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The Burchell Nursery Announces Restructuring of its BNI Breeding Program

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The Burchell Nursery to Focus on Nut Variety Development While Still Offering Stone Fruits Through Exclusive Licensing Agreement. Wawona Enhances Its Vertical-Integration with Acquisition of the Stone Fruit Breeding Operation from The Burchell Nursery.

OAKDALE, Calif., Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Burchell Nursery Inc. ("Burchell") today announced it has sold its stone fruit breeding assets to Wawona Packing Co., LLC, a large grower-packer-shipper of stone fruit in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Wawona will acquire Burchell's stone fruit breeding program, which includes more than 60 patented varieties of high-quality stone fruit trees and their associated genetics.

With a 75-plus year history, Burchell is one of the leading tree fruit and tree nut nurseries in central California, servicing over 7,000 growers globally with high quality trees. Burchell has a legacy in breeding best-in-class varieties of stone fruit for more than 30 years. Burchell's trademarked series of peaches and nectarines, Flame and Flare, respectively, are well-recognized in the industry for their flavor profile and consistent quality across multiple commodities throughout the season.

As part of the transaction, Wawona has acquired the exclusive right to propagate the Summer Flame 26, 29, 34 and August Flame varieties, as well as the exclusive right to use Cornerstone rootstock with stone fruit in the United States.  Through a licensing agreement, Burchell will be the exclusive licensee of all of the stone fruit varieties it has sold historically with the exception of these varieties, and Burchell remains committed to continuing to grow and sell the highest quality trees to our commercial tree fruit and tree nut customers.    

Burchell will retain its tree nut germplasm and varieties, including its signature Shasta® almond and will continue to develop new nut varieties through its restructured BNI Nut Breeding Program.

Tom Burchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Burchell, said, "Our agreement with Wawona enables us to realize the value of our stone fruit portfolio while still providing our customers with the high-quality trees they expect from us. Our nursery will continue to focus on creating the most vigorous, healthy trees possible and offer our diversified pipeline of tree nut varieties, including Shasta® almonds. Looking ahead, we will continue to be driven by our passion for science and developing the best trees and best results for our customers as we have for over 75 years."

Contact:
Tom Burchell
The Burchell Nursery
12000 State Highway 120
Oakdale, CA 95361-8887
209 845-8733

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