Wanted: Ontario farmers to grow hazelnuts

June 12, 2013
Written by Erie Innovation and Commercialization
June 12, 2013, Simcoe, Ont. — Erie Innovation and Commercialization is looking for farmers who are interested in being part of one of Ontario’s newest crops – hazelnuts.

Varieties have been identified that will grow well in Ontario’s climate and the emerging sector is now seeking farmers who are willing to start planting some of these trees.

“We have an identified market potential in Ontario for hazelnuts that’s equivalent to about 10,000 hectares of trees,” says John Kelly, vice-president of Erie Innovation and Commercialization, an initiative of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

“Hazelnuts can be grown anywhere in Ontario that apples are, and the revenue potential for this crop is significant.”

It can take four years for hazelnut trees to start bearing fruit and seven years before they hit full production. By then, however, the potential net return is estimated at $2,000 per acre.

Brantford’s Ferrero Inc., which manufactures Nutella and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, currently imports its hazelnut supply but is very interested in accessing a stable, locally grown source.

As part of a major hazelnut research project currently underway to help establish the hazelnut industry in Ontario, researchers have been screening hazelnut varieties for resistance to eastern filbert blight and the ability to withstand Ontario’s climate, as well as establishing methods for fast and reliable propagation of seedlings.

The project, which involves OFVGA, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, University of Guelph, Ontario Centres of Excellence and industry partners, also includes gathering market intelligence, helping the industry get organized and planning for the infrastructure the industry will need as it grows.

“We are now at the point where we need growers who are willing to commit to hazelnuts by putting some trees in the ground,” says Kelly.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for Ontario farmers, especially for those who farm in our current tree fruit growing areas, such as Essex and Niagara.”

Anyone interested in planting hazelnuts or learning more about the opportunity should contact Erie Innovation and Commercialization at 519-426-7913.

Funding for the hazelnut project is provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program. In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

Erie Innovation and Commercialization is part of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, dedicated to pursuing a regional approach to agricultural diversification to ensure the continuing economic stability and sustainability of the sector.

Visit www.erieinnovation.com


0 #23 Judy 2018-04-23 20:01
I am wondering which species Ferrero-Rocher purchases.
0 #22 Sandra T 2018-03-22 23:33
I have lots of acres to grow trees. Mono Ontario
0 #21 Alayne Brady 2018-02-28 19:21
I am very interested in the hazelnuts. We have 50 acres of sandy loam in the Alliston area and trying to find something that might be profitable on small acreage. Could you please send more info. Thank you in advance
0 #20 Ken white 2017-11-08 18:30
Interested in growing hazelnuts have a old apple orchard area st thomas
0 #19 Allana McHugh 2017-10-31 11:26
Please send info interested in hazelnut farming
0 #18 Allana McHugh 2017-10-31 11:24
Interested in getting started in planting of hazelnut trees in our area Westport Ontario please send info
0 #17 Rebecca 2017-10-18 08:22
I am interested in getting started growing hazelnuts.
Please send information on how to get started.

Thank you
0 #16 hilary 2017-06-11 14:01
We have a small acreage with apple trees at present, and would be interested in expanding to hazelnuts as well. We also keep bees, in Georgian Bay Area. .. if this is still available?
+1 #15 Samour 2017-06-10 10:52
I can spare 20 Acres, in Harrow, details please.
+1 #14 Natalia 2017-06-01 13:02
I have 40acres in Ottawa . Open for a new opportunities. thanks

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