Picture: Hazelnuts in their shell. Credit: Janine Robinson (Unsplash).

The growing market for nuts is driving demand for new locations for hazelnut cultivation, but the long-term nature of these investments means that climate change impacts on yields must be considered when assessing their economic feasibility.

CLEX researchers and colleagues combined high-resolution regional climate projections with a process-based hazelnut simulation model to predict future hazelnut yield. Most regions in southeast Australia showed a wide range of projected changes with both increases or decreases in yield possible due to the balance of competing processes.

Yield increases were largely associated with higher gross assimilation (CO2 fertilization), while yield decreases were associated with a delay in chilling requirement fulfilment. However, in the southeasternmost part of Australia all projections indicated yield increases, providing the confidence to establish new hazelnut cultivation in this area. 

  • Paper: Jha, Prakash K., Stefano Materia, Giovanni Zizzi, Jose Maria Costa-Saura, Antonio Trabucco, Jason Evans, and Simone Bregaglio. “Climate Change Impacts on Phenology and Yield of Hazelnut in Australia.” Agricultural Systems 186 (January 1, 2021): 102982. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2020.102982.