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Shigeoki Moritani, Hirotada Nanjo, Atsushi Itou and Teruki Imai

Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) have been used to chill water to facilitate cooling of ‘Natsuakari’ strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) grown within containers during the summer. Two types of soil containers and cooling systems have been considered. In one system, cold-water tubes were placed under as well as over the top of the soil, whereas the other cooling system used cold water passing through tubes placed under the soil and within the irrigation channel to facilitate bottom irrigation. The cooling efficiency of each system was evaluated by observing temperature relationships between greenhouse air and soil. The relationship was represented by means of an elliptic curve, the geometric center and tilt angle of which indicated representative daily soil temperatures and degree of temperature stability, respectively. Both values were observed to be lower for the bottom irrigation system during the two plant growth periods considered in this study, thereby indicating that colder and relatively constant soil temperatures can be maintained via greater heat convection. This greater cooling method was facilitated by rapid transfer of cold water through the bottom irrigation channel into the root zone, resulting from reduction in soil moisture content induced by plant transpiration in addition to heat conduction from the soil to the cooling tube. Measured soil temperatures for the buried-tube system were observed to be coldest when the tube was chilled considerably (9.4 °C). Although the setup of the considered bottom watering system was rather sensitive in that the system required maintenance of a constant water level throughout the container, both systems effectively produced cooler soil temperatures compared with the case in which no GSHP was used.

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Bielinski M. Santos

Field studies were conducted to determine effects of preplant nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) sources on ‘Strawberry Festival’ strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) growth and yield. Six treatments resulted from the preplant application of ammonium nitrate [AN (34% N)], ammonium sulfate [AS (21% N and 24% S)], ammonium sulfate nitrate [ASN (26% N and 14% S)], polymer-coated AS [PCAS (20% N and 23% S)], and elemental S (90% S). A nontreated control was added. The N was fixed at 50 lb/acre for AN, AS, ASN, and PCAS, which resulted in S rates of 0, 57, 27, and 57 lb/acre, respectively. The S rate of the elemental S treatment was set at 57 lb/acre. For early fruit number, the highest values were found in plots treated with AS and elemental S, while the highest total fruit numbers were obtained in plots treated with AS, ASN, PCAS, and elemental S. There was no difference in total fruit numbers between the nontreated control and AN. Plots treated with elemental S, PCAS, ASN, and AS had the highest early marketable fruit weights, whereas the lowest early marketable fruit weight was found in the nontreated plots. In comparison with the nontreated control plots, all the preplant fertilization programs improved early marketable fruit weight, with AN, AS, ASN, PCAS, and elemental S. Total marketable fruit weights were maximized in plots treated with preplant AS, ASN, PCAS, or elemental S. There was no difference between the total fruit weights obtained in the control and AN-treated plots. The data indicated that the strawberry total yield increases can be attributed to the use of preplant fertilizer sources containing S. This research may lead to a more appropriate use of N for strawberry production in Florida, minimizing the nitrate-leaching potential in high sandy soils by eliminating N sources from preplant fertilization programs.

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C.M. Menzel and A. Toldi

The productivity of containerized and bare-rooted plants of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) was investigated over 4 years in southeastern Queensland, Australia. In the first experiment, plants in small, 75-cm3 cells were compared with bare-rooted plants of ‘Festival’ and ‘Sugarbaby’. A similar experiment was conducted in year 2 with these two cultivars, plus ‘Rubygem’. In year 3, plants in large, 125-cm3 cells were compared with small and large bare-rooted plants of ‘Festival’ and ‘Rubygem’. Treatments in each of these experiments were planted on the same date. In the final experiment, plants in large cells and bare-rooted plants of ‘Festival’ were planted in late March, early April, mid-April, or early May. The plants grown in small cells produced 60% to 85% of the yields of the bare-rooted plants, whereas the yield of plants in large cells was equal to that of the bare-rooted plants. Containerized plants are twice as expensive as bare-rooted plants (A$0.60 vs. A$0.32) (A$ = Australian dollar), and gave only similar or lower returns than the bare-rooted plants (A$0.54 to A$3.73 vs. A$1.40 to A$4.09). It can be concluded that containerized strawberry plants are not economically viable in subtropical Queensland under the current price structure and growing system. There was a strong relationship between yield and average plant dry weight (leaves, crowns, and roots) in ‘Festival’ in the last three experiments, where harvesting continued to late September or early October. Productivity increased by about 18 g for each gram increase in plant dry weight, indicating the dependence of fruit production on vegetative growth in this environment.

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Sean B. Fort and Douglas V. Shaw

Genotypic and phenotypic relationships among root system and above-ground traits of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were evaluated for seedlings grown in annual hill culture, with soil treatments consisting of 1) preplant fumigation with methyl bromide and chloropicrin or 2) nonfumigation. Seedlings were from crosses among 10 genotypes within the University of California strawberry improvement program that had been selected previously for yield and other production traits. Root mass had positive genotypic correlations with plant diameter 5 months after planting in both fumigated (r = 0.58) and nonfumigated (r = 0.69) soils. Genotypic correlations between root mass and two production traits, yield and fruit size, were nonsignificant. However, plant diameter had positive genotypic correlations with yield (r = 0.36 to 0.51) and negative genotypic correlations with fruit size (r = -0.47 to -0.60). In general, root appearance scores were uncorrelated with production traits, but their genotypic correlations with vegetative traits were occasionally strong. Genotypic path coefficient analyses conducted separately for fumigated soils and nonfumigated soils both indicated that plant diameter had positive direct effects on yield that were twice the magnitude of that for any other trait. Root mass had a small negative direct effect on yield in each fumigation environment, while root appearance scores had small to moderate direct effects on yield that were more positive for samples obtained after fruiting (in April) versus before fruiting. Pleiotropic relationships appear to exist between root traits and plant diameter, but plant diameter is the best single predictor of genotypic variation for yield in both soil fumigation environments.

