The Iowa Nut Growers Association has been conducting an annual nut evaluation since at least the 1970’s and continues this tradition to the present day. Folks have lots of questions about how samples are scored, the process we use, and how they can get involved. The best way to learn is to simply participate!
Anyone can submit a sample, member or not, resident of the state of Iowa or not, it is not important just send the sample. We are generally looking for specific trees or shrubs, that is to say, a particularly good tree or shrub that produces nice nuts; it might be a grafted cultivar or just a “wild” tree or shrub.
A proper sample for walnuts, hickories, pecans, butternuts, heartnuts, etc. is roughly 12 nuts; hazelnuts 20. Only 5 are actually scored for the walnuts, hickories, and others….. 10 nuts for hazelnuts.
Select husk free and clean nuts for the sample. Keep nuts stored in a cool dry place (warm storage temperatures for pro-longed periods of time tend to cause the kernels to become rancid) and which have not been allowed to become excessively dry (very dry nuts allow the seal to open up and the kernels to become brittle leading to shattering of the kernel when the shell is cracked).
Be sure to write your name and contact information on the sample bag for identification purposes. Please also include the variety name if it is known. Other information to include is whether it is a native or seedlings you planted.
Samples can be mailed to Roger Jensen, 3503 40th Ave, Fenton IA 50539 or dropped off at the IA Nut Growers Association booth at the Specialty Producers Conference.
We welcome volunteers to help us process and score the nuts; we will begin at 10:30 on Friday, January 25th .