Grower Pete Spyke Discusses New Varieties

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Pete Spyke

Grower and gift fruit shipper Pete Spyke was among more than 100 people who sampled approximately 50 new University of Florida varieties at the Citrus Research and Education Center on Dec. 4.

“There’s some good-tasting, easy-peel, seedless (mandarin) varieties that I think will be working their way through the gauntlet,” said Spyke. He added that several will probably be released for grower use “within the next 18 months or so. We’re looking forward to those.”

“Most of them are easy peel,” Spyke said. “The very best tasting ones are a little bit harder to peel than a clementine. But if people want them bad enough, we found that they’ll go ahead and figure out a way to get to them.”

Spyke singled out one variety, 914, for “holding up well as far as the fruit acceptability. We’re still testing it to see how it’s doing with HLB.”

“We think we’ve got some really good answers coming,” Spyke concluded. “We just need to get them planted and in production.”

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large