In August of 2013, New Varieties Development & Management Corp. announced the availability of nine experimental University of Florida citrus selections intended for the fresh market. Grower meetings were held in Tavares, Lake Alfred, Sebring, Immokalee, Ft. Pierce and Cocoa to offer details of the innovative new program called FAST TRACK. Registration opened on August 2nd and will close on January 29, 2014. Growers interested in participating will need to do so by 5:00 p.m. on January 29.
FAST TRACK uses trial plantings in commercial citrus operations as a means of evaluating selections for commercial potential. The first FAST TRACK suit of nine selections includes three seedless mandarin hybrids; two high quality seeded mandarin hybrids, one seedless pummelo hybrid, and three unique seeded pummelo.
FAST TRACK is a three-phase program. Phase one is the trial and evaluation stage. Growers may plant from 5-30 trees of each selection. Should a selection be identified as commercially viable, it moves to Phase 2. Phase 2 is for early commercial production. Only growers who participate in Phase 1 may plant trees in Phase 2. Phase 2 provides participating growers a five year head start. After the expiration of the head start, all other growers may plant in Phase 3.
Growers interested in registering should contact Peter Chaires at NVDMC. Documentation and information about the program can be provided via e-mail.