Varieties Update: OLL-20 and Bingo

Ernie NeffVarieties


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


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


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


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


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


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

What to Ask When Deciding What to Plant

Tacy CalliesRootstocks, Scions, Varieties

HLB, Replanting

By Nate Jameson The decision-making process for choosing a scion/rootstock combination involves multiple factors. The process starts by answering the following questions: Question 1: New planting or resetting? If the block is being reset, is still profitable and will stay in production for several years, then I suggest the grower stay with the existing combination currently planted. If the block … Read More

Experts Suggest Varieties for Irma-Damaged Citrus Replanting

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Rootstocks, Scions, Varieties


As growers decide how to use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma — and as they cope with the ongoing impact of citrus greening — University of Florida researchers are suggesting varieties for them to replant. Producers can grow varieties that show tolerance to greening — also known as huanglongbing, or HLB. … Read More

New Planting Options for Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesVarieties

By Fred Gmitter, Ed Stover, Randy Driggers, Greg McCollum and Jude Grosser The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service citrus breeding program has a long history of releasing successful scion and rootstock cultivars. There had been a 15-year lapse in creating new hybrids, and the recently released cultivars largely reflect breeding efforts that preceded the onslaught of HLB … Read More

The Complex Path for New Citrus in California

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Varieties

By Len Wilcox Continuous research and development of new varieties is an important function of the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Efforts have led to hundreds of profitable varieties now being grown in California. According to a report in California Agriculture, University of California’s (UC) research journal, one of those varieties has been a source of more than $14 million … Read More

Cold-Hardy Citrus for North Florida

Tacy CalliesVarieties

By Xavier Martini and Peter Andersen Cold-hardy citrus has a long history in North Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia. Records show that sweet orange, citron, lemon, lime and pummelo were brought to Saint Augustine, Florida, from Spain in 1565. However, it was not until the late 1700s that the Jesuits introduced satsuma (Citrus unshiu) to what is now Louisiana. SATSUMA … Read More

Rucks on Citrus Varieties and Industry Recovery

Ernie NeffHLB Management, hurricane, Varieties


Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery weighs in on the increasing demand for late versus early orange varieties, the impact of Hurricane Irma and HLB. Rucks notes that over the past 30 years, the demand for early-season oranges versus late-season oranges has essentially reversed. In the past, he says, early varieties accounted for about 60 percent of plantings. Now, … Read More

Progress on Engineering HLB-Tolerant/Resistant Citrus

Tacy CalliesVarieties

By Manjul Dutt and Jude W. Grosser Huanglongbing (HLB) threatens the survival of the Florida citrus industry. Both conventional cultivars and genetically engineered cultivars that can grow in the presence of HLB have been developed at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred. Among the two citrus improvement techniques, engineering citrus remains the fastest … Read More

What Lies Ahead for Florida Citrus?

Tacy CalliesDiseases, HLB Management, Pests, Varieties

Editor’s note: This article is part of the special coverage on the 100th Anniversary of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, found in the October 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. By Tom Nordlie Although it’s difficult to predict future events, directors of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) … Read More

Specialty and Miscellaneous Varieties to Watch

Abbey TaylorVarieties

Peter Chaires, executive director of the New Varieties Development and Management Corporation, recently spoke at the 2017 Central Florida Fruit Grower Day in Tavares. During his presentation, he discussed findings on specialty varieties from the 2016–2017 season, as well as some miscellaneous varieties catching the eyes of Florida growers. Chaires said he is seeing a lot of interest in some … Read More

Varieties: Replacing Hamlins with Early Valencias

Ernie NeffVarieties

University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant breeder Jude Grosser makes a case for Florida’s citrus industry replacing Hamlin oranges with early-maturing Valencia oranges that he and others are developing. “I think that’s a no-brainer because Hamlins are having a really bad time with greening, and orange juice sales are declining,” Grosser says. “Hamlin is half our juice. … Read More