New citrus variety trial options for Florida growers

CITRUS VARIETIES - Gmitter's latest 051215CITRUS VARIETIES - UFSunrise 051115

MAITLAND, Fla. – The New Varieties Development & Management Corporation has scheduled statewide grower meetings for May to launch FAST TRACK’s third suite of UF/IFAS-developed experimental citrus selections.

This new suite features four seedless easy-peel mandarin selections: UFGlow, UFSunrise, UFDawn and 7-6-27.

In addition, the UFGlow, UFSunrise and UFDawn varieties are mess-free – meaning your hands remain dry — early maturing and cold tolerant. Variety 7-6-27 has generated greater interest than any previous UF mandarin release at UF’s Citrus Research and Education Center Fruit Display Days, both in-state and internationally, as a result of its very early season of maturity, excellent color and flavor, and a potentially higher degree of tolerance to citrus greening.

Interested commercial citrus growers should plan to attend one of the meetings. A presentation will explain details about the program and registration documentation will be distributed. Representatives from the UF/IFAS Plant Improvement Team and the Florida Foundation Seed Producers Inc. also will be present. Citrus Extension agents are encouraged to attend.

Each meeting will last about an hour and take place at the following dates, times and places:

May 26:

      • 10 a.m., Lake County UF/IFAS Extension Office, Training Room A, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, Florida.
      •  2 p.m., UF/IFAS Citrus Research & Education Center, teaching lab, in the Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Citrus Hall, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, Florida.

May 28:

    • 10 a.m., Highlands County UF/IFAS Extension Office, Room 2,  4509 George Boulevard Sebring, Florida.
    • 2 p.m., Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 South Rock Road, Room 100, Fort Pierce, Florida.

FAST TRACK is a program developed by the FFSP, UF/IFAS faculty and the NVDMC.

Through FAST TRACK, commercial citrus growers can register to plant promising experimental selections for trial and evaluation, said FFSP Executive Director John Beuttenmuller.

“FAST TRACK engages growers in the evaluation process and provides an opportunity for industry to help determine which selections have true commercial potential,” Beuttenmuller said.

FAST TRACK is intended to reduce the time to evaluate and commercialize promising new citrus varieties.

The program is currently for fresh fruit varieties only. The first suite of nine selections was offered in August 2013. The program was very successful, resulting in 61 registered grower trial sites. The second suite of three selections was offered in July 2014, resulting in 45 registered grower trial sites. This month’s meetings are intended to roll out the third suite.

-30-

Cutline: New UF/IFAS-bred citrus varieties 7-26-27,left, and UF20Sunrise are among those being presented at workshops around Florida this month.

Credit: UF/IFAS

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: John Beuttenmuller, 352-392-9446, beutt@ufl.edu, beutt@ffsp.net