Production Research

Research Project Overview for 2013-14

Hazelnut Breeding – Shawn Mehlenbacher


  1. Develop new Eastern Filbert Blight resistant hazelnut cultivars. For selections that lack the ‘Gasaway’ gene, continue to assess the level of relative susceptibility of cultivars and advanced selections. For progenies segregating for the ‘Gasaway’ gene for immunity, select based on linked DNA markers prior to planting in the field, and greenhouse inoculation to confirm resistance of selections. Identify and use new sources of resistance and determine percentage of resistant offspring. Use DNA markers for these new resistance sources when feasible.
  2. Obtain information on the genetic control of important traits. Many of these forms have value as ornamentals (e.g. contorted growth habit , immunity to EFB, cutleaf, red-yellow leaf color).
  3. Identify the incompatibility alleles in cultivars and selections, take notes on phenology, and recommend the best available combinations of cultivars and compatible pollinizers for new plantings.

Advanced Selection, Cultivar & Rootstock Evaluation – Shawn Mehlenbacher / Becky McCluskey


  1. Evaluate promising selections and cultivars in four replicated trials (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009) for yield, nut and kernel characteristics, tree vigor and blooming characteristics.
  2. Establish a new advanced selection trial in April 2011 that will contain approximately 20 EFB resistant genotypes.
  3. Determine time of female bloom and pollen shed of commercial cultivars and advanced selections from December until bud break. Determine pollen viability of those selections that are most likely to be released as new cultivars or pollinizers within the next 1-2 years.
  4. Create relevant publications on newly released cultivars and pollinizers.

Micropropagation of Hazelnut – Barbara Reed – USDA-ARS


  1. Initiate and maintain new selections from the Breeding Program. Provide these to commercial laboratories for further propagation as required. Provide a safe long-term storage system for selections until they are named or discarded by Shawn Mehlenbacher.
  2. Complete the development of improved initiation, culture medium and growth conditions for hazelnuts. A graduate student has begun this project.

Management of Eastern Filbert Blight – Jay Pscheidt


  1. Continue establishment of field trials designed to evaluate new chemicals for effectiveness against EFB. There are many promising materials that can be tested.
  2. Establish field trials designed to evaluate various chemical programs for effectiveness against EFB.
  3. Establish a long term fungicide protection program in an Ennis orchard.
  4. Evaluate organic treatments for EFB control.
  5. Track EFB cankers found on infected ‘Jefferson’ trees.
  6. Compare weather data sets from years that resulted in low canker development.
  7. Investigate how long EFB cankers continue to produce spores once cut from threes and/or chipped.

Development of Integrated Pest Management Strategies – Vaughn Walton


  1. Filbertworm: Investigate feasibility of mating disruption for FBW control.
  2. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
    1. Determine BMSB presence, survivorship, population growth, and seasonal phenology.
    2. Establish the impact of BMSB presence and feeding on hazelnuts.