I’ve had too many experiences with Stark praising an otherwise mediocre cultivar to trust their recommendations. They sold Kwik Krop for a lot of years yet IMO, Thomas is a much better variety with similar adaptation.
I picked up walnuts yesterday with some interesting results. Squirrels show decided preference for Neel #1, Pounds #2 and Sparks 129. They got at least half the crop from these trees. Thomas was phenomenal with an average of 4 buckets per tree for trees planted in 1998 and grafted in 2001 or thereabouts. My bucket holds 7 gallons.
After a few years growing walnuts, it becomes easy to tell which trees will be consistently high producers. Farrington and Cranz are strong contenders. I’ve got to put some time into figuring out if the nuts are worth the effort. Thomas is the hands down winner with Neel #1 close second for total nuts produced. Both varieties are annual producers year in and year out. McGinnis is a very heavy producer, but tends to alternate more than I like. Emma K produced a good crop, but the nuts are difficult to de-husk.