Rootstock trial results are at your fingertips with the USDA’s Rootstock Trial Website.
Choosing the right rootstock for your grove is an important decision, and it’s one that will be easier with the help of the new USDA Rootstock Trial Website. The website, featuring the input of Rootstock breeder Dr. Kim Bowman, should be a go-to resource for Florida citrus growers trying to figure which rootstocks they want to plant.
What’s on the Rootstock Trial Website
Florida citrus growers on the lookout for the latest results of rootstock field trials in Florida can find information on many of the most popular rootstocks used in Florida, 37 replicated multiyear rootstock field trials, and the last 20 years of rootstocks released by USDA. This includes the trial results of over 300 of the SuperSour rootstocks currently being evaluated, as the trials will determine which rootstocks are chosen for future releases by the USDA.
In an article on the website, Dr. Bowman says, “In addition to extensive field performance information for hundreds of rootstocks, the site contains official rootstock descriptions for many in commercial use, specific information about nursery propagation for all the USDA rootstocks, the latest statistics for industry usage of different rootstocks, links to an assortment of other invaluable rootstock-related sites, and much more.”
As Florida citrus growers look to new methods to combat the harvest decreases of citrus greening, like continual replanting, high-density plantings, and growing Citrus Under Protective Screen (CUPS), knowing the data behind a rootstock is invaluable. Research data on factors like tree survival, tree size, canopy health, fruit yield, fruit size, Brix, acid, juice percentage, and color are all important considerations that are now at the fingertips of citrus growers thanks to the website.
For instance, the latest research on high-density plantings maintains that extensive research should be done to choose the best rootstock for the space, allowing citrus trees to reach their optimal heights, canopies, and other additional specifications to produce to the highest level. The USDA’s Rootstock Trial Website offers this information so Florida citrus growers can make informed decisions on what to plant for the continued success of the Florida citrus industry. Find the website at https://citrusrootstocks.org/.