USDA Scientists Improving Cold-Hardiness of Kiwifruit

Scientists from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have been working with vines from Italy to develop a more cold-hardy kiwifruit. They have come up with a male pollinizer called ‘Hombre’ that is not patented, and a female kiwi, ‘Tango,’ that is patented by the USDA-ARS and can be distributed to nurseries or producers once they obtain a licensing agreement. USDA reports on a study that shows that both vines grow vigorously, and received little pruning before bearing fruit. There was also no need for supplemental irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, or a warm climate for growth. The Tango variety produces fruit similar to the kiwifruit commercially available today. Researchers say the new varieties will make it possible for kiwifruit to be an option for growers in Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern winter climates.
Related ATTRA publication: Fruit Trees, Bushes, and Vines for Natural Growing in the Ozarks