New late mandarin variety launched in Spain

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New late mandarin variety launched in Spain

A new late season mandarin cultivar was officially launched in Spain last week by the Association of Vegetable Variety Operators (ASOVAV) and The Enforcement Organization (TEO). 

The presentation for the new Spring Sunshine mandarin took place at the Valencian Farmers Association (AVA-ASAJA) headquarters, where the cultivar has been considered the best mutation of the W. Murcott variety.

ASOVAV general secretary Javier Sellés said the fruit's harvest period from March to May would be of great benefit to the sector. 

"It is the latest variety of all, expanding the market period. It has great organoleptic qualities as it tastes good, it doesn't have many seeds and the skin is more resistant than other Murcott varieties", added Sellés.

He said the aim was to have 700,000 trees certified throughout Spain, with production for adult crops estimated to be around 40 to 50 metric tons (MT) per hectare in normal conditions.

The main technical characteristics of the Spring Sunshine trees include their medium to high vigor, straight appearance and high productivity, as well as not having thorns.

Sellés said the fruit itself is sweet and dense, with intense flavors and a higher level of acidity than the W. Murcott.

"The Spring Sunshine mandarins are over 50% juice and the pulp is soft and juicy, which makes it very appealing to the consumer," he said.

"They ripen to a very attractive and intense orange color, and the skin is fine but resistant, which makes them easy to store. Physically, they are round, but slightly flattened, and they are easy-peelers."

He said the breeder had begun a regularization period that consisted of standardizing the plants that already existed and obtaining new licences.

"The variety was seen at a community level in May 2016, so some plantations already exist but they are not yet regular, meaning a regularization period will take place from now until December ," said the ASOVAV general secretary.

During this time, new licenses can also be obtained for those who don't yet grow Spring Sunshine mandarins, without exceeding thelimit of 700,000 trees.

Sellés said  royalties for the plantation regularizations from now until the August 31 would be €12, and from the beginning of September till the end of the year they would be €20.

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