VICTORIA, BC: British Columbia’s hazelnut growers now can apply for the next intake of Hazelnut Renewal Program funding.
This program supports the B.C. hazelnut sector by allowing growers to replace trees and establish new orchards with disease-resistant varieties.
“Hazelnuts are a delicious and nutritious source of protein and healthy fats in high demand throughout the world, and one of the only edible tree nuts that grow well in British Columbia’s current climate,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The past decade has not been kind to our province’s hazelnut sector, with Eastern Filbert blight (EFB) wiping out many of B.C.’s hazelnut orchards. Our government and our sector are joining forces to fight this disease, and with the help of the Hazelnut Renewal Program, to rebuild B.C.’s hazelnut industry.”
BC GOV Photo
Popham recently visited two family-owned hazelnut orchards in Chilliwack. The first stop was with pioneer grower Helmut Hooge, who showcased several varieties of disease-resistant trees growing in his orchard.
A short drive down the road, the tour continued at Fraser Valley Hazelnuts Ltd., a receiving station that provides washing, drying and shipping services for hazelnut growers. In 2018, Fraser Valley Hazelnuts Ltd. processed about 21,000 kilograms (46,000 pounds) of nuts, representing approximately 90% of the hazelnut production in the province. The company was able to market 70% of last year’s hazelnut production through contacts made during Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef, an event organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in November 2018.
The Hazelnut Renewal Program looks to build on the success of last fall, when 15.4 hectares (38 acres) and 8,254 EFB resistant trees were planted. In addition, more than 10.1 hectares (25 acres) with 3,025 EFB susceptible trees were removed. The areas covered include Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley and Pender Island.
The program is accepting new applications until July 15, 2019, for fall planting. B.C. hazelnut growers can apply here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/hazelnut-renewal-program
Written and released by BC Government.