OSU researchers battle hazelnut blight

OSU researchers battle hazelnut blight

Oregon State University researchers are working to develop hazelnut trees that are resistant to Eastern filbert blight, which nearly collapsed the industry a few years ago. 99% of U.S. hazelnuts come from the Willamette Valley.

While farmers struggled to keep trees alive, researchers struggled to find a solution that would save the industry: a blight-resistant hazelnut. Shawn Mehlenbacher, professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, has been working on developing the resistant hazelnuts for more than 25 years.

Creating special breeds is a long process. It takes eight years to grow a hazelnut generation, and each new variety must go through several generational crosses before it's ready for testing.

Read more at NPR.

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