Who’s Feeling Nutty? UF/IFAS Macadamia Research Needs Volunteer Producers

Clint ThompsonFlorida

Submitted photo/A macadamia nut tree in Lake Alfred, Florida.

By Clint Thompson

Macadamia nuts are currently being considered as an alternative crop for Florida production in the central and southern part of the state. Whether there is a future for the nut in the Sunshine State will be largely determined by the interest level from potential producers.

Submitted photo/Macadamia nuts.

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are seeking input from interested growers to support the development of macadamia nut production in Florida. UF/IFAS is asking those interested to take a short survey to help direct research needs for the crop. A QR code can also be found through your mobile device.

The voluntary survey will expire on April 10. Please contact Lauren Diepenbrock at ldiepenbrock@ufl.edu or Karen Stauderman at kstauderman@ufl.edu for additional information.

UF/IFAS is in need of growers to plant trees to see if they are viable for production in Florida.

“It’s mostly grown in Hawaii and Australia, Africa and Central America. We thought we would try to bring the market here, because there’s such a high demand for the oil as well as for the nut itself. But we have to trial the cultivars to see which ones will work, if at all. It’s very risky, because we don’t know if they’ll work,” said Stauderman, who is participating in a five-year research study through the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“We’re looking for potential growers that may be interested in putting an acre in, half of an acre; put them in on that level and see what interest, if any, that people have.”