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Featured UF/IFAS Cultivars Released in 2019 Include Fruits, Oat and Zoysiagrass

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In their constant quest to find the best genetic traits to help plants stand up better to heat, drought, flood, pests and pathogens and to find the tastiest fruits, UF/IFAS breeders develop new varieties each year.

This year, we select a few of those new cultivars to showcase.

“UF/IFAS faculty work tirelessly to develop improved plant cultivars needed by Florida’s agricultural industries,” said John Beuttenmuller, director of the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, a direct support organization of the University of Florida. FFSP works closely with UF/IFAS Research.

“Whether it be a tomato, zoysiagrass or oat with improved disease resistance, a blueberry with excellent fruit size and machine harvest potential, or a sweet orange with improved quality, they are all examples of UF/IFAS plant breeders answering the call to improve the prospects of profitable production in Florida for years to come,” Beuttenmuller said. “These releases showcase the diversity of the strengths in UF/IFAS’ plant-breeding programs.”

The following five – in no particular order — were chosen as featured UF/IFAS cultivars of 2019, based on current projected market impact. Also included are reasons the breeders believe these cultivars are so good for their stakeholders:

‘Colossus’ (U.S. Patent Pending) – a new blueberry variety. Developed by the blueberry breeding program under the direction of Patricio Muñoz, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticultural sciences.

 

  • It has very large fruit size.
  • If needed, it can be harvested by machine during April for fresh market consumption.
  • Short bloom-to-ripening period, which minimizes the potential need for frost protection.
  • Concentrated ripening, allowing for a more efficient harvest.
  • Great early yield potential, fits well with the Florida window.
  • Very firm fruit, stays firm for a long period.
  • For more information click here: https://twitter.com/BBerryBreeding/status/1166714128750252033

 

‘FLLA09015-U1’ (U.S. PVP Pending) – a new oat variety. Developed by the small grains breeding program under the direction of Ali Babar, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agronomy, in collaboration with researchers from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSUAC)

 

  • It has considerable potential for forage, grain and conservation tillage in the Southeastern U.S.
  • It has shown excellent grain yield, very good forage yield and very good test weight.
  • It has excellent crown rust resistance and very good resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus and stem rust.
  • It has performed very well in both grain and forage trials and is broadly adapted to the South and Southeastern U.S.

 

‘OLL-20’ (U.S. Patent Pending) – a new sweet orange variety. Developed by Jude Grosser, a professor of plant cell genetics at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center.

 

  • It’s a new and distinct sweet orange selected for processing and fresh market.
  • It gives Florida citrus growers another variety option for high-quality orange juice production.
  • Exceptional flavor – a unique special floral bouquet.

 

‘Fla.8982’ Hybrid – a new tomato variety. Developed by the tomato breeding program under the direction of Sam Hutton,  a UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.

 

  • It’s resistant to several pathogens, including tospoviruses and known strains of Fusarium wilt.
  • A deep red tomato, having potential to be very appealing to consumers.
  • It is heat-tolerant and has performed well in Florida’s peninsula and has high yield potential.

 

‘FAES1307’ (U.S. Patent Pending) – a new zoysiagrass variety. Developed by the turfgrass breeding program under the direction of Kevin Kenworthy, a UF/IFAS professor of agronomy.

 

  • It holds its green color through cooler winter months better than existing cultivars of zoysiagrass.
  • It is less susceptible to large patch disease.
  • It has good shade tolerance.
  • It produces a very uniform surface.
  • It has excellent sod-tensile strength, a desired quality for turfgrass producers.

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By: Brad Buck, 813-757-2224, bradbuck@ufl.edu; 352-875-2641 (cell)

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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