Fruit Quality Evaluations for Georgia Citrus Varieties

Josh McGillGeorgia, Varieties

Characteristics of 30 varieties and 45 variety/rootstock combinations were reported in Evaluating Fruit Quality of Citrus Varieties in Georgia, 2021-22. Jacob Price, county Extension coordinator for Lowndes County and Extension citrus specialist with University of Georgia (UGA) Extension, authored the report.

TSS = Total soluble solids
** Sample collected on January 9, 2022; each sample included three fruits.
*** Two fruits sampled for this

Price noted that most groves in Georgia were planted after 2014. Initially, satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu) on trifoliate rootstocks (Poncirus trifoliata) were planted for their cold-hardiness, seedlessness and ease of peeling. As of 2022, approximately 75% of the 3,300 acres of citrus planted in Georgia are satsumas, but that proportion is trending downward.

To strengthen the new Georgia citrus industry, growers recently have begun to diversify their citrus varieties, Price reported. Little is known about how these varieties will perform under Georgia weather and soil conditions. Therefore, he wrote, research is necessary to determine what varieties can best tolerate Georgia’s winter weather and to determine cultural norms such as maturation time, fruit quality and insect and disease tolerance.

On December 15, 2021, and again on December 7, 2022, five citrus fruits were picked and juiced into one sample from each variety/rootstock. The average of these two years of data is represented in the accompanying tables. All plantings were from Lowndes and Lanier counties except for Pink Frost grapefruit (UGA) and Grand Frost lemon (UGA), which came from a planting in Tift County.

The tables provide data on varieties currently being grown in Georgia, including when they were planted, the rootstocks on which they were grafted, total soluble solids (TSS) levels, titratable acidity (TA), TSS/TA ratios and likely timing of ripening.

The values in the table provide information that may assist growers in choosing which varieties to plant and when they may mature. Fruit color is also a factor when deciding to harvest.

Source: University of Georgia Extension

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