( Phytelligence )

Seattle-based agricultural biotech company Phytelligence has secured a license to propagate the disease resistant PollyO hazelnut variety.

PollyO is a hazelnut variety developed by Oregon State University and is named after Polly Owen, a longtime researcher in the nut industry, according to a news release.

Phytelligence will provide growers with hazelnut rootstock that is native to the U.S. , according to the release. The variety provides yields that average 65 pounds of nuts per tree and also is resistant to fungal pathogen Eastern Filbert Blight, according to the release.

PollyO hazelnuts mature up to two weeks earlier than the Barcelona hazelnut, according to the release.

“We’re eager to propagate PollyO and provide growers with hazelnut trees that are resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight and produce nuts that fit perfectly into the chocolate and baked goods industry,” Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence, said in the release. “Nut growers in Oregon have been fighting Eastern Filbert Blight for more than 40 years and the demand from consumers for hazelnuts continues to climb.”

“I’m optimistic our propagation license will help increase the quality and quantity of nuts delivered to growers and consumers,” Phytelligence vice president of global sales for nuts, hops and new crops, Peter Viss, said in the release. “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.” 

The release said Phytelligence is now accepting PollyO orders for delivery in 2020.