Evaluation of new citrus varieties 2017-2022 (CT17006)
What was it all about?
From 2017 to 2022, this investment independently assessed new citrus varieties under local Australian conditions to provide objective performance data. This information supports decision-making within the citrus industry on whether to plant, market, sell or support a new variety.
The insights were disseminated through information sheets describing the horticultural performance of the varieties, as well as through field walks, fruit variety displays, and presentations at seminars and conferences.
New varieties that entered the program were assessed for their ‘trueness-to-type’ by growing them in the glasshouse and comparing the fruit produced with images and notes from the variety in the country of origin. The budwood produced by that glasshouse tree was topworked in an established Valencia orange block for detailed field evaluation. The evaluation program included defining the timing of phenological development (e.g growth stages) and key physical traits of the fruit and juice. The weight, diameter, number of seeds and rind thickness of the fruit and the brix, acid and juice per centage were recorded through its development and used to define a maturity period for each variety.
The inclusion of each new variety in the evaluation program is advertised through wide-reaching industry publications and presentations, and individual and small group tours are held for those interested in viewing and discussing the fruit in the field. This information is then developed into publicly available information sheets that are used by industry members to assess the suitability of each variety to their enterprise.
Through the term of this project, approximately 1000 people have visited the site with specific intention to view the outputs from the variety evaluation program, and a similar number were exposed to presentations at forums and seminars.
The project was a continuation of earlier levy investments, including the project Evaluating new citrus varieties 2013-17 (CT12026).
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund