A new premium late-season mandarin variety is finding favour with Spanish growers. Plantings of Spring Sunshine, a premium late-season mandarin, have reached 500ha in less than a year, and the breeder says sales of licenses are still active until the maximum limit of 700,000 plants is reached for the country.
Spain is the only country authorised to produce the variety, which was developed by the Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel (ARO) and is managed in Spain by the Enforcement Organisation (TEO).
Known for its sweet flavour, high juice content (more than 50 per cent) and low number of seeds, Spring Sunshine is considered by it owners to be the best mutation of the Murcott variety. It is harvested between mid-March and mid-May and produces average yields of between 40 and 50 tonnes per hectare.
A new association is due to be created later this year to promote the variety. The Association of Producers of the Spring Sunshine Variety will mirror the ORC, the organisation which manages the Orri mandarin and has proved efficient at controlling illegal plantings and maximising the profitability of the variety.
According to the breeder, the variety was well received by producers during a series of visits to commercial farms in Murcia and Castellón earlier this month.