New Disease Threatens Florida Strawberries

Ashley Robinson Disease, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Natalia A. Peres Pestalotiopsis is not necessarily new to strawberry. A strawberry fruit rot caused by Pestalotia longisetula (or Pestalotiopsis) was reported for the first timein Florida in 1972. However, the fungus has always been considered a secondary pathogen. But this was not the case during the past two strawberry seasons (2018–19 and 2019–20), when severe outbreaks were reported …

Coming Soon: New University of Florida Strawberry Varieties

Ashley Robinson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Vance M. Whitaker Two new strawberry selections have been approved for release by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and are in the commercialization process. Trade names have not yet been finalized but should be chosen in the next six months. For both, larger-scale testing will be conducted this fall, and commercial quantities will …

Problematic Pests of Florida Strawberries

Ashley Robinson Pests, Strawberry, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Sriyanka Lahiri Several arthropod pests occur in strawberries in Florida during the various stages of the crop cycle. Cyclamen mites (Phytonemus pallidus), if present, originate from strawberry nurseries as hitchhikers on transplants. Thankfully, a very small percentage of growers reported a cyclamen mite infestation during the strawberry season of 2019–2020. Soon after planting, armyworms (Spodoptera spp.), twospotted spider mites …

Strawberry Planting Season Draws Near

Clint Thompson Alabama, Strawberry, Top Posts

Alabama strawberry producers enjoyed sweet success in 2020. Farmers are hoping for a repeat performance this year as planting season nears. Edgar Vinson, assistant research professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University, said growers target Oct. 15 date as the latest timeframe they want to have this year’s crop in the ground. “They can certainly …

Fungicide Resistance a Growing Problem in Strawberries

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Strawberry, Top Posts

Fungicide resistance in strawberries is a major problem, says University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Phil Brannen. He encourages producers to help researchers understand which fungicides are still active and provide protection against diseases like anthracnose and botrytis. “(Fungicide resistance) has really come to the forefront in the last few years. In the last two or three years, we …

Using Reflective Mulch Films to Optimize Strawberry Production

Clint Thompson Florida, Strawberry, Top Posts

By Ashley Robinson Although a winter crop, strawberry production in Florida still falls victim to heat stress. With extreme heat during establishment, cool temperatures during the early and mid-harvests, and high temperatures during the late harvest, the crop is subject to dramatic seasonal temperature variations. Traditionally, the state’s strawberry growers have used black plastic mulch to achieve adequate wintertime soil …

Coming Soon: White Strawberries From the Wild

Ashley Robinson Berries, Florida, Fruit, Research, Strawberry, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Seonghee Lee and Vance M. Whitaker The University of Florida will soon commercialize a new strawberry variety. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it is already drawing attention for a very unusual characteristic. When it is ripe and ready to eat, it is white inside and out, with a slight pink blush on the exterior and red seeds. …

Row Covers Protect Strawberries and Increase Yields?

Clint Thompson Alabama, Strawberry, Top Posts

Row Covers in strawberry fields can protect the crop from cold temperatures, fierce winds, devastating frost and persistent wildlife. But it can also potentially increase yields, according Edgar Vinson, assistant research professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University. In research conducted this past year at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland, Alabama, Vinson …