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Hazelnut farming set to grow in southwestern Ontario

January 15, 2015 - A global shortage of hazelnuts and an incentive from a major chocolate producer is prompting a number of farmers in southwestern Ontario to grow the nuts.

The Ontario Hazelnut Association predicts more than 240 hectares (600 acres) will be grown in 2015. That's up from 40 hectares (100 acres) last year.

Scott Deslippe sits on the association's board. He said hazelnuts could be a good source of income for farmers. 

"This year, I was out in Oregon. They were harvesting mature orchards out there. They were getting 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) per acre on average, and they were getting $1.71 (U.S.) at their receiving station. So do the math on that. That's a pretty good revenue," Deslippe said.

He's planting close to 10,000 hazelnut trees this year.

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