Cash does grow on trees – Chestnuts are a lucrative crop for family farmers
Seed pods on chestnut trees grown at the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, MO (photo by Kyle Spradley)

Seed pods on chestnut trees grown at the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, MO (photo by CAFNR’s Kyle Spradley)

Finding alternative crops for small to medium size farms can be daunting. In the Midwest one crop is emerging as an option – Chinese chestnut. While chestnuts must have well-drained soil, it doesn’t take thousands of acres to be a big time producer. Fifty acres are enough to produce thousands of pounds of chestnuts.

It will take six to eight years before the trees will produce nuts, but chestnuts offer the perfect opportunity for alley cropping while you wait for them to mature. Food crops or forages are options.

The demand for chestnuts is on the rise and current producers can’t keep up, so growing chestnuts has real profit potential.

 

 

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Center for Agroforestry

MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center

 

 

 

 

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