Consortium Gathers to Discuss Hybrid Hazelnuts
Members of the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium gathered for their annual meeting last week at Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm. Representatives from all four institutions were present: the Arbor Day Foundation, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, and the University of Nebraska.
The goal of the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium is to create a world leading research and breeding program to develop hazelnuts as a widely adapted, high-yielding and low-input sustainable crop that is competitive with annual crops for food, feed or bio-energy.
To date, a majority of the group’s research has been funded by specialty crop grants received from the USDA, and securing additional grant funding was a topic of discussion at their recent gathering.
“The funding of this program is key,” Arbor Day Farm greenhouse manager Adam Howard said. “It’s the lifeblood of reaching our goal of commercializing hybrid hazelnuts in America.”
At the gathering, each consortium representative updated the group on areas of the research in which they specialize, and the group identified items to work on collectively to advance the breeding, the outreach, and most importantly, the science of hybrid hazelnuts.
“We’re in regular communication with each other all year,” Arbor Day Farm greenhouse manager Adam Howard said. “But it’s especially relevant when the partners can spend time together face to face. It brings a richness to the conversation that is more difficult to have by phone or email.”