The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has recognized standout fruit and vegetable varieties introduced this year.
“UF/IFAS faculty work tirelessly to develop improved plant cultivars needed by Florida’s agricultural industries,” John Beuttenmuller, director of the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, a direct support organization of the University of Florida, said in a news release.
“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 in the release.
The following varieties were chosen as featured UF/IFAS cultivars of 2019, based on current projected market impact, according to the release:
- ‘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. The variety has very large fruit size and can be harvested by machine during April for fresh market consumption.
- ‘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. The variety has a new and distinct sweet orange selected for processing and fresh market, according to the release.
- ‘Fla.8982’ Hybrid – a new tomato variety. The variety was 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. The variety is resistant to several pathogens and is very appealing to consumers.