New Varieties Development & Management Corp. (NVDMC) was recently formed as a cooperative industry effort to provide Florida growers timely and affordable access to new citrus varieties. It was determined that such an organization is of great value to Floridaâ€™s entire citrus industry, and consequently the NVDMC is currently funded through a contract with the FDOC.
Many of todayâ€™s new citrus varieties are the product of complex citrus improvement projects. Consequently, many of these varieties are considered intellectual property, and as such, are protected by patents, trademark programs or licensing agreements. Although NVDMC is well positioned to seek and acquire new citrus varieties on behalf of Florida growers, growers would also be well served to remain vigilant in the search for naturally occurring varietal improvements in local groves.
In decades past, Florida growers were encouraged to be continuously observant of varietal variations in grove settings. In many cases, employees and grove workers were trained, encouraged and sometimes incentivised to mark trees and limbs thought to bear fruit with unique and potentially marketable characteristics. Sometimes, this might mean an orange that matures at a significantly earlier or later time that is typical for its variety. Other times, fruit might be found with fewer seeds, different colors, variegations, etc. Although Florida currently has limited resources to test, evaluate and record large numbers of field mutations, NVDMC would like to hear from any grower who believes they have observed a fruit variation that could have commercial benefit to Floridaâ€™s citrus industry. In many cases, growers simply wish to make the variety openly available to the industry. In other cases, NVDMC is asked to maintain confidentiality in the event the grower wishes to maintain some level of control. NVDMC will abide by the growerâ€™s wishes in either case. The NVDMC simply wants to assure that Florida growers remain observant for varietal variations provided by mother nature.
Growers can also assist in the search for varieties from foreign sources. Many growers & packers have occasion to travel to other areas of the world, some of which produce citrus. If a citrus variety is found, that is believed to be unique and of potential value to Florida growers, make it known to the NVDMC. The variety will be thoroughly investigated for application to our growing conditions or as a potential breeding parent for in-state research programs.
Report all findings to:
New Varieties Development & Management Corp.
PO Box 1113
Lakeland FL 33802
Attn: Peter Chaires