According to various studies, farmers (and other businesses) can be grouped into one of four different categories, viz. Experimental (3%), Early Followers (13%), Late Followers (68%) and Laggards (16%).


Each category of farmer has different approaches to farming in general and more specifically to levels of risk with experimental farmers being more open to taking risks.


When it comes to making choices of which cultivar to plant and how much, it could be that the experimental farmer would be more keen to try something new, while the late follower would take a ‘wait and see’ approach.


While Citrogold, acting as a developer and manager of citrus cultivars, does not want to ‘break the speed’ of ’experimental’ and ‘early follower’ farmers it also wants to act responsibly to the citrus industry. Therefore, in order to make it easier for grower to make decisions when choosing cultivars to plant, Citrogold has categorised all their managed cultivars into 4 groups, viz.

Experimental, Potential, Semi-Commercial and Commercially Recommended. Following is a description of these categories:




A. Experimental


These are promising new cultivars that have been recently discovered or bred.


Normally 5 -10 trees will be top-worked to this cultivar in different production areas of


the country. The purpose is to:


• test the performance of the cultivar in different climatic regions


• test for true-to-typeness of the cultivar


• do preliminary quality and market tests


• act as a demonstration site to prospective growers


In most cases the bud wood has been through STG (Shoot Tip Grafting), indexed for


diseases and pre-immunized with a mild strain of tristeza virus.


B. Potential


At this stage the cultivar is planted as nursery trees, normally on different root stocks.


From 100 trees up to 1 hectare are planted. In addition to the aforementioned


points, further tests include the following:


• Compatibility on different rootstocks

• Internal and external quality

• Shipping trials

• Shelf life

• Market acceptability


C. Semi-Commercial


At this stage, if the cultivar has performed satisfactorily, the growers will be


recommended to make semi-commercial plantings of not more than 30% of the


variety in which the new cultivar falls. For example if the new cultivar was a navel


selection - and an interested grower had 100 existing hectares of navels - then the


grower would be advised to plant no more than 30 hectares of this new navel




During this semi-commercial evaluation period the following medium and long term


points are investigated by researchers, extentionists, growers and marketers:


• Ideal rootstock combinations

• Detailed micro climate suitability

• Soil suitability

• Commercial shipping protocols

• Detailed marketing requirements


D. Commercially Recommended


At this point most production and marketing nuances of the cultivar are known and


growers can - with little or no risk - plant the cultivar with success within known



Phone:      +27 21 880 0650


Address:  21 Weidenhof Street, Stellenbosch, 7600


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