Studying the Mechanisms for HLB Tolerance

Tacy Callies All In For Citrus Podcast, Research, Varieties

John Chater has been on the job now for two years, working with growers to evaluate variety performance in field trials. In the latest All In For Citrus podcast episode, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor discusses his work, including grower collaboration to study new varieties in real-world environments. Chater also talks about …

field

Rootstocks and More Showcased at Field Day

Daniel Cooper Events, Rootstocks, Varieties

In early December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) hosted its annual A.H. Whitmore Foundation Farm field tour and variety display in Groveland, Florida. The event was well attended and showcased the USDA-ARS citrus scion and rootstock breeding program. Attendees loaded up for a hayride and guided tour through the grove. One stop showcased the cooperative work the …

diversification

Diversification Continues to Be Key for Cold-Hardy Region

Daniel Cooper Cold Hardy, Varieties

Diversification is key to production remaining sustainable in the cold-hardy citrus region. It is message that industry leaders preach to producers who are looking to grow the citrus industry in North Florida, Georgia and Alabama. John Chater, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, talked about the importance …

blood oranges

Blood Oranges May Be Option for Cold-Hardy Region

Daniel Cooper Cold Hardy, Varieties

Blood oranges could provide citrus growers with another variety to grow in the cold-hardy citrus region. But further research is needed to verify its effectiveness in the Southeast, says Ali Sarkhosh, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor. “We harvested those fruit in Quincy at the North Florida Research and Education Center. We still don’t …

Millennium Block Varieties Tour

Josh McGill Events, Rootstocks, Varieties

Citrus growers are invited to tour the 20-acre Millennium Block at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce on Nov. 7. The tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  New varieties in the grove are in their fourth year of growth. Researchers are …

Sugar Belle Is Cold Hardiest Among Non-Satsumas

Josh McGill Varieties

A survey by 15 Extension agents showed Sugar Belle mandarin to be the most cold-hardy non-satsuma citrus variety following a major freeze in Georgia in December 2022. Sugar Belle was followed in order of cold hardiness by Tango, navel oranges, Kishu and grapefruit. Shiranui was the least cold hardy non-satsuma variety. University of Georgia Extension agent Jake Price reported the …

Breeder Discusses New Fresh Citrus Varieties

Josh McGill Fresh, Varieties

In a virtual presentation, plant breeder Jude Grosser discussed recently released citrus varieties that might work well in the fresh fruit market. Grosser is a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center. Here’s a look at some of the varieties he addressed: MANDARINSGrosser described Marathon as the “best option” …

The Big Push for New Processed Orange Varieties

Josh McGill Orange Juice, Varieties

Citrus breeders at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have been making a big push for four years to develop new orange varieties for processing. The need for the push was accentuated last year by a multitude of adverse situations on the processing side of the business. In a recent virtual presentation, UF/IFAS plant breeder …

Three New Citrus Releases From UF/IFAS

Josh McGill Varieties

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center breeding program has released three new scion cultivars in the last year. These cultivars provide opportunities for diverse segments of the Florida citrus industry, including nurseries catering to the home landscape marketplace. The new releases demonstrate the value of a broad-based breeding program to …

Provide Feedback During Florida Fruit Displays

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, Events, Varieties

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 …

Breeder Advice on Nutrition, Scions and Rootstocks

Josh McGill Nutrition, Rootstocks, Varieties

Citrus breeder Jude Grosser recently shared tips on tree nutrition and discussed some scion/rootstock combinations that should work well for trees producing juice oranges. NUTRITIONGrosser became very interested in citrus nutrition several years ago in an effort to keep his newly bred trees healthy in the face of HLB. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor …

Participate in Variety Displays and Field Days

Josh McGill Events, Tip of the Week, Varieties

By Peter Chaires Each year, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus breeding teams provide opportunities for interested parties to sample fruit from new and recent selections. This is a great opportunity to remain current on research results. Participation from growers, processors, packers, marketers and fruit enthusiasts is desired. Shoppers in produce departments represent a …

UGA Citrus Research Benefits From Freeze

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, freeze, Varieties

Research in South Georgia cold-hardy citrus requires freezing temperatures for studies to be effective. When temperatures dropped below freezing for multiple days around Christmas last year, it allowed Jake Price, University of Georgia (UGA) Lowndes County Extension coordinator, to conduct extensive research into various citrus varieties and rootstocks. He discussed his research during a citrus meeting in early August. “We’ve …

Fruit Quality Evaluations for Georgia Citrus Varieties

Josh McGill Georgia, 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. Price noted that most groves in Georgia were planted after 2014. Initially, satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu) on trifoliate rootstocks …

Citrus Breeding Efforts to Solve the Brix Crisis

Josh McGill Rootstocks, Varieties

By Jude Grosser, Maria Brenelli, Ling Liu, Yu Wang and Fred Gmitter The combination of HLB and hurricane Ian have made this a disastrous year for Florida citrus, drastically reducing the quantity and quality of processing oranges. Brix values are the lowest in history. Early-season Hamlin juice with inferior quality is generally blended with late-season Valencia to achieve the target …

Lemon Scion Research Summarized

Josh McGill California Corner, lemons, Varieties

An assortment of lemon scions producing fresh market fruit performed differently for yield and other qualities in three California locations. Glenn Wright, University of Arizona associate professor and Extension specialist for tree crops, provided the comparative results from the three locations in a June 20 webinar. All results are through the 2020–21 season. SANTA PAULAThe Santa Paula location, with a …

USDA Citrus Breeding Program Focused on Rootstock and Variety Solutions

Josh McGill Breeding, Rootstocks, Varieties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, has been home to a citrus rootstock and variety breeding program for many years. Kim Bowman, a research geneticist, has been with the program for more than 30 years. More recently, Matthew Mattia, a geneticist, joined the breeding team. They provide an update on the program …

Three New Citrus Varieties Released in Brazil

Josh McGill Brazil, Varieties

Three new citrus varieties were recently released in Brazil. They are the orange Navelina XR, the early sweet orange BRS IAC FCC Alvorada and the Tahiti lemon Ponta Firme. All are the result of a research partnership among Embrapa, the Coopercitrus Credicitrus Foundation and the Sylvio Moreira Citriculture Center, linked to the Agronomic Institute. NAVELINA XRDeveloped for fresh consumption, Navelina …

Millennium Block and MAC Project Updates

Josh McGill Research, Rootstocks, Varieties

Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022 caused early fruit drop in the Indian River area, where two studies of 39,000 trees that might tolerate HLB are being conducted. Researchers now expect significant data from the studies will come after the 2023, 2024 and 2025 season harvests, but they have already gained some insights from the projects.  The first experimental grove, …

Valencia on US-942 Rootstock Is Favored Florida Tree

Josh McGill Rootstocks, Varieties

For at least the last four years, the Valencia SPB-1-14-19 orange has been the most-produced citrus variety in Florida, and US-942 has been the favored rootstock. So, it makes sense that the Valencia SPB-1-14-19 on US-942 rootstock has been the most-produced tree combination for four years running. That information was provided at April’s Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park …