Trials to Seek Hamlin Alternative

Ernie NeffVarieties


Twenty-four citrus scions were approved by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) on March 23 for eventual use in multiple field trials around Florida. The purpose of the trials will be to find an early-season orange that is more tolerant of HLB disease than Hamlin, said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler.

Hamlin has long been the primary early-season fruit produced in Florida. Dantzler called Hamlin “a fantastic variety” but noted that it is very susceptible to HLB.

Dantzler said the field trials that will research the 24 scions won’t be planted for at least a year because the trees need to be created by citrus nurseries. At least three field trials will be conducted in each of the three primary citrus-growing regions in Florida.

The first eight scions on the trial list are R26-T14 and R26-T10, which mature in December; N 13-32, which matures December-January; OLL 13W-4-13, OLL 13W-9-33 and OLL 13W-1-12, which mature in January; 1859, which matures December-January; and SF 11-1-24, which matures December-February.

Next on the list are Valencia UF 6-2-55, which matures December-March; Parson Brown F 56-2, Carney Orange 2 and Carney Orange 3, all called “early maturing;” C4-7-29, classified as “mid maturing;” US SunDragon, which matures November-January; FF-1-89-11, maturing October-January; and FF-5-6-36, which matures November-December.

Rounding out the scions to be tested in the field trials are UFGNV0187, maturing October-November; Hamlin 1-4-1, maturing November-January; Vernia UF 35-15, which matures several weeks earlier than Valencia; Valquarius LTUF SF 14-W-62, maturing four to eight weeks earlier than Valencia; Valencia SPB 1-14-19, which matures at the same time as standard Valencia; R25-T2 Vernia and R25-T12 Vernia, both maturing in December; and N 14-10, for which a maturity date isn’t provided.

The CRDF considered 12 other scions but did not include them for use in the field trials.

In addition to the scion trials, CRDF has plans for rootstock trials.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large