$8.8 Million Awarded to Support Strawberry Innovation

USDA recently awarded two research grants to help California strawberry farms manage soil disease. One grant for $4.5 million supports a national team of experts led by University of California (UC) Davis to identify strawberry plants naturally resistant to certain diseases. The other grant for $2.5 million supports another national team of experts led by UC Santa Cruz to continue research on bio-fumigation, a natural process that suppresses soil disease.

“California strawberry farmers have a history of innovation and collaboration with scientists at UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz,” said Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission. “We are optimistic that these two world-class research projects will identify new solutions to help our local farms through sustainable improvements to remain competitive in a global environment.”

The grant for $4.5 million will support a team of scientists from UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Agricultural and Natural Resources, and University of Florida, to identify genetic markers that are naturally present in some strawberry plants. This work will help plant breeders use plants with natural disease resistance to develop new strawberry varieties that can tolerate disease in the field, while still producing delicate and great tasting fruit for the consumer.

After a briefing with UC Davis researchers, strawberry farmers took action by adding another $1.8 million to the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Program. These funds will augment the $4.5 million to support a collaborative research initiative to support the long-term sustainability of U.S. strawberry production.

“The California Strawberry Commission continues to be a key partner in advancing the work of the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding program, “ said Steve Knapp, director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program, who will head the collaborative team of scientists. “We look forward to another century of support from California’s strawberry growers to develop the world’s best strawberry varieties and production practices.”

USDA also announced a $2.5 million grant to UC Santa Cruz, for further collaborative research integrating knowledge in anaerobic soil disinfestation, crop rotation and strawberry varieties to manage diseases in strawberry production. The core of the research focuses on adding a soil supplement such as rice hulls, and then adding water to cut-off the oxygen supply. The microbes in the soil naturally shift to an anaerobic state, digesting the soil supplement to clean the soil of disease.

In recent years, the California Strawberry Commission has funded UC Santa Cruz scientists, and introduced this natural process to strawberry farmers. The additional USDA funding supports work to make biofumigation a more reliable process for a variety of different soil types and conditions, and for different diseases.

“These projects are a natural extension of the commission’s farming without fumigants initiative launched in 2008. This grant is key to crucial research addressing plant diseases in the soil as fumigants are phased out,” said Dan Legard, vice president of research and grower education at the commission.

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “$8.8 Million Awarded to Support Strawberry Innovation

