Later this month, Florida citrus fruit displays will get underway. This is a key component of the citrus breeding program to get input from growers and other industry stakeholders on how fruit from potential new varieties looks and tastes.
During the September All In For Citrus podcast, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), previewed some of the fruit displays coming this fall and winter.
SAMPLING AT CREC
The following fruit sampling events will take place at the Ben Hill Griffin Auditorium at CREC in Lake Alfred:
• Oct. 18, 2023, 1:00 p.m., after the OJ Break
• Nov. 15, 2023, 1:00 p.m., after the OJ Break
• Dec. 20, 2023, 1:00 p.m., after the OJ Break (featuring a presentation on citrus breeding)
• Jan. 23, 2024, 1:00 p.m.
• Feb. 21, 2024, 1:00 p.m., after the OJ Break
Attendees will be able to sample a range of varieties and complete survey forms that provide valuable feedback to the CREC Plant Improvement Team. Members of the team (John Chater, Fred Gmitter, Jude Grosser and Yu Wang) will be present to answer questions.
Due to the heavy focus on orange and orange-like material, juice samples are often provided for displayed selections that may have potential in the juice stream. There are a large number of promising selections identified each year, but the team makes a concerted effort to keep the number of displayed selections to a manageable number.
Rogers also provided a preview of the display scheduled for Oct. 11, hosted by Jose Chaparro and his team at the UF/IFAS citrus breeding orchard in Gainesville. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will host an open house and a variety display on Dec. 8 at the A.H. Whitmore Foundation in Groveland.
To learn more about this season’s fruit displays, check out the latest episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.