Strawberry producers will have some new varieties to help increase yields and fruit quality this fall. UC Davis’s Public Strawberry Breeding Program announced the release of five new strawberry varieties after several year’s of testing. Three of the new types, Moxie, Royal Royce, and Valiant are suited for warmer temperatures during the summer months. The other two, Victor and Warrior, are better suited for southern coastal conditions.
Director of the breeding program, Steve Knapp, said in a release, “These new varieties are intrinsically different from the ones they replace. After more than three years of field tests, we see higher yields, greater disease resistance, and better quality after harvest.”
The release also noted that Victor and Valiant perform well in organic systems. Moxie and Royal Royce are showing yield increases of as much as 29 percent over previous UC varieties.
Moxie and Royal Royce also could help a producer reduce labor costs. Strawberry plants produce what are called ‘runners’. They are off-shoots that can form new plants. UC Davis’s press release said some growers spend around $5,000 an acre for labor to prune these appendages. The breeding program stated the new Moxie and Royal Royce varieties don’t produce as many ‘runners’ as previous varieties.