Berries Stories
Berries
October 24, 2017
First Organic Strawberry Varieties to be Developed
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire hope to develop first varieties specifically for organic production. Read More
cluster of Emerald blueberries in Florida
Berries
September 26, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Challenged to Maintain Momentum
After a nice rebound last season, resiliency is sure to be tested. Read More
Berries
September 26, 2017
Diversifying Berry Breeding, Public to Private
Both have advantages and should attract young people, especially with more so-called club varieties, as seen in apples. Read More
Picking fresh Florida blueberries
Berries
September 21, 2017
Ways Florida Blueberry Growers Can Elevate Their Message
Promotional efforts seek to harness power that drives the Sunshine State's ‘little blue dynamos.’ Read More
Bacterial wilt symptoms on blueberry leaves
Berries
September 20, 2017
Getting to the Bottom of Bacterial Wilt in Blueberries
Prolific plant pathogen now presenting a new challenge for Florida producers and researchers. Read More
Berries
September 19, 2017
UC Davis Strawberry Lawuit Settled
Former university breeders to return any crosses that used unpatented varieties and agree the school owns rights to them. Read More
Berries
September 12, 2017
Longtime American Fruit Grower Columnist Charlie O’Dell Dies
“The Ole Crow,” as he called himself, passed away unexpectedly at home in Virginia at the age of 82. Read More
Berries
September 12, 2017
How to Match Drip Irrigation to Improve Berry Water Management
Using root mass diameter to appropriately determine wetting pattern will help you improve growth rate and yields. Read More
Raspberry bush at Wish Farms in Florida
Berries
August 31, 2017
Wish Farms Boosts Product Portfolio With Raspberries
Newest commodity to help company reach year-round supply goal, and help fuel consumer-focused marketing campaign. Read More
Berries
August 29, 2017
$8.8 Million Awarded to Support Strawberry Innovation
USDA recognizes that soil diseases are Enemy No. 1 for California strawberry growers. Read More
Berries
August 27, 2017
Looking Beyond Soil pH in Berries
Acidic soil is a foundation for blueberry growing, however the plant needs more than high pH to grow large, firm fruit. Read More
Berries
August 22, 2017
Columnist Wins Prestigious Plant Breeder Award
John Clark, who writes a column for American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines, is honored with National Plant Breeders Association Impact Award. Read More
Berries
August 3, 2017
Tips to Control Rodents in Drip-Irrigated Strawberries
Rodents are a major concern for all strawberry growers, including those with drip irrigation systems. Pests like pocket gophers, moles, Read More
Berries
August 1, 2017
New York Berry Crops Field Day Slated
Cornell University and a Rensselaer County farm partner to host a free workshop for commercial berry growers. Read More
Berries
July 2, 2017
Southern Highbush Berries Have Turned the Blueberry World Upside-Down
Berry industry revolutionized thanks to the introduction of low-chill varieties. Read More
The Latest
Berries
November 11, 2017
2018 North American Raspberry and Blackb…
Featured speakers at the annual conference, slated for February in Ventura, CA, include Miles Reiter of Driscoll’s. Read More
Berries
October 26, 2017
Grower Sees Challenges, Opportunities in…
While sales are skyrocketing, organic berries bring a whole host of challenges to grow. Read More
Berries
October 24, 2017
How UV-C Irradiation Can Help Save Straw…
As the organic fruit market continues to gain traction with consumers, strawberry producers have struggled to find non-chemical disease-control solutions — until now. Read More
Berries
October 24, 2017
First Organic Strawberry Varieties to be…
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire hope to develop first varieties specifically for organic production. Read More
Berries
September 26, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Challenged to …
After a nice rebound last season, resiliency is sure to be tested. Read More
Berries
September 26, 2017
Diversifying Berry Breeding, Public to P…
Both have advantages and should attract young people, especially with more so-called club varieties, as seen in apples. Read More
Berries
September 21, 2017
Ways Florida Blueberry Growers Can Eleva…
Promotional efforts seek to harness power that drives the Sunshine State's ‘little blue dynamos.’ Read More
Berries
September 20, 2017
Getting to the Bottom of Bacterial Wilt …
Prolific plant pathogen now presenting a new challenge for Florida producers and researchers. Read More
Berries
September 19, 2017
UC Davis Strawberry Lawuit Settled
Former university breeders to return any crosses that used unpatented varieties and agree the school owns rights to them. Read More
Berries
September 12, 2017
Longtime American Fruit Grower Columnist…
“The Ole Crow,” as he called himself, passed away unexpectedly at home in Virginia at the age of 82. Read More
Berries
September 12, 2017
How to Match Drip Irrigation to Improve …
Using root mass diameter to appropriately determine wetting pattern will help you improve growth rate and yields. Read More
Berries
August 31, 2017
Wish Farms Boosts Product Portfolio With…
Newest commodity to help company reach year-round supply goal, and help fuel consumer-focused marketing campaign. Read More
Berries
August 29, 2017
$8.8 Million Awarded to Support Strawber…
USDA recognizes that soil diseases are Enemy No. 1 for California strawberry growers. Read More
Berries
August 27, 2017
Looking Beyond Soil pH in Berries
Acidic soil is a foundation for blueberry growing, however the plant needs more than high pH to grow large, firm fruit. Read More
Berries
August 22, 2017
Columnist Wins Prestigious Plant Breeder…
John Clark, who writes a column for American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines, is honored with National Plant Breeders Association Impact Award. Read More
Berries
August 3, 2017
Tips to Control Rodents in Drip-Irrigate…
Rodents are a major concern for all strawberry growers, including those with drip irrigation systems. Pests like pocket gophers, moles, Read More
Berries
August 1, 2017
New York Berry Crops Field Day Slated
Cornell University and a Rensselaer County farm partner to host a free workshop for commercial berry growers. Read More
Berries
July 2, 2017
Southern Highbush Berries Have Turned th…
Berry industry revolutionized thanks to the introduction of low-chill varieties. Read More