California’s Oldest Orange Approved for Production

Jim Rogers California Corner, Varieties

The 1,000th tree okayed for growing by California’s Citrus Clonal Protection Program happens to be California’s oldest orange variety in the state. Dubbed the Mother Orange Tree, Bidwell’s Bar is a sweet Mediterranean orange brought to California from Mazatlán, Mexico, and planted in 1856. It was first planted near the Bidwell Bar Bridge near Oroville. The tree’s survival skills are some …

Sneak Peek: July 2022 Citrus Industry

Jim Rogers Rootstocks, Sneak Peek, Varieties

HLB continued to contribute to reduced production and lower quality fruit for Florida growers this season. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are working to help alleviate these problems by delivering improved rootstocks and varieties. The July issue of Citrus Industry magazine includes an in-depth look at this work. Read “Juice for Florida’s future” to …

Finger Limes Introduced for Florida

Jim Rogers Limes, Varieties

Two recently released University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) varieties of finger limes were introduced at a virtual Finger Lime Symposium held in March. Manjul Dutt of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center hosted the symposium; he also introduced the new varieties. Lourdes Pérez Cordero, UF/IFAS Extension agent in Highlands County, reported on the new …

Speeding the Search for an HLB Solution

Jim Rogers HLB Management, Research, Varieties

By J. Scott Angle, jangle@ufl.edu, @IFAS_VP My hope is that your new citrus breeding team scientist will be a new Bill Castle on warp speed for an HLB solution. That is, John Chater will accelerate the search for citrus varieties that hold up against HLB. He’s got tens of thousands of places to search. Fred Gmitter and Jude Grosser have …

Working With Citrus Growers to Select New Varieties

Jim Rogers All In For Citrus Podcast, Varieties

John Chater joined the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in January as an assistant professor of horticultural sciences. His mission is to act as a conduit between citrus plant breeders and growers to find fits for new rootstock and scion selections. Chater’s love of plants was inspired by his grandfather who was a plant breeder …

Update on Finger Limes in Florida

Jim Rogers Limes, Research, Varieties

The Australian finger lime has created a buzz among chefs and mixologists for its caviar-like texture and flavorful pulp. The fruit also has captured interest among growers for its seemingly high tolerance to HLB. On March 23, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted a half-day online symposium on finger limes to provide growers with …

Picking Favorites at Florida Citrus Variety Display Day

Jim Rogers Citrus, Florida, Varieties

The horticultural characteristics of new citrus varieties are important, especially in the era of HLB when disease tolerance is critical. But how the fruit tastes and other consumer attributes are equally important. That’s why citrus variety display days are vital in citrus breeding. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in …

citrus rootstock

Florida’s Top Rootstocks and Varieties

Ernie Neff Rootstocks, Varieties

US-942 remained the top citrus rootstock in Florida for the third year in a row, and Valencia SPB-1-14-19 was the top variety. ROOTSTOCKSMore than 1.28 million nursery trees were budded on US-942, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Citrus Budwood Annual Report for 2020-21. The next 14 most popular rootstocks, with the number of buddings, …

Getting New Varieties to Growers

Ernie Neff All In For Citrus Podcast, Varieties

The executive directors of two organizations that play a vital role in getting citrus varieties into the hands of growers summarize how the process works. They are John Beuttenmuller with Florida Foundation Seed Producers (FFSP) and Peter Chaires with New Varieties Development & Management Corporation (NVDMC). When University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant breeders propose …

mandarin

Breeders Discuss Favored Citrus Varieties

Ernie Neff Varieties

Fred Gmitter and Jude Grosser discuss some relatively new varieties they like – a mandarin, some oranges and a pummelo-grapefruit hybrid. Gmitter and Grosser are University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant breeders at the Citrus Research and Education Center. SUGAR BELLE® MANDARIN“Looking at Sugar Belle® and its performance against citrus greening, it’s clearly one of …

Gator Bites: Competition for Clementines

Ernie Neff Varieties

Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) Director Michael Rogers recently praised the Gator Bites mandarin variety that is being developed by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Gator Bites look like California clementines, branded as Cuties and Halos, but Rogers thinks Gator Bites is a better piece of fruit. “This makes the Cuties and Halos …

Millennium Block Field Day Draws Growers

Ernie Neff Rootstocks, Varieties

More than 50 citrus growers and researchers attended a field day Oct. 14 in Fort Pierce to view 154 new citrus scion-rootstock combinations. Some of the combinations will result in trees that tolerate HLB. The Millennium Block Drive-Thru Field Day occurred at the University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). …

The Past and Potential of Parson Brown

Tacy Callies Varieties

By Gary K. England and Manjul Dutt The Parson Brown is an early-season sweet orange that was identified in 1875 by J.L. Carney and named the Carney Parson Brown (CPB). In a 1923 article titled ‘History of the Parson Brown Orange,’ E.L. Carney described how his brother Capt. J.L. Carney sought a sweet orange of acceptable quality for budding onto …

Navel Oranges: Current Status and Future in Florida

Tacy Callies Varieties

By Pete Spyke and Bill Castle Navel oranges are fairly tolerant of HLB, are popular and easy to sell, and offer a stable source of income that is only marginally related to worldwide supply and demand. Nevertheless, the Florida navel orange industry has experienced some tough times recently. Growers are questioning whether it is possible to grow navel oranges profitably …

Parson Brown Outperforming Hamlin

Ernie Neff Research, Varieties

Manjul Dutt recently discussed his research on the Parson Brown (PB) sweet orange, which shows some characteristics that could make it more attractive than Hamlin, Florida’s leading early-season orange. Dutt is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticultural sciences researcher at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Dutt’s research, funded by the Citrus …

Improved Orange Cultivars

Ernie Neff Varieties

Improved sweet orange cultivars for processing and fresh fruit were the topic of a virtual presentation July 14 by plant breeder Jude Grosser. Grosser works at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.   HAMLIN SOMACLONE N13-32This new and distinct early-season clone of Hamlin has improved juice color and …

Fresh Citrus Variety Options for Florida

Ernie Neff Varieties

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant breeder Fred Gmitter discussed potential fresh fruit variety options for Florida growers in a July 14 virtual presentation. Gmitter focused on releases made by breeders at UF/IFAS’ Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. SUGAR BELLEGmitter said the Sugar Belle mandarin hybrid has high tolerance for HLB. This …

OLL Sweet Oranges: Alternatives to Valencia

Tacy Callies Varieties

By Jude Grosser Valencia sweet orange has always been the gold standard of processing oranges for the best orange juice in the world. However, there is a new kid on the block that is challenging this. University of Florida (UF) citrus breeders have been working with the late, great Citrus Hall of Fame grower/researcher Orie Lee and his family for …

Sneak Peek: July 2021 Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies Rootstocks, Sneak Peek, Varieties

Growers looking for advice on the subjects of rootstocks and varieties will find several pertinent articles in the July issue of Citrus Industry magazine. According to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus breeder Jude Grosser, Orie and Louise Lee (OLL) oranges are giving Valencias a run for their money. He discusses the beneficial characteristics of …

Varieties for the Indian River Region

Ashley Robinson Varieties

In response to HLB, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus breeding program is focused on developing improved varieties and rootstocks for sustainable and profitable production. Rootstock and scion performance trials have been established throughout the state. UF/IFAS citrus breeder Fred Gmitter touched on some of the experimental trials being done in Florida’s Indian River …