Chestnuts

Revised October, 2018.

Overview

The United States is one of the few nations in the world that can grow chestnuts, yet doesn't have a significant chestnut industry. U.S. chestnut production is less than 1 percent of total world production. The United States has 919 farms producing chestnuts on more than 3,700 acres.

The top five states with the most chestnut acreage were Michigan, Florida, California, Oregon, and Virginia (NASS 2018).

The United States imported 88,000 metric tons of chestnuts valued at $254 million in 2018. Chestnut imports to the United States are led by Italy, China, France, and Thailand. The USDA does not report statistics on U.S. chestnut production and consumption separately.

The value of the nut is related to its size. Generally, the value of chestnuts ranges from $0.75 to $2.50 per pound wholesale and from $2.00 to $5.00 per pound retail, depending on the market. Chestnuts are primarily sold fresh in the shell.

Value Added Options

Added markets may be, but not limited to, farmers markets, specialty grocery stores, wholesale purveyors, pre-packaged food processors, vegetarian food processors, ethnic markets, restaurant food purveyors, mail order businesses and seasonal food processors. 

Agritourism and u-pick farms have a growing consumer base, allowing an interactive experience with the consumer.

Sources

University of Florida Extension Services
2012 Census of Agriculture, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2018.
Chestnut Growers of America - Online resources for chestnut growers and researchers.
Northern Nut Growers Association, Inc. - This website provides information and resources related to nut tree production. Select the “experts” link to find people who specialize in chestnuts.
Why Chestnuts? Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri - Provides the nutritional value of chestnuts.
Assessing the Market Potential of Specialty Forest Products in Local Food Systems, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, 2005 - This project evaluated the interest in and obstacles to the production and marketing of non-timber specialty forest products.
Chestnut Culture in California, University of California, 2000 - This online document covers production, consumption including world demand and marketing.

Global Chestnut Market 2018-2025 – Industry Report, Market Analysis, Forecast, and Insights