|Beckman, Thomas - Tom|
Submitted to: Florida State Horticulture Society and Citrus Industry
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The early season peach producers of the lower coastal plain are a significant component of the Southeastern United States peach industry. The development of better adapted varieties for this industry segment is crucial to assure its future. Currently utilized varieties are 'spin-offs' from breeding programs located in significantly different climates and, as a result, are only marginally adapted to the conditions of the lower coastal plain. These varieties often suffer from inadequate winter chilling and/or early season frost. Moreover, their quality is in need of significant improvement. This cooperative program is developing early ripening varieties with appropriate winter chilling requirements, i.e. 450-600 hours, for the lower coastal plain region. Several advanced selections developed by this program look promising, offering more appropriate chilling requirements in combination with significant improvements in fruit appearance, firmness, and reduced incidence of split pits.
Technical Abstract: This 3-way cooperative project between the USDA and the Universities of Georgia and Florida was designed to develop new fresh-market peach and nectarine varieties in the 400- 650 chill hour range for the early season shipping market. Since 1990 over 4000 seedlings have been evaluated resulting in nearly 70 selections and include both yellow and white flesh types of peaches and nectarines. Some may be adapted for use in other production areas. Additionally, selections from other programs are under evaluation. Sunsplash, released in 1993 as a result of this cooperative effort, is an attractive, early season, 400 chill hour nectarine. A novel aspect of the program has been the use of non-melting flesh parents for the purpose of improving handling characteristics.