsius. Besides, you must maintain proper irrigation, planting and fertiliser schedules to develop quality nuts.


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