Walnut breeders are bullish about their most recent variety release but it isn’t changing their research focus.
UC Davis’s Walnut Improvement Program released UC Wolfskill earlier this year. The variety matures almost two weeks earlier than Chandler yet holds similar qualities. We are very optimistic about this one. We’ve had a lot of good feedback from growers in grower trials and it’s looking good,” Walnut Breeder Chuck Leslie said.
Even though they are hopeful about UC Wolfskill and what it can do for the industry, Leslie said it doesn’t change their research focus. “We will continue to try and develop earlier varieties for two reasons. One, there is certainly room for improvement to go earlier harvest than this one,” he said. “The other thing is we are watching chill requirements…We anticipate with global warming forecasts that we will need to release more varieties that are low chill varieties.”
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