Chairman’s report 2003

By David Murdoch, Interim Chairman

HGA newsletter, summer 2003

Welcome to all members of the Hazelnut Growers Association. The setting up of an association takes a considerable amount of time and effort and I would like to thank all those who helped get the ball rolling. The transition from Southern Nut Growers Association has been reasonably smooth and their grant of $500 is appreciated. Likewise we are very grateful for the early support from the hazelnut action group to help with some of the setup costs.

Since our inauguration the committee has had several meetings and along with the basic administration details there has been considerable discussion about the initial direction the Association needs to head in. Feed back from members indicated a desire for communication between growers, and some answers to the problem of yield variability with Whiteheart.

I am delighted with the effort that Dave Null has put in to come up with the newsletter as this is the most valuable means of communication we can have, so thank you Dave. The production of the newsletter is designed to fit in with the seasonal issues of Health in a Shell and will be sent out as an insert. This allows us to publish larger articles in the journal while catering for in house association news etc. in the newsletter.

With regards to research the committee feels the most important area to focus on at present is the yield profile of Whiteheart as there appears to be quite a variation between orchards. The committee is currently investigating past research and hopes to work with Lincoln University on any new research initiatives. However funding of any research is a major hurdle. The committee feels that perhaps the best initial step is to setup a program on a number of orchards to study such things as soils, fertilizer inputs, irrigation, pollinators, etc. etc. in an attempt to find out why some orchards yield better than others. In other words to come up with a set of best practice orchard management guidelines. We feel this could be a cost-effective way of improving Whiteheart yields. So at some stage this year we will be calling on a number of growers to help out with this.

The committee has also discussed the possibility of a hazelnut conference/seminar. This would be an ideal way to bring growers together and to disseminate information.

David Murdoch
Interim Chairman

AGM report 2010

By Sarah Shore

HGA newsletter July 2010

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the Hazelnut Growers’ Association was held on 3 June 2010 at Ashburton and attended by about 60 members.

In addition to the President’s Report (see above), Murray Redpath delivered a presentation on issues facing growers and the industry as a whole. This sparked an extensive discussion on the role of HGA and the future of the organisation and the industry. Key questions were:

• What is the role of HGANZ in developing the local industry, and how does that complement the activities of commercial enterprises?

• How can we make hazelnuts a viable crop for existing and potential new growers – focusing on a domestic or export market? If we target exports, which are our likely markets? (Bearing in mind that US growers now export most of their crop to Asia, particularly Hong Kong and Viet Nam.)

• What varieties would best support the selected growth strategy? (At present, new plantings are overwhelmingly Whiteheart, but US exports are mainly in-shell.)