Revised January 2024


Two major varieties of walnuts are grown in the United States—the English walnut and the black walnut. The black walnut is primarily used as the rootstock for English walnut cultivars.

English walnut acreage continues to climb, extending the trend of increased tree nut acreage in the United States. California represents virtually all almond, pistachio, and walnut production in the United States. (NASS, 2022)


The United States produced walnuts on 400,000 acres in 2022, 10,000 acres more than in 2021. In 2022, 172,000 tons of in-shell English walnuts were sold, while 255,000 tons of shelled walnuts were sold (NASS, 2022). The 2012 Ag Census reports nationwide most orchards are family owned or individually held farms (ERS, 2021). 


Walnuts are typically sold as a snack item or for use as an ingredient in candies, cereals and baked goods. More than 75 percent of walnuts are sold as shelled (NASS 2022).

Current studies indicate that walnuts are full of nutrients which both enhance health and could help in diets to prevent cancer (AIRC.org). Walnuts contain important nutrients including protein, fiber, magnesium and have a higher alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other tree nut (California Walnuts, 2022).

Export Market

United States walnut production has been steadily increasing for several years. Recent economic conditions have slowed the process of that growth, but overall growth still continues (California Walnuts, 2022). 

Top destinations for walnut exports include Germany, Turkey, Japan, S. Korea and Spain (California Walnuts, 2022). 

Value Added Options

Export market development activities have expanded distribution and fostered product development which has led to increased use of walnuts in the snacking, baking and processed food sectors.

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


Helpful enterprise budgets for English walnuts:


American Institute of Cancer Research, Research studies.
California Walnuts, 2022.
Global Agricultural Trade System, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA.
USDA NASS, 2022.