The leading strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) grown in Florida is currently ‘Florida Radiance’ (Chandler et al., 2009; U.S. Patent PP20,363), which was commercialized in 2009 and accounted for ≈50% of the acreage in west central Florida in 2018. This cultivar is preferred for its early and total yields; uniformly shaped, medium-sized and attractive fruit; and open plant architecture and long stems, which allow for efficient harvesting. Sweet Sensation® ‘Florida127’ (Whitaker et al., 2015; hereafter referred to as ‘Florida127’; U.S. Patent PP25,574) is currently the second leading cultivar with ≈25% of the acreage in 2018–19. This cultivar complements the traits of ‘Florida Radiance’ with its large fruit size, excellent flavor and aroma, and robust plant. Although both leading cultivars have higher yields in late November and early December than previous cultivars, there is a pressing need for continued increases in early yield. Average prices have decreased during the Florida market window from late November through March in recent seasons, primarily due to Mexican imports (Wu et al., 2015). Thus, Florida growers must take maximum advantage of high prices at the beginning of the season when market supply is lowest.
‘Florida Brilliance’ strawberry (U.S. Patent PP30,564) has demonstrated high early-season yields and excellent overall fruit quality and disease resistance in experimental trials. Trials have been conducted on the research plots of the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) (Wimauma, FL); at the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) headquarters in Dover, FL; and in trials on several commercial farms in west central Florida and southern Spain.
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