Thought about planting chestnuts?

Michigan is the U.S. leader in number of chestnut growers and acreage. Come to the North American Chestnut Farm Workshop in Jackson, Aug. 30 - Sept. 2, 2012.

Yes, there will be a chestnut harvest this year in Michigan. No wonder Michigan is NUMBER ONE in the United States in the number of chestnut growers and total chestnut acreage. Michigan State University has learned the secret to good chestnut production and the secret is … there is no secret. Simply plant the right cultivars, in the right locations, give the trees proper care, harvest the nuts and take them to market. There, the secret is out!

American chestnut fruit. Photo credit: Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Now all you need are the details and those will be handed out at the North American Chestnut Farm Workshop to be held in Jackson, Michigan beginning Thursday evening, August 30 and continuing through Sunday, September 2, 2012. A meeting of this magnitude has not been held in the United States since 1992 and it is in the backyard of every Michigan grower. Take advantage of this opportunity. TheMichigan State University Ernie and Mabel Rogers Research Endowment, the Midwest Nut Producers Council, and Chestnut Growers of America are sponsoring this meeting. You do not need to be a member of any chestnut group to attend.

The meeting will consist of in-depth presentations by chestnut experts from Michigan, Ohio, California, Oregon, Florida, Australia, China, Turkey, and Italy. In addition, Michigan State University chestnut researchers will speak on cultivars to plant, where to find them, harvesting, chestnut management in orchards and unique chestnut products developed right here in Michigan.

Our speaker representing Oregon, Chris Foster, is a certified organic grower of chestnut and he is finding good market opportunities.  

Registrants will have the opportunity to tour Michigan orchards, field plots and the chestnut processing facilities in Clarksville and Jackson, Michigan. Those attending will also be able to view the self-propelled Italian chestnut harvester (FACMA Cimini 180; think Ferrari) and meet the USA distributor of this harvester, Bruce Gelder. Plus, there will be plenty of time for growers to meet and discuss challenges encountered on their farms and the best solutions for those problems. It would also be a good place to find out if chestnut growing is something you want to pursue.

Registration information can be found at A detailed agenda can be found on the same webpage in the Summer 2012 Newsletter. For those with questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dennis Fulbright at

chestnut machine
Grading Michigan-grown chestnuts on a Kerian Speed Sizer in
Clarksville, MI in 2011.

Dr. Fulbright's work is funded in part by MSU's AgBioResearch.

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