Strawberries

UC Davis Awarded Grant to Advance Strawberry Breeding, Genetic Tools

The federal government is awarding $6.2 million to University of California, Davis, to study how to use breeding and genetic information to protect strawberry crops from future diseases and pests.

The four-year grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) centers on addressing expanding and emerging threats to strawberries, a popular fruit packed with Vitamin C and key to the diets of many Americans.

Bringing Out the Best in Wild Birds on Farms

A supportive environment can bring out the best in an individual — even for a bird. 

After an E.coli outbreak in 2006 devastated the spinach industry, farmers were pressured to remove natural habitat to keep wildlife — and the foodborne pathogens they can sometimes carry — from visiting crops. A study published today from the University of California, Davis, shows that farms with surrounding natural habitat experience the most benefits from birds, including less crop damage and lower food-safety risks.

UC Davis Releases Two New Strawberry Varieties

The Latest Offerings Are Large, Sweet and Will Ripen in Winter

Red, ripe strawberries are the hallmark of spring in California. Two new varieties from the Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, will provide consumers with big, flavorful strawberries throughout fall and winter, too.

“These cultivars were developed to provide high-quality fruit from late summer through the holidays,” said Professor Steve Knapp, director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program.

Solving Agricultural Challenges with Engineering and Robotics

From creating fragile crop harvest-aiding mobile robots (FRAIL-bots) for strawberry harvesting to developing an automated robotic orchard platform designed to optimize fruit pickers’ performance, Stavros Vougioukas is addressing agricultural challenges and making an impact on California agriculture.

In fresh market fruit production, harvesting is one of the most labor-intensive operations, incurring high cost and dependence on a large seasonal semi-skilled workforce, which is becoming less available.

Picnic Day plants find new homes in the community

Thanks to greenhouse staff and students in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES), 6,300 tiny tomato and strawberry plants originally planned for Picnic Day giveaways will soon find a good home.

“We’re reaching out to local food banks, community gardens and students here on campus to find places and ways to safely distribute these plants,” said Saarah Kuzay, graduate student researcher with the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group.

Natural Habitat Around Farms a Win for Strawberry Growers, Birds and Consumers

Removing Natural Habitat Can Increase Growers’ Costs Up to 76% With No Detectable Effect on Food Safety

Conserving natural habitat around strawberry fields can help protect growers’ yields, their bottom line and the environment with no detectable threat to food safety, indicates a study led by the University of California, Davis.

UC Davis Releases Five New Strawberry Varieties

Publicly available plants will help farmers manage diseases, production costs  

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 percent. 

Better Berries

$4.5 Million Grant Funds New Disease-Resistant Strawberries

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, and colleagues in California and Florida have received a $4.5 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve the disease resistance and sustainable production of strawberries throughout the nation.