banner
strawberries
photo courtesy of UC Davis

Five new strawberry varieties boasting properties that will help growers control costs, better manage diseases, and use less water, fertilizer, and pesticides have been developed through the Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Two of the new varieties have the potential to boost yields by almost 30%.

“These new varieties are intrinsically different from the ones they replace,” says Steve Knapp, professor and director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program. “After more than three years of field tests, we’re seeing higher yields, greater disease resistance, and better quality after harvest.”

The new strawberry varieties have traits that are tailored to specific climate conditions. Moxie, Royal Royce, and Valiant strawberries are bred to grow best in warm temperatures while the Victor and Warrior varieties are suited to parts of California where the temperature is cooler.

UC Davis ag experts report that Moxie and Royal Royce have shown yield increases 29% greater than previous strawberry varieties developed at the university. In addition, Moxie and Royal Royce have the advantage of sending out fewer vine-like runners. Runners mean extra production costs for growers, who may have to hire labor to cut them back in order to allow the plants to conserve energy required for producing large, sweet berries.

All the new varieties have improved disease resistance, and that is particularly significant because commonly used pesticide methyl bromide and other fumigants used by strawberry growers are being phased out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Nearly 90% of U.S.-grown strawberries are produced in California, and about 60% of the state’s strawberry fields are planted with varieties developed at UC Davis.

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

Modifying corn gene increases yield up to 10%

Researchers at Corteva Agriscience have demonstrated that increasing and extending the expression of a maize gene, zmm28, alters vegetative and reproductive growth parameters and significantly enhances yield in large-scale field trials conducted over multiple years.

Exploring the role of the gut microbiome in Alzheimer’s

Research by scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine suggests that diet has the potential to affect the gut microbiome in ways that could decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Chardonnay grape genome reveals surprising findings

While deciphering the genome of the Chardonnay grape, researchers at the University of California uncovered something fascinating: grapes inherit different numbers of genes from their mothers and fathers.

Episode 14: Exploring Rapid Expansion in the Alternative Protein Market

This episode discusses plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation technologies and explore both the challenges and opportunities to bring new products to market for an increasingly diverse consumer base seeking new alternatives to their diets.

Latest News right arrow

Consumers seeks out ways to reduce their sugar intake

Sugar reduction remains a central topic in the media and among consumers and opportunities for reducing sugar intake are taking several directions as companies address evolving concerns and demands.

USDA awards $41 million in grants to encourage healthy food purchases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced $41.4 million in 23 competitive grants to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

Meal kits found to be high in fat sodium

Meal kits are often touted as providing a healthier alternative to convenience foods, so the researchers from the University of Sydney compared five popular commercial meal kit subscription services available in Australia—Dinnerly, HelloFresh, MarleySpoon, Pepper Leaf, and Thomas Farms Kitchen—to find out.

Researchers offer data-driven definition of ‘hyper-palatable’ foods

Research published in the journal Obesity and presented at the Seventh Annual Obesity Journal Symposium at ObesityWeek offers specific metrics that might qualify foods as hyper-palatable.

How far kids live from unhealthy food sources may be tied to obesity

As measured in city blocks, proximity to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores can impact a student’s chances of becoming obese, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity.