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Two new citrus cultivars among 13 approved by UF/IFAS

Two new citrus cultivars among 13 approved by UF/IFAS

Two new citrus cultivars with high industry interest are among 13 recently approved for release by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The UF/IFAS Cultivar Release Committee voted April 15 to release UF 711 and RBB 7-34, two new citrus cultivars. Fred Gmitter, a citrus genetics and breeding professor at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, told the panel growers are excited to field-trial the two cultivars.

UF 711 is an easy-to-peel mandarin, while RBB 7-34 is a new navel orange-like variety with much more color and flavor than ordinary Florida navels, Gmitter said. Both varieties were deemed to be good-tasting, as well.

UF 711 and RBB 7-34 will be released under the UF/IFAS Citrus Fast Track Release Option, which means they will be made available to growers and, thus, the market, 10-15 years faster than the 15 to 20 years typically required to breed and release such cultivars.


Publication date: 5/5/2014

NZ: New antibiotic for kiwifruit disease approved

NZ: New antibiotic for kiwifruit disease approved

A new antibiotic to control the kiwifruit vine disease, Psa has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority.

The antibiotic Kasumin is used as a spray on crops and contains the antibiotic kasugamycin – which has previously not been used in New Zealand.

ETEC Crop Solutions Limited applied to the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) in May this year for permission to import Kasumin from Japan. The EPA’s expert Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee approved the application, but imposed rules to protect people and the environment. Users will have to be trained and certified to use the products safely and it will have to be sprayed from land, not air. The rules also restrict how much of the product can be applied.

Responding to an invitation for public submissions on the import application, the National Beekeepers Association said beekeepers were concerned about the product’s planned use. “This concern is because one of the principle crops proposed for the end use of this product is Kiwifruit which uses bees for pollination. Beekeepers in New Zealand export significant amounts of bee products and they are concerned about the chance of antibiotic residues in pollen, propolis, bees wax and honey all of which are exported,” the submission stated. “Detection of kasugamycin residues in any of these bee products by importing countries could have significant economic effects on New Zealand beekeepers’ future incomes if our bee products were banned from some markets.”

While the applicant’s risk assessment identified that there was no risk to humans or animals, no information was presented which would make a balanced risk assessment possible for the effects on bees, the association said.

Speaking on behalf of Zespri, Kiwifruit Vine Health and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, David Tanner said Psa was discovered in New Zealand in November 2010. “According to a Lincoln University study in 2012, this bacterial disease is expected to cost the kiwifruit industry several hundred million dollars over the next five to 15 years, as a result of vine and production losses. Currently, only a small number of effective control options are available to growers for the management of Psa and these largely are limited in terms of how much can be used and when they can be used, because of concerns over crop residues and phytotoxicity. Therefore additional effective options are urgently required to minimise the impact of this disease.”

Kasumin was an effective tool which would significantly help in the management of Psa, Mr Tanner said. While there were risks associated with the use of Kasumin, they could be managed well, he said.

The use of the antibiotic would be limited to pre-flowering, therefore managing the risk of humans and animals from ingesting fruit. Also, as Kasumin would not be allowed to be used during flowering, the risk of bees coming into contact with the product was minimised, Mr Tanner said.


Publication date: 10/21/2013