See the latest on the research into Parson Brown, an old, early-season orange variety that researchers say is out-performing Hamlins.
Parson Brown is out-performing Hamlins, a UF/IFAS researcher is reporting. The once-popular early-season orange variety was identified in 1875 and reigned for quite some time as Florida’s early-season orange of choice. However, it fell out of popularity once Hamlins arrived due to factors such as seediness, peel oil content, poor fruit quality, and lower yield. However, it has recently become a variety of interest due to possibly being able to better handle citrus greening. Manjul Dutt, a horticultural sciences researcher with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, is conducting field research to measure PB’s performance, according to a Citrus Industry article. Dutt shared the results of his research thus far at a July virtual educational session hosted by CRDF and Florida Citrus Mutual. See the highlights below.
Parson Brown Performance
Dutt’s research has been on-going in eight blocks in Polk, Highlands, St. Lucie, Glades, and Collier counties since January 2021. The research is also aimed at understanding “the role of systemic-acquired resistance to HLB” in the old variety, according to the article.
Dutt shared that PBs are out-performing Hamlins despite being as infected with citrus greening as the Hamlins. Performance measures include:
- “All PB trees, irrespective of their location, have much lower fruit drop compared to Hamlin.”
- “Blotchy mottle on leaves of PB trees was less pronounced than those on Hamlin.”
- “PB trees had better canopy density with much lower dieback than Hamlin.”
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