Nut Production

Nut Production Distance Education; self paced course for commercial grower or small farm owner, Experienced, qualified tutors, more support than most colleges.

Course Code: BHT219
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study How to Grow Nuts 

  • Learn to identify and grow a wide range of edible nuts
  • Learn from professional university trained horticulturists with decades of industry experience
  • Build networks within industry and discover opportunities for commercial production or self sufficiency
  • With increased pressure on food supply & the environment, opportunities for food production experts are set to expand in the future -Now is the time to study.

This course will reveal the world of nut growing, expanding your horizons, deepening your knowledge and laying a foundation to explore and do things with nuts which you might not have previously considered.


Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • What is a Nut
    • Identifying Plants Accurately
    • Classification of Nuts into their Plant Families
    • Juglanaceae,
    • Coylaceae,
    • Fagaceae,
    • Burseraceae,
    • Lecthidaceae
    • Sterculiaceae
    • Rosaceae
    • Pinaceae
    • Anacardiaceae, etc
    • Review of Botany of Nuts: flowers and fruit development
    • Resources
  2. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Overview of Nut Culture
    • Comparing most common nuts
    • Terminology
    • Almond
    • American Hazlenut
    • Cashew Peanut
    • Walnut
    • Macadamia
  3. Culture of Nuts
    • Site Selection and Management
    • Soils
    • Soil Testing
    • Water Management
    • Nutrition and Feeding
    • Plant Health: pest and disease, protection from wind, salt, air, etc
    • Common problems with different types of nuts
    • Planting
    • Terminology
    • Weed Management
    • Pruning
  4. Less Common Nuts
    • Pecan
    • Pistacio
    • Pine Nuts
    • Auraucaria
    • Chestnut
    • Filbert
    • Brazil Nut
    • Beech
    • Oak
    • Sunflower
    • Pili Nut
    • Cola Nut
    • Cocao
    • Hausa Groundnut
    • Acacia, and more
  5. Propagation
    • Seed Propagation of Nuts
    • Cuttings
    • Layering
    • Grafting
    • Propagating Corylus
    • Propagating Pinus
    • Propagating aids and structures
  6. Harvest and Post-harvest of Nuts.
    • Harvesting
    • Cleaning, Cracking and Shelling
    • Drying and Storage
    • Handling Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Chestnuts
    • Pine nuts
    • Walnuts
    • Hazlenuts
    • Pistacios
  7. Marketing Nuts
    • Overview
    • Where to sell nuts
    • Marketing Processes
    • Market Research
    • Uses of Nuts: Food and other uses
  8. Workplace Health, Safety and Risk Management
    • Duty of Care
    • Risk Assessment in a Horticultural Enterprise
    • Financial Risks
    • Keeping the Workplace Safe
    • Protective Clothing
    • Equipment Safety (Tools and Machinery)
    • Safety with Manual Handling and lifting
  9. Special Assignment
    • PBL Project Develop a plan for growing selected varieties of nuts in a specific location

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Identify different nut crop varieties.
  • Determine the cultivation practices appropriate to a range of different nut crops.
  • Determine how to propagate a range of different nut plants.
  • Determine appropriate techniques for harvesting a nut crop.
  • Specify an appropriate post-harvest treatment for a nut crop.
  • Develop marketing strategies for nuts.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish between common and scientific perceptions of the term nut.
  • Compare the botanical characteristics of the fruits from five different nut genera.
  • Describe the botanical classification of twenty different species of nut plants, including where appropriate, botanical interrelationships.
  • Prepare a plant collection of twenty-five different nut varieties, including the following details on each plant:
    • Plant names (Common and scientific)
    • A photo, illustration or pressed specimen
    • Cultural details
    • Harvest & Post-harvest
    • Uses (eg. valuable products).
  • Develop a resource file of forty items of information relevant to the nut growing industry, including:
    • Suppliers of nut plants
    • Trade or grower associations
    • Publications
  • Perform simple tests on three different soils to determine:
    • Soil type
    • pH
    • Drainage
    • Water holding capacity
  • Evaluate three different soils tested in 2.1 to determine nut varieties suitable for growing in each.
  • Explain soil management requirements for at least ten different nut varieties, including:
    • Nutrition
    • Soil structure
    • Physical attributes
    • Explain the control of twenty different pests and diseases on ten different nut varieties.
  • Develop guidelines for the culture of a specified variety of nut, in the learner's locality, including:
    • Watering
    • Weed control
    • Soil management
    • Fertilising
    • Pest control
    • Disease control
    • Prepare a twelve month plan for cultural practices on a specified nut plantation.
  • Explain different methods of propagating five different nut species, including:
    • Seed
    • Grafting
    • Layering
    • Cuttings
  • Determine propagation methods for fifteen different nut species, including where applicable, rootstock variety names.
  • Demonstrate how to prepare cuttings for two different nut species.
  • Demonstrate three different types of grafts, suitable for propagating nut varieties.
  • Determine seed germination procedures for ten different nut genera.
  • Prepare a production schedule, for nursery production of a specified type of nut.
    • Propagate two different nut plant varieties.
    • Explain the operation of a mechanical harvester which can be used for nuts.
    • Determine when to harvest four different specified nut species.
    • Compare the efficiency of four different techniques for harvesting nuts.
    • Describe two different storage techniques for a specified nut variety.
    • Determine the optimum environmental conditions for the storage of three different nut species.
    • Evaluate three different samples of nuts, which have been stored using three different techniques.
    • Determine the commercial processing techniques used for five specified nut species.
    • Explain post-harvest handling of a specified nut species, by a commercial plantation in a specified locality.
    • Determine different ways in which nuts can be consumed.
  • Compare different ways nuts are packaged for retailing, with reference to different factors including:
    • Physiological impact on the nut
    • Cost of packaging
    • Presentation
    • Explain the marketing of two different specified nut products, in your locality.
    • Develop a marketing plan for one specified type of nut.

