Indian River Variety Trial Attracts Visitors

Ernie NeffVarieties

Forty-nine growers and others participated in a self-guided, drive-through tour of the Millennium Block variety performance trial at the Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) on Oct. 9. “Several growers highlighted trees are off to a good start, and despite the fact they’re young, they could see clear differences,” said host and IRREC researcher Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi. Ferrarezi works … Read More

Varieties and Rootstocks Reviewed

Ernie NeffRootstocks, Varieties

HLB

In his virtual Citrus Expo presentation, Jude Grosser reviewed varieties and rootstocks showing promise for productivity in the face of HLB. Grosser is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) plant breeder. His presentation was based on work done by him and fellow UF/IFAS researchers Bill Castle and Fred Gmitter. Grosser said UF/IFAS released OLL-20 “based … Read More

Is Parson Brown the Better Early Orange?

Ernie NeffVarieties

The old Parson Brown sweet orange variety is showing some characteristics that could make it more attractive than Hamlin, which has long been Florida’s leading early-season orange. “Observations made in commercial blocks in Polk and neighboring counties illustrate an improved canopy density, improved mature fruit retention and higher yields in the early-maturing Parson Brown sweet orange when compared to adjacent … Read More

Progress Toward HLB-Tolerant Citrus

Tacy CalliesVarieties

mandarin

Largely due to the advent of huanglongbing (HLB) disease, Florida orange production has declined by over 70 percent in the last 10 years. According to experts, if the trend is not reversed, processing plants will not have enough fruit to maintain production and profitability, ultimately causing shutdowns. Currently, Florida law requires that orange juice be comprised of at least 90 … Read More

Top Picks From Citrus Variety Display Days

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Varieties

varieties

By Yu Wang, Fred Gmitter, Jude Grosser, Joon Hyuk Suh and Peter Chaires The Citrus Variety Display Days at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) have been a unique platform to fulfill one of the core missions of the Florida citrus industry. These events help identify new selections with … Read More

The Ins and Outs of Tango

Tacy CalliesVarieties

The relatively mild winter conditions over the last two decades have led to a resurgence of interest in cold-hardy citrus in Florida. Growers were looking for a low-seeded citrus variety that was sweet, easy to peel and had moderate cold tolerance. In 2009, the first Florida nurseries were licensed to grow Tango, a low-seeded (less than five seeds per fruit … Read More

Coming Attraction: Florida Finger Limes

Tacy CalliesVarieties

Sweet oranges. Ruby red grapefruit. Sugar Belle mandarins. When one thinks of Florida citrus, these fruits immediately come to mind. But finger limes? A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher believes that finger limes may be the next food trend that will continue to fortify Florida’s role as a citrus producer for the world. Manjul … Read More

Orange Opportunities

Tacy CalliesVarieties

New sweet orange cultivars for processing can be harvested throughout the Florida citrus season. By Jude Grosser, Fred Gmitter and Bill Castle Florida orange juice has always been the gold standard among the growing portfolio of fruit juices and blends available to consumers. However, the now endemic citrus greening disease or huanglongbing (HLB) threatens this status by causing reduced fruit … Read More

New Varieties and Juice Blends Discussed

Ernie NeffVarieties

Growers recently sampled and graded new fruit varieties, as well as some juice blends, at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fruit display events. UF/IFAS plant breeder Jude Grosser commented on the fruit varieties and juice following a sampling event at the Citrus Research and Education Center. “It’s kind of neat because when we first started … Read More

Niche Market and Dooryard Citrus for the HLB World

Tacy CalliesVarieties

By Jude Grosser, Manjul Dutt and Fred Gmitter The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus improvement team at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) has developed a broad citrus germplasm base. This provides opportunities to generate diverse, interesting and possibly lucrative selections with niche market and dooryard potential. Several such selections are showing reasonable … Read More

Grower Likes UF Mandarin Varieties

Ernie NeffVarieties

varieties

Dozens of Florida citrus growers and other industry members sampled new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus varieties Nov. 14. The samplers tasted many pieces of fruit as well as some juice from new fruit at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Those participating in the sampling carried clipboards with lists … Read More

Varieties Update: OLL-20 and Bingo

Ernie NeffVarieties

grapefruit

Fred Gmitter provided an update at Citrus Expo on University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus varieties, including OLL-20 and Bingo. Gmitter is a UF/IFAS citrus plant breeder and geneticist at the Citrus Research and Education Center. Gmitter said OLL-20, a new sweet orange, has “exceptional flavor characteristics … It looks to be something that could … Read More

UF/IFAS to Add Citrus Plant Improvement Specialist

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Varieties

citrus soil health

Many citrus growers want to replant their groves that are withering because of greening. But they need field data to know which varieties to plant. Gathering that information takes time. As a rule, though, it takes 15 to 20 years to develop a new citrus variety and get data on how it will perform in the field before it is … Read More

Fast Track Has Winners and Losers

Ernie NeffVarieties

mandarin

At a recent meeting to discuss the release of the Marathon mandarin in the Fast Track citrus evaluation program, the program manager said Fast Track selections have had varying fortunes. “The purpose of this program is to take things that look promising and then get them out into the hands of nurseries and growers as fast as possible,” says Peter … Read More

Working Toward Better Orange Juice in the HLB World

Tacy CalliesBreeding, Orange Juice, Varieties

By Jude Grosser, Fred Gmitter, Yu Wang and Bill Castle It’s no secret that huanglongbing (HLB) has challenged the industry to maintain the outstanding quality associated with Florida orange juice. Moreover, increased prices and competition from new juice products and blends have reduced Florida orange juice consumption. We believe that improving the quality, especially flavor and color, of juice products … Read More

New Citrus Variety Option for Florida Growers

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Varieties

mandarin

FAST TRACK is an innovative program developed through the cooperative efforts of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP), the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC). Through FAST TRACK, commercial citrus growers can obtain a license to plant promising experimental citrus selections for trial and evaluation. FAST TRACK engages … Read More

Planting: ‘More Options Than Ever’

Ernie Neffplanting, Varieties

Michael Rogers recently said there is increased optimism in the Florida citrus industry. “With that optimism, growers are starting to give more consideration to replanting,” said Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. According to Rogers, some growers who held off on planting in the … Read More

New Varieties a Nurseryman Likes

Ernie NeffVarieties

varieties

Jim Dilley of Dilley Citrus Nursery in Punta Gorda was intrigued by some new varieties he sampled at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred recently. Dilley singled out “several of the tangerines: 1818, 1819” as being of interest to him. “They were easy peel. It was apparent that one of them was probably a little earlier than … Read More

Grower Pete Spyke Discusses New Varieties

Ernie NeffVarieties

varieties

Grower and gift fruit shipper Pete Spyke was among more than 100 people who sampled approximately 50 new University of Florida varieties at the Citrus Research and Education Center on Dec. 4. “There’s some good-tasting, easy-peel, seedless (mandarin) varieties that I think will be working their way through the gauntlet,” said Spyke. He added that several will probably be released … Read More

Crowd Assesses New Citrus Varieties

Ernie NeffVarieties

varieties

More than 100 growers and others sampled approximately 50 new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences citrus varieties at the Citrus Research and Education Center on Tuesday. “It’s a fantastic turnout,” said Peter Chaires, executive director of the New Varieties Development and Management Corp. He said in addition to Floridians, many international visitors on hand for an … Read More