Planting Recommendations...Douglas County

Asked June 6, 2017, 3:21 PM EDT

I own a 50 acre parcel of land in the Garden Valley area. The land was previously a prune orchard for which the trees have died and were removed 2 years ago. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether to plant filberts or grapes on the property. I have been approached by various parties interested in leasing and/or planting on the land. Depending on your answer I will have further questions. Thanks for your guidance.
If filberts are recommended which variety is best? I have read about the Jefferson variety; however a Fremont variety has been recommended for which I cannot find any literature.

Douglas County Oregon small farm issues

4 Responses

Planting filberts will have a longer period before the producer is receiving full income, about 6-7 years before the crop is producing at capacity. But at this time it appears to have the best long term potential. Grapes will be at full capacity at about 4 years. When looking at grape production the best return on investment comes when a person combines grape production with a winery and wine sales. If you are looking at just grape production without established buyers, the return on investment takes much longer than filberts would. Given your location, either crop should grow well.

If you go with filberts, Jefferson is one of the most popular varieties now, but you will need to have a couple more varieties to act as pollinizers. Those varieties will be mixed throughout the planting and will make up about 5-10% of the total trees. I have not heard of the Fremont variety of hazelnut.

I have been advised to plant the orchard with the Jefferson and McDonald variety of hazelnuts.
I cannot find any literature on the McDonald variety. I would appreciate any information on the McDonald variety.
Thanks again for your excellent advice.