International Citrus Breeders Draw Attention

Ernie Neffbreeders


Approximately 70 growers, researchers and others listened to citrus breeders from other countries discuss their programs and objectives in Lake Alfred, Florida, earlier this month. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) hosted the event. Michael Rogers, CREC director, provided an overview of the gathering.

“This international citrus breeders symposium is something that takes place every several years among citrus breeders from around the world,” Rogers said.

“In each of the countries, they have different goals for their fruit,” Rogers said. “Some are fresh fruit, some juice production, different growing regions, different markets, different ways for funding their programs. So it’s interesting to see how these different programs work in different parts of the world. It also is great to develop collaborations and look for new varieties that might even be of interest here in the U.S. But it also gives our growers a chance to hear what’s driving the market forces in other countries … It does have an impact on us, and it’s something we can use to guide our industry in the future.”

Speakers discussed breeding programs in Australia, Italy, Korea, Spain and Uruguay.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large