Peter Chaires, executive director of New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC), summarizes a January 5 meeting seeking input on the Fast Track program. Fast Track lets citrus growers and nurseries access experimental University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fresh citrus selections much earlier than was previously possible. Fast Track was co-developed by NVDMC, UF/IFAS and Florida Foundation Seed Producers Inc. (FFSP).
“This was a good opportunity to regather with the industry,” Chaires says. “We had a big group of nurseries, growers, a couple of marketing people in there, and regulators. This was an opportunity to … break down the Fast Track program … and try to get feedback to find out if there’s a way to improve it.”
Chaires notes some of the issues addressed and says NVDMC will discuss the input with UF/IFAS and FFSP.
The Fast Track program has made 16 fresh selections available to growers. Chaires says some of those selections are “moving cautiously forward to try to help us determine whether these are going to be the next commercial success.” He adds that between 150 and 175 growers are participating in the evaluation process.
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