Walnut Farming Guide:
Introduction of Walnut:- Walnut ((Juglans sp.) is one of the temperate nut fruits and belongs to the family of ” “Juglandaceae”. Persian walnut is the most important temperate nut grown in India. Walnuts can be grown at sea level of 900 to 3000 meter. Major walnut producing countries in the world are Mexico, USA, China, Ukrain, Turkey and Iran. Walnuts are popularly known as “akhroot or akhrot” in India and they are grown in the northwestern Himalayan belt, expanding up to Sikkim & Darjeeling. In India, commercial farming of walnut is limited and mainly cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh. Other states are also slowly picking up in commercial walnut farming. Basically walnuts are available in 4 categories in India and hard-shelled, medium-shelled, thin-shelled and paper-shelled are among those. Jammu Kashmir is the major production state of walnut in India.
Health Benefits of Walnut:- Following are some of the health benefits of walnuts.
- Walnuts may to help in preventing cancer.
- Walnuts may help in controlling diabetes.
- Walnuts may help in reducing risk of diabetes.
- Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Walnuts are heart healthy and improve brain health.
- Walnuts contain antioxidants that boost immune system.
- Walnuts may help in dealing stress.
- Walnuts may help in weight management.
Local names for Walnut in India:- Akhrot (Hindi,Bengali, Oriya,Gujarati,Tamil, Assamese), Akrod (Marathi),Acrota (Kannada), Akrotandi/Akroott (Malayalam).
High Production States in India:- Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Hybrid Varieties of Walnut in India:- The following are the varieties of walnut cultivated in India.
|Walnut varieties cultivated in different parts of India are:|
|Jammu & Kashmir||Drainovsky ,Lake English, and Opex Caulchry.|
|Himachal Pradesh||Wilson,Gobind, Placentia,Eureka, Franquetfe & Kashmir Budded.|
Climate Required for Walnut Farming:- Walnuts usually grow well in cool climatic conditions. Frost conditions during spring may not suitable for walnut growth. They also do not prefer hot summer areas. An evenly distributed annual rainfall of 800 mm is suitable for it’s optimum growth and yield. Temperature above 38 °C results in sun burning of hulls & shriveled kernels and impacts the yields severely.
Soil Requirement for Walnut Farming:- Walnuts grow well in well-drained deep silt loamy or clay loamy soils which are rich in humus and supplemented with lime. The optimum soil pH of 6.0 to 7.5 would result in good yield. Make sure to supplement the soil with good zinc and boron.
Land Preparation in Walnut Farming:- Land should be prepared well and should be cleared of weeds. Previous crop roots should be removed. Land should be ploughed 3 to 4 times to get soil tilth stage.
Propagation in Walnut Farming:- Walnut trees can be propagated through seeds or grafting or budding methods. The popular propagation is done through seeds. Better to Use the local walnut seedlings as rootstocks.
Planting and Spacing in Walnut Farming:- square system in flat lands and contour planting in hilly, steep slope areas are practiced in walnut farming. Generally, spacing of plants should be followed in the following manner.
Seedling trees: 12 x 12 m
Grafted on Juglans regia : 10 x 10 m
Grafted Juglans nigra: 8 x 8 m
Manures and Fertilizers in Walnut Farming:- Add appropriate well rotten farm yard manure while preparing the soil. Use the following amounts of NPK for supplementing the soil. During first 5 years, apply small amounts of P & K (about 100 grams per plant). Thereafter, 45-80 kg/ha of P & 65-100 kg/ha of K should be applied. In regards to Nitrogen, a dose of 100 grams/tree should be applied in the first year and should increase 100 grams every year.
Training, Pruning and Thinning in Walnut Farming:- Training should be carried in walnut farming after the 1st year using the Modified Central leader System. Pruning operation should be carried out in early spring. Thinning operation can be done in high density plantation.
Mulching in Walnut Farming:- To retain the moisture in the soil, plastic or grass mulching can be practiced in walnut farming. This mulching also helps in controlling the weed growth.
Intercropping in Walnut Farming:- For getting additional income, farmers can go for intercropping in walnut farming. Inter space should be used during first 4 to 6 years after planting the walnut. Any legume crop or vegetables like tomato, onion and chilli can be cultivated as inter crop in walnut farming.
Irrigation in Walnut Farming:- Irrigate the walnut plants after transplanting from nursery. Subsequent irrigations should be given based on soil moisture holding capacity, weather and season. There is no need of irrigation in monsoon or rainy season. In case of flooding or rains, make sure to have the water drained. Drip irrigation can be adopted for proper use of water and water problematic areas.
Weed Control in Walnut Farming:– Appropriate chemical weedicide, selection of weed free land and mulching can control the weeds. Manual weeding can be carried out along with other preventive measures.
Pests and Diseases in Walnut Farming:- Selecting the quality disease resistance seeds will prevent the half of the pests and diseases. For local diseases and pests control measures in walnut farming, contact the horticulture/agriculture department.
Harvesting in Walnut Farming:- Usually, walnut trees will become ready for harvesting in 10 to 12 years after planting the seedlings. One can expect full commercial production after 18 to 20 years from planting time. However, grafted planting starts early fruit bearing (in 4 to 5 years after planting). In grafted plantation, full commercial production should start in 8 to 10 years.
Yield of Walnut Crop:- Fully grown walnut tree produces as high as 125 to 150 kg nuts. However, an average yield of 40 to 50 kg of nuts can be obtained per 1 walnut tree. Again, the yield depends on the cultivar and farm management practices.
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