SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, announced it has secured a license to propagate the PollyO hazelnut variety. PollyO is the latest hazelnut variety developed by Oregon State University (OSU) and is named after Polly Owen, a longtime expert in the nut industry. Partnering with OSU and utilizing its advanced growing process, Phytelligence will provide growers with hazelnut rootstock that is native to the U.S.
The new PollyO variety provides growers with higher yields at an average of 65 pounds of nuts per tree and is resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB), a fungal pathogen that has drastically impacted hazelnut growers around the U.S. Additionally, PollyO hazelnuts blanche easily, and mature up to two weeks earlier than the Barcelona hazelnut, another popular hazelnut variety grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
“We’re eager to propagate PollyO and provide growers with hazelnut trees that are resistant to EFB and produce nuts that fit perfectly into the chocolate and baked goods industry,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “Nut growers in Oregon have been fighting EFB for more than 40 years and the demand from consumers for hazelnuts continues to climb. PollyO fits nicely into the industry portfolio of hazelnut varieties, such as Wepster and Yamhill, and it will serve as a natural alternative to the Yamhill variety.”
Developing disease-resistant hazelnut varieties has been the top priority in the agricultural biotech industry because EFB has limited the cultivation of the nut. Outside of western Oregon, the majority of hazelnuts commercially sold are grown in Turkey.
In addition to resistance to EFB, OSU’s PollyO hazelnuts crack easily and the kernels, along with its size, stay whole during processing – both are ideal attributes sought after by the chocolate industry. PollyO is compatible with other popular hazelnut varieties such as the McDonald and Wepster allowing them to serve as pollinizers for each other.
“I’m optimistic our propagation license will help increase the quality and quantity of nuts delivered to growers and consumers,” said Phytelligence Vice President of Global Sales for Nuts, Hops and New Crops Peter Viss. “Our growing process will help deliver a healthier and more durable hazelnut tree to market, as well as boost the equity of the U.S. nut industry.”
Phytelligence is now accepting PollyO orders for delivery in 2020. For more information on PollyO, or to secure order information, please email PeterViss@Phytelligence.com.
Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com.