Hazelnuts Archives - West Coast Nut



Hazelnut Grower of the Year

About 800 hazelnut growers recently converged at Oregon State University in Corvallis for the 105th Annual Winter Meeting, hosted by the Nut Growers Society (NGS). NGS represents hazelnut growers from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, and is responsible for keeping growers up to date on the latest industry news and trends. The Winter Meeting is one of two paramount events—along with the Summer Tour—that are held annually to bring hundreds of growers together to share ideas, learn about research results and find out about the newest technologies that could benefit them in the orchard. The 105th edition of the meeting featured a robust trade show, complete with 59 exhibitors; ranging from hazelnut processors to equipment manufacturers to financial institutions, these vendors had ample opportunity to speak one-on-one with hazelnut farmers from the Willamette Valley to British Columbia. A hallmark of the Winter Meeting is the seminars. Each year, the Nut...

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Choosing, Planting and Pruning Hazelnut Pollinizers

A hazelnut tree cannot self-pollinate. It needs a pollinizer in order to set nuts. After you’ve decided on your main variety of production hazelnut, it’s time to choose your pollinizers. Since not all hazelnut varieties cross pollinate, compatibility is essential. Things to consider when choosing pollinizers are the timing of pollen release, and the compatibility between varieties. Timing: If you’ve chosen a late-blooming variety as your production trees, such as Jefferson, you’ll want to plant late-season pollinizers. If you’ve chosen an early-blooming variety, such as Yamhill, it goes without saying that you’ll need to plant early-season pollinizers. “Every year the pollen timing and flower development moves around,” said Jeff Newton, farm manager at Christensen Farms in McMinnville, Oregon. But if the flowers are later to emerge one year, due to weather conditions, then the pollen of compatible varieties will also be later that year, too, so it works out. Variety...

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Preventing Soil Erosion in Young Hazelnut Orchards

Soil erosion can present an issue in young hazelnut orchards. Since a ton of soil per acre is only about the thickness of a penny, it doesn’t take long to displace or lose a large quantity of top soil. But according to Nick Sirovatka, acting state agronomist for Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service (ONRCS), cover crops or conservation crops can help prevent soil erosion, as well as provide more nutrients and water to the tree roots. “Before the canopy is over, there are different potentials for what you can do between the rows,” Sirovatka said. To illustrate this, he put on a demonstration during the Nut Growers Society Summer Tour at the Linn County Expo Center & Fairgrounds in Albany. Demonstration Sirovatka brought five samples from the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon. All of the samples were from Willamette soil. Sirovatka pointed out that the samples...

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Churchill Fellow visits Oregon During Global Hazelnut Expedition

Global hazelnut production is amid an era of change, expansion and discovery, and one young Briton is traveling the world to chronicle it. Tom Cannon was chosen as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellow, a rare honor that has afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and compare hazelnut production strategies. His worldwide journey brought him to Oregon in September to learn how American farmers manage their orchards. Third Generation Hazelnut Grower Cannon is a third-generation hazelnut—known as a cobnut in the United Kingdom (UK)—farmer in Kent, a county on the southeast coast of Great Britain that is home to most of the country’s hazelnut industry. The family manages 100 acres of hazelnuts, along with a diversified berry enterprise; Cannon recently launched an online store for the family farm that enables them to fill and ship custom orders direct to consumers. “Our cobnut industry has a long history, and...

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NGS Hazelnut Summer Tour 2019

Many of the 800 adults who attended the 2019 Nut Growers Society Annual Summer Tour hadn’t been on a school bus in years. But they crowded onto the long yellow busses and sat two to a seat for the hazelnut field trip. There was much joking amongst the growers about how much smaller the seats seemed since their school days. Busses departed two at a time, every 45 minutes on July 31, from the Linn County Fair and Expo Center in Albany, Oregon, heading a few miles north to Millersburg. Christy Cooke, president of the Nut Growers Society, was the narrator aboard one of the first busses out the gate that morning. She mentioned that soil quality in the Millersburg area is a mixed bag. It includes some of the richest, well-drained soil in the state, suitable for both orchards and row crops. On the flip side, the area also...

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