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Ongoing project

Evaluation of new citrus varieties 2017-2022 (CT17006)

Key research provider: NSW Department of Primary Industries

What’s it all about?

Beginning in December 2017, this investment is carrying on the work to rapidly and independently assess new citrus varieties under local conditions – providing industry with objective performance data. It is a continuation of earlier levy investments, including the project Evaluating new citrus varieties 2013-17 (CT12026).

Knowledge from the evaluation work is brought to growers through field walks, fruit variety displays and other industry events, while information sheets describing the horticultural performance of all varieties evaluated are also produced.

The project team has reported progress in the following activities:

New mandarin varieties

Five new mandarin varieties have been taken on by the program for evaluation in the last six months:

  • Kinnow low seeded
  • Daisy Seedless (California)
  • Sugar Belle
  • C4-15-19 tangerine
  • M8.

Kinnow (seeded) is a very popular variety in the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India, so a low seeded version is being evaluated as a potential export opportunity for Australian growers to provide counter seasonal supply into Asia.  Sugar Belle and C4-15-19 tangerine are mandarins that are believed to have Huanglongbing (HLB) tolerance.

Completed evaluations

Two varieties – a pummelo (Pomelit) and a mandarin/blood orange hybrid (Mandared)—have completed their evaluation. 

Ongoing evaluations

The performance of new citrus varieties is still progressing. Horticultural performance of new citrus varieties is proceeding. New mandarins produced fruit for the first time in 2018, providing initial data that will need to be confirmed in subsequent seasons.

The new Valencia-type oranges are still being evaluated. Those fruiting for the first time are:

  • Midnight SL (Night Sky)
  • Ruby
  • Weipe SL
  • McClean SL
  • Lavelle
  • Benny.

Information sheets on the new varieties are being developed or updated in line with the latest season’s results.

ACT NOW

See the slides from a short presentation 'Citrus variety update' given by the research team here.

The project team report that for the 2017/2018 propagation and grafting season, 11 new varieties were top-worked to Valencia oranges on a range of rootstocks within the variety evaluation block at NSW DPI’s Dareton Primary Industries Institute. These new varieties include mandarins, grapefruit, an ornamental navel, plus an Italian lemon, and they join some 40 varieties already established as part of the evaluation work.

For 2018, there are 14 previously top-worked varieties that are expected to fruit for the first time, allowing fruit quality, maturity period and other data to begin being collated. These varieties include…

Valencia

  • Midknight 115-1717
  • Ruby
  • Weipe
  • Mclean
  • Lavalle
  • Benny

Grapefruit

  • Star Ruby (early and late varieties)
  • Jackson (Sweet Sunrise)

Navel

  • Witkrans
  • Rayno
  • Glen Ora

Mandarin

  • USDA 88-2
  • Sonet
  • CSIRO 91-03-04

Look for updates in industry channels as the project progresses.

Related levy funds
Details

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund