Hort Innovation announced it will invest $987,000 to assess new citrus varieties that are suited to Australian growing conditions. Funded by Hort Innovation’s citrus levy, the project will provide independent assessment of the horticultural performance of new citrus varieties under Australian conditions, as well as testing citrus varieties for trueness-to-type. The assessments will take place in Dareton in New South Wales, as well as in Western Australia.
Hort Innovation Chief Executive Officer Brett Fifield said the project will build on previous citrus variety projects. The aim will be to measure tree attributes that are desirable for Australian growers and consumers both domestically and overseas.
“Independent assessment of new citrus varieties — under Australian conditions — means growers will be able to identify new varieties that might suit their production regions,” Fifield said. “It will also help growers be aware of key consumer and production traits of the varieties. As part of the assessments, we’re looking at fruit quality, tree yield, fruit size and sweetness, as well as assessing any issues producers might need to consider when growing the trees.”
Chair of Citrus Australia Richard Byllaardt said the research was an important investment in the future of the Australian citrus industry.
“Cultivating citrus varieties that are suited to Australian conditions ensures our growers are getting the most out of the trees they’ve planted,” Byllaardt said. “With the right varieties, we have the potential to both reduce input costs and maximize yields. In turn, this means better returns for growers, better products for consumers and a more resilient citrus industry overall.”
The project is part of a suite of investments focused on variety and rootstock evaluation and breeding, that also complements biosecurity-related projects to protect the citrus production base in Australia.
This project is being delivered in partnership with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
Source: Hort Innovation
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