SONG News April 2007 no. 77
In this Issue...

Presidents Message

Greetings fellow nut growers, I hope this finds you all well and champing at the bit to get out there and work on your nut groves as I have been. This spring has definitely been a challenge and we hope this breaks soon.

This year, as you have likely read in the newsletter, the NNGA annual meeting is in Canada at Carlton University in Ottawa.

Because we are privileged to have the meeting in Canada we have decided to have our annual summer meeting at Ottawa as well. On the Sunday we will have a meeting to vote on executive members and I encourage all who can attend this meeting to do so and take part in the many events that are planned.

If any one would like to run for executive office please contact any member of the executive, and if you cannot make the meeting we will bring your name forward to vote on.

We look forward to seeing a lot of members at the meeting as it will give us a chance to meet our eastern counterparts and see some of the myriad of projects this enthusiastic group are involved with.

I would like to thank all of those involved with planning this event, which takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to put a program like this together. I would especially like to thank some of our own members for their enthusiasm, and leadership roles in setting this event up such as Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Linda Grimo and Andre Flys and apologies if I have failed to mention others involved.

Regards and look forward to seeing you in Ottawa
Bruce w. Thurston

Hazelnut Meeting with Ferrero Roche
Bruce w. Thurston

On March 1st a meeting was held between Ferrero S.p.A., University of Guelph, OMAFRA, British Columbia researchers, and two members of SONG at Ferrero's new facility in Brantford Ont. The meeting was held to determine what Ferrero S.p.A. was looking for in regards to Hazelnut supply from Canada. Ferrero uses approximately 60,000 tonnes of hazelnut worldwide annually.

What they are looking for includes size, quality, and quantity of supply, and they would like to have us develop appropriate varieties to meet their specs. This will require a lot of work and time to do these things as well as develop varieties that are resistant and or tolerant of the Eastern Filbert Blight

There are a lot of people working on this problem, as we are not alone with this disease. Oregon, which produces most of the hazelnuts grown in North America are experiencing the effects of the Eastern Filbert Blight, and also British Columbia growers. This blight problem must be solved before we can develop an industry to serve the expected demand. If any of you have any hazelnuts that are still alive and appear to be free from the blight please contact any member of the executive and they will pass this information on.

Everyone agreed that in Ontario, we need to get trees of some varieties planted for trials this spring; and their location depends on the success of the OMAFRA grant application. Also, we need to propagate plants of all the test varieties for planting in 2008. Rapid propagation of some varieties will be a problem. SONG is willing to trial 10-50 selections in small quantities on interested member farms. Martin Hodgson has a number of selections that seem to be blight resistant and are yielding consistently on his farm.

This will be an exciting time for nut growing in Ontario as we develop and advance new varieties and look for interested growers to help us in this development with grower trials.

Provided by SONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.