Nutfruit Magazine

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21 July, 2020 Feature Articles

Current State of Hazelnut Cultivation in the Countries of Commonwealth of Independent States

Current State of Hazelnut Cultivation in the Countries of Commonwealth of Independent States

Hazelnuts are a wide-spread valuable species. This manuscript is devoted to the features of the hazelnut cultivation in the countries of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS countries) including a description of the most promising varieties, main breeding directions, and cultivation systems. Currently, about 20 countries all over the world industrially produce hazelnuts. Turkey, Italy, USA, and Chile are the main manufacturers of hazelnuts. In the CIS countries, Azerbaijan occupies a leading position in the cultivation of hazelnuts with 23 thousand ha, while Georgia (16 thousand ha) and Krasnodar Region (2 thousand ha) take 2nd and 3rd places. The rising demand for final products has significantly increased the interest in this crop in countries where hazelnuts are not a local crop.

Dr. Erika Dzhangalina, with PhD in biological science, is a leading researcher in the Institute of General Genetics and Cytology (Kazakhstan). She has about 30 years of work experience and over 80 international and local scientific publications. Her scientific interests are plant biotechnology, physiology and biochemistry.

Hazelnut selection in the territory of CIS countries started during the USSR period. Yablokov A. created the hazelnut hybrid collection in 1933-1935. In the following years, winter-hardy and high-yield cultivars with good nut properties and excellent decorative qualities were obtained from these hybrids. Great interest was found in the following hybrid cultivars: Tambov early, Tambov late, Moscow ruby, Severny-42, Yablokov Memory, Academician Yablokov, Firstborn, Yunnat, No. 569, etc. The candidate's yield reached 7-10 kg from the bush and 400-800 kg/ha, with a nut mass of about 2.5 g and a kernel yield between 47-65% (oil content around 73%). In the CIS countries, the main plantings of hazelnuts are concentrated in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Krasnodar Region. The republics of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan and Crimea, as well as Belarus and Ukraine, have a small volume of hazelnut production.

There are more than 200 cultivars of hazelnuts worldwide but only about a dozen have commercial importance.

In the Russian Federation, production of hazelnuts is about 2 thousand tons with a yield of 500-700 kg/ha. In 1965, hybrids between wild hazel, originated from the Black Sea coast, and hazelnut cultivars were obtained. These hybrids are characterized by high productivity, frost resistance, and quality of nuts. Now in the Krasnodar Territory, such hybrids are cultivated as Circassian-2, Trapezund, Kudryavchik, Lombard red and Lombard white, Badem, Kerasund round and Kerasund long. Circassian-2 and Kudryavchik showed better indicators of the crop and quality, and Circassian-2 occupies over 95% of all planting areas. Circassian-2 is relatively drought-tolerant and frost-resistant. Early maturity begins between the 3rd and 4th year. The yield is equal to 1170-250 kg/ha. Fruits are medium-sized and the shell is thin, smooth, light, or redbrown. The kernel makes up to 48-52% of the total mass and has an excellent taste and oilseed nature. Under controlled conditions, the fruits can be perfectly transported and stored for two years or more. The recommended cultivation zone is in the area of the North Caucasus. The optimal planting schemes are bush method, double-row planting (6.5 + 0.5) x 2, one tree trunk 6 x 2 m.

The most famous cultivars in Russian Federation are Adygei-1, Panakhessky, and Circassian-2 as well as the local Georgian Futkurami cultivar. The most valuable hybrids cultivated in the Krasnodar region are the President, Ata-Baba, Futkurami, Trapezund, and Gubensky, Kurortny, Gustav, Sikler, Kadetten, Cosford, Webba prize, Silver, Academician Yablokov, Moscow Ruby, Purpurea, hybrid No.1 (Kerasund x Badem) and hybrid No.35 (Circassian x Kadatten). Perestroika, Victoria, Kristina, Anastasia, Galina and Caucasus are new-generation adaptive cultivars which are flexible to subtropics conditions. They are characterized by high productivity (1570-1750 kg/ha) and high-quality.

Cultivars of interest in Dagestan are the cultivars of Georgian breeding (Khachapura, Futkurami, Dedoplistita) and Azerbaijani cultivars (Ata-Baba, Sachakhly). The top 10 local hazelnut forms identified are Yuzhnodagestan-1, Yuzhnodagestan-2, Yuzhnodagestan-3, Yuzhnodagestan-4, Derbent-1, Derbent-2, Derbent-4, Derbent-7, Derbent-19 and Derbent-28. Yuzhnodagestan forms are high-yielding (6-10 kg/ bush), thin-shelled (0.7-0.9 mm), with a high kernel yield (56-90%) and fat content around 64-71%.

Azerbaijan is the largest hazelnut supplier in the former USSR territory with more than 3 million hazelnut plants (23 thousand ha). The average yield is 160-180 kg/ha. The most common cultivars of national selection are Ata-baba, Bomba, Ashrafi, Yagly, Ashrafi Oguz-5, Ganja. Ata-baba is an old Azerbaijani cultivar with medium-sized fruits. The core yield ranges up to 53%, the fat content is 70%, and the maximum yield from the bush is 30 kg. Sakhachli is a late Azerbaijani cultivar with medium-sized fruits containing up to 70% of fat. The hazelnut production in Azerbaijan is similar to the current Spanish production.

The total area of hazelnut production in Ukraine is less than 0.1 thousand ha with an average yield of 18-43 kg/ha. Main regions of the hazelnut production are Odessa, Kirovograd, and Crimea. The main cultivars grown in Ukraine are Stepnoy-83, Masterpiece, and Bulgarian novelty. These cultivars differ in local conditions with high yields, comparative winter hardiness, high yield of core and fat (63%). Trapezund cultivar is popular in Crimea. New hazelnuts cultivars Sofievsky-1, Sofievsky-2, and Sofievsky-15 are characterized by spherical or almost spherical fruits, high winter hardiness, and drought tolerance, as well as the lack of rhythm during fruiting. In Belarus, the possibility of introducing other species of hazelnut is currently being studied. In Moldova, the Gulishishvela, Futkurami, Ganja, Dedoplistita and Shvelis Kura produce up to 1300-1500 kg/ha of nuts. Panakhessky, Adygei and Shakhinsky turned out to be promising for cultivation in Southern Kyrgyzstan.

The main hazelnut cultivation system in the CIS countries is bunch-forming system, with a square layout of planting places from 5×5 to 7×7 m and the formation of 8-12 uterine trunks in the bush.

The average yield of hazelnuts is 650-850 kg/ha. In the conditions of the Black Sea gardening zone, a “Tatura” tree-shaped formation system was developed. The use of “Tatura” standard formation has made it possible to obtain stable yields of hazelnuts at the level of 1200 kg/ha, which is 1.5 times higher than with the bush cultivation system. Thus, the introduction of hazelnuts should be based on the new generation cultivars, taking into account climatic, agrobiological, genetic, and biochemical parameters.
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