Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Consortium Presents at Ontario
Hazelnut Conference

I represented the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium at the Annual Hazelnut Symposium in Brantford, Ontario, in late March and gave two presentations—Hazelnut R&D in the U.S. and Nontraditional Uses of Hazelnuts. I also toured the hazelnut research facilities and fields at the University of Guelph.  

There's a growing demand for hazelnuts in the area because Ferrero Rocher has a large (and expanding) plant in Brantford that produces hazelnut confections and Nutella.

Parts of southern Ontario (adjacent to Lake Erie) have a relatively mild climate that may favor large-scale hazelnut production using cultivars released by Oregon State University. It’s clear that given the rapidly growing markets for hazelnuts in North America and worldwide, there’s an acute need to expand the production zone beyond this narrow belt along the lake, and to create new hybrids that would be better adapted to the climate there and elsewhere.

The Consortium’s climatic adaption work through extensive breeding and testing efforts will provide cultivars to support commercial hazelnut production across eastern North America.

Other presenters at the conference included British Columbia hazelnut growers, the University of Guelph, Erie Innovation and Commercialization, the Ontario government and Ferrero Rocher Canada. —Dr. Scott Josiah, Director, Nebraska Forest Service, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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