Does Sugar Belle Citrus Have Built-in HLB Resistance?

Abbey TaylorCitrus

Gmitter being interviewed in front of the Sugar Belle tree in a Citrus Research and Education Center test grove at Lake Alfred

During our quick ag tour last week with Max Armstrong and his television crew for “This Week in Agribusiness,” we spent some time with Fred Gmitter in one of the experimental plots at University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. We posted this interview as part of that tour series, but we’re reposting it here to be sure our visitors didn’t miss the message about the Sugar Belle variety of citrus that Gmitter discusses in our interview.

Standing in front of a Sugar Belle tree that was planted circa 1992, Gmitter points out it keeps surviving while trees around it keep dying of HLB. In my interview with Gmitter, he talks about the interesting history of the Sugar Belle variety, how it was lucky to have survived to begin with thanks to a citrus grower “visionary” on Florida’s east coast by the name of Barney Greene, and how the variety now is showing signs of living successfully with the HLB disease on a long-term basis.

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