Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; firstname.lastname@example.org
Growers should be ordering plants for September planting in plasticulture systems. In the past, there have been only a handful of varieties available for growers to choose from and most varieties came from California breeding programs.
We are fortunate now to have several active breeding programs in our region: USDA Beltsville, North Carolina State, and Cornell. There were also releases from a legacy breeding program at Rutgers and a testing program for new California proprietary varieties in North Carolina.
As new varieties are released, growers should do test plantings on their farms before going to full production. Go to university and other testing programs to view variety trial results to view their performance in different areas (Penn State, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State have recent variety trial information).
Variety selection will depend on several factors including: Yield; berry size, brix, taste, texture, and holding; harvest season start and length; availability; and disease reaction.
The following are some sites to visit to obtain information about breeding programs and testing programs:
- NC State Replicated Cultivar and Selection Breeding Trials >
- NC State 2020 Breeding Trial Data Now Online >
- Barclay Poling’s site on testing new Lassen Canyon Varieties in North Carolina >
- Cornell Breeding Program >
- USDA breeding program >
- UD Extension: USDA Strawberry Breeding and Low Tunnel Production >
- Virginia Tech Variety Trials on-farm (PDF) >
- Penn State variety trials >