- Nuts: hazelnuts
- Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, mentoring, technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study
- Production Systems: general crop production
- Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, new business opportunities
Hazelnuts are a high-value, low-input crop with great potential for production in the northeastern U.S. Historically, production in this region has been limited by the disease eastern filbert blight (EFB). However, recent breeding efforts at Rutgers University have identified EFB-resistant plants that produce high-quality nuts. Precommercialization testing of the new selections is necessary prior to large scale adoption of the crop. This testing requires planting several small-to medium size (1-5 acres) clonal orchards to measure yields and investigate production and harvest techniques. Unfortunately, the challenges of asexual propagation of hazelnuts have limited this phase of development. Hazelnuts were traditionally propagated by layering and grafting. Layering is inefficient and grafting is not a preferable option due to the lack of tested EFB-resistant rootstocks. Recently, hazelnuts have begun to be propagated through micro-propagation, although this technique is not cost-effective when utilized for small- to medium-scale propagation. Rooting stem cuttings would be an ideal system for this setting. However, this method has not been proven to be consistently successful, with the survival of rooted stems being the major limiting factor. Fortunately, recent research has shown the use of the ethylene inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene and/or gibberellic acid can greatly increase rooting success and subsequent survival. We propose a factorial study building on recent knowledge to optimize the rooting of hazelnut stem cuttings. Determining the most efficient method will expedite the establishment of pre-commercialization trials and should reduce the costs of mass producing planting stock, which in turn will reduce the costs of establishing orchards.
Project objectives from proposal:
To apply recent research findings to optimize the rooting and subsequent survival of hazelnut stem cuttings as a
more efficient and cost-effective method of clonal hazelnut propagation.
1.Measure the effectiveness and optimize the ethylene inhibitor-based rooting methods of Contessa et al. (2011)
on semi-hardwood cuttings of several Rutgers breeding selections taken at different dates.
2.Compare the effectiveness of the foliar formulation of 1-MCP (Invinsa®), a commercially available ethylene
inhibitor, to the form used by Contessa et al. (2011) (EthylBloc®), a powder that when wetted releases 1-MCP
gas. The two forms will be compared for the efficacy of bud abscission prevention and initiation, survival, and
subsequent shoot growth of semi-hardwood hazelnut cuttings of Rutgers breeding selections.
3.Investigate and optimize the application of ethylene inhibitors and gibberellic acids in softwood cuttings of
Rutgers breeding selections.