What are Nuts?

Nut is a general term used to describe oily, dry seeds (or the fruit) of certain plants.

Nuts are actually seeds (however not all plant seeds are nuts). Nuts develop in the fruits of many different plants, but not all are edible. Some are grown commercially as edible food products, and others are not. Some have potential that has not yet been exploited, for development as a "gourmet" crop.

Why Nuts?

  • Nuts are in some respects a super food.
  • They can be stored longer than many other foods
  • They are very nutritious: commonly high in proteins and a wide range of other nutrients
  • They can be ground to make a "meal" or flour; that can be used as a substitute for other less nutritious flours in cooking.
  • Use nut meal combined with "normal" flour for healthier cakes, breads or biscuits
  • A single nut tree may take a while to start producing; but many can be very profitable (per acre) and will produce for generations.

 

Learn from our decades of Experience

We can teach you how to grow a wide variety of different nuts.

Many nut trees take 5 years or more to bear any quantity of nuts. Some can take 15 years to reach maturity – in a commercial sense they may be a long term investment.

When choosing a site take into consideration the amount of space required, likelihood of frosts and strong windy conditions, as most nut trees are either intolerant of frosts or experience heavy crop losses through hard winds.

Nut trees (with the exception of hazelnuts ie. filberts) grow into large trees that require adequate space. When setting up a nut orchard, growers often space the trees closely together to maximise production in the early stages. They then remove every second tree as they mature (but before the canopy meets) and trees are becoming crowded.

Many nut trees (walnuts are an exception) need a ‘pollinator’ in order to ‘set’ nuts. To provide adequate pollination, at least two trees (different varieties of each species - that are known cross pollinators) should be planted. Because nut trees are generally wind pollinated and most will require a cross pollinator planted close by (within 30m or so) for successful pollination.

Climatic conditions required to produce nuts varies depending on species. Some species such as macadamias, pecans and cashews need long hot summers to mature others such as walnuts, being prone to sunburn, need cooler conditions. Most nut trees species now have several cultivars available that have been developed for certain climates and times of ripening; they are classified as maturing early, mid or late season. This means that planting several cultivars of the same species can provide extended harvest periods. It also gives growers the opportunity to choose cultivars that best suit their climate – for example a late flowering cultivar would be preferable in an area prone to late frosts.

Because it will be many years before you reap the full benefit of your nut orchard it is important to choose species and cultivars that are bred to specific local requirements. It is no use trying to grow trees, particularly for commercial use, that are suited to tropical conditions in a cold climate and visa-versa. Thorough research is therefore required into which species and cultivars are suited to the climate in your area, before planting trees.

Most commercial nut crops prefer to grow in reasonably deep, well drained loam or sandy soil that is slightly acid. Apart from pecans which will tolerate heavier sub-soils the majority of nut species do not perform well on heavy clay soils.

Irrigation is desirable to produce healthy mature trees and to stimulate early production. In climates with dry summers, watering is essential.

Nut trees are generally fairly disease and pest resistant – the most common pest being birds. Pests and diseases are discussed in more detail later in this course.

Although it is possible to grow nut trees from their seeds (nuts) it is much more common and reliable to plant grafted trees. Plants grown from seeds are not identical to their parents, tree vigour, tree form plus nut quality is variable in seed grown trees. Trees that are grafted have been selected for their superior fruit and resistance to disease and root stocks are selected for vigour. Propagation is covered in more detail later in this course.

To develop trees with a strong root system, the area around the trees should initially be weed-free. Mower strips are usually provided between trees – this means easy access for machinery and harvest.

To encourage healthy, strong growth, optimum production and quality nuts, trees require a regular fertiliser program that is designed to meet the needs of each species.

Nut trees are generally pruned in early winter and trained to develop a strong central trunk with five to six main branches.
 

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

ACS courses are all extremely comprehensive.
We spend a lot of time ensuring that the student can learn things that are relevant to their region (set tasks are designed that way).
We are all professionals with industry experience.
We welcome questions.

This course is great for those that are looking to establish a nut farm or those that would just like to learn more about growing a wide range of nuts.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

Long-term member since 1986.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.

Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Maggi Brown

Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Mitchell Skiller

Mitchell has had over 25 year’s experience in the Horticultural Industry. He has held positions as a supervising horticulturist, landscaper, consultant, and a business owner growing cut flowers, specialising in tropicals.

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

Kerry Claydon

BA-BSc (Psychology, Computer Science, Aquaculture), BSc (Hons Microbiology), PhD (Microbiology), Diploma in Brewing Science

Kerry has over 20 years’ experience in various fields of microbiology including aquatic microbiology, medical microbiology, agricultural microbiology, and brewing microbiology. Kerry has been the Director of several health programs within Australian and Asia and is a passionate teacher and tutor.

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