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Zongyu Li, R. Karina Gallardo, Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt, Vicki A. McCracken, Chengyan Yue and Lisa Wasko DeVetter

Pacific Northwest North America (PNW) strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) growers are transitioning away from the processing to fresh-market sector in response to changes in local and regional markets. However, many of the regional cultivars bred for the PNW were not developed for the fresh market. There is a need to gain a better understanding of growers’ priority traits and their relative importance to enable breeders, researchers, and extension specialists to better serve this growing industry. The objective of this study was to provide such information on strawberry genetic traits of importance for the changing strawberry industry in the PNW with an emphasis on fresh-market production. Six surveys were administered to 32 growers representing ≈53%, 23%, and 15% of the total strawberry acreage in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada, respectively. Growers ranked the relative importance of five plant and fruit traits, including fruit quality, disease resistance/tolerance, insect pest resistance/tolerance, plant stress tolerance, and other plant factors. Information about target markets, marketing channels, and general grower characteristics were also obtained. Whereas overall responses differed among the surveyed locations, fruit quality was considered the most important trait across all locations, with disease resistance/tolerance as the second most important. Specific fruit quality traits of importance were external appearance free of defects, skin color, size, sweetness, firmness, and flavor, whereas phytonutrients, seed color, and low drip loss after freezing and thawing were less important. Plant stress tolerance was identified as less important for strawberry growers in all locations. Results also showed many growers have already or are in the process of transitioning to the fresh market. Information obtained from this survey can be leveraged to target important breeding traits for fresh-market strawberry breeders within the PNW. Results also suggest priority areas of synergistic research and outreach activities to help growers achieve high fruit quality while managing diseases for fresh-market producers.

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Carmen Soria, Juan J. Medina, Pedro Domínguez, María T. Ariza, Luis Miranda, Rosalía Villalba, Josefa Gálvez, José F. Sánchez-Sevilla, Iraida Amaya, Rafael Sesmero and José M. López-Aranda

Over recent years, there has been a significant shift in the range of strawberry ( Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) cultivars used by growers in Huelva (a major strawberry-producing area in southwestern Spain). Until only 2 or 3 years ago, a single

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Craig K. Chandler, Bielinski M. Santos, Natalia A. Peres, Celine Jouquand, Anne Plotto and Charles A. Sims

There is a need for a strawberry ( Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) cultivar to complement ‘Strawberry Festival’ ( Chandler et al., 2000 ) yields, currently the primary cultivar in Florida and an important cultivar in other winter and early spring

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S.J. Locascio, J.P. Gilreath, S. Olson, C.M. Hutchinson and C.A. Chase

Strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa, Duch) were grown in the annual hill system at four locations in Florida to compare the effects of standard black low density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch and red reflective mulch (SMR-red) on fruit size and production. Marketable fruit size was not affected by mulch color. Early and total marketable fruit yields were not affected by mulch color at Bradenton, but yields were significantly higher at Gainesville with red than black mulch, and were significantly higher with black than red mulch at Quincy and Hastings. Soil temperatures under the black mulch were significantly higher than red mulch at Hastings but significantly higher under red than black mulch at Gainesville. Mean soil temperatures at soil depths of 5 to 25 cm ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 °C Reflected photosynthetically active radiation values at 25 and 50 cm above the mulch were higher earlier in the season and decreased as the season progressed. Within a month after transplanting when foliage covered about 10% of the mulch, reflections were lower and similar at both heights with black mulch than red and were higher at 25 than 50 cm with red mulch. Data indicate that there was not a consistent advantage of the use of this red mulch over black mulch at four locations in Florida.

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Mark S. Johnson and Steven A. Fennimore

The phase out of methyl bromide has forced strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne) growers to consider the use of cultural methods such as colored mulches to enhance weed control. Black plastic mulch controls most weeds; however, black mulch often does not warm the soil as well as clear mulch. Soil warming with clear mulch is desirable for early season markets, but clear mulch does not control weeds. Neither black nor clear mulches combine the ideal weed control and soil warming characteristics required. Seven colored mulches, as well as clear, black and no mulch were evaluated in California organic and conventional strawberries to identify mulch factors associated with weed control and soil warming. Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were also conducted to isolate the effects of light transmittance through mulch on weed germination and growth. The effect of mulch color on transmittance of photosynthetically active light (400 to 700 nm) through mulches was the key weed control factor, and was more important than the effect of mulch color effect on weed germination. Satisfactory weed control was provided by all mulches except clear, blue and red-brown laminated. Clear and black mulches provided the greatest soil warming in sunny and cloudy climatic conditions, respectively, although plants in clear mulched conventional production system plots produced the highest yield of marketable berries. Green and brown plastic mulches provided the best combinations of soil warming and weed control benefits at all trial locations.

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Kirk D. Larson and Douglas V. Shaw

Three preplant soil fumigation treatments were applied on 5 Apr. 1993 to a nursery site that had not been planted previously to strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.): 1) a mixture of 67 methyl bromide: 33 chloropicrin (CP) (by weight, 392 kg·ha–1) (MBCP); 2) 140 kg CP/ha; and 3) nonfumigation (NF). On 26 Apr., cold-stored `Chandler' and `Selva' strawberry plants of registered stock were established in each treatment. Soil and root/crown disease symptoms were absent in all treatments during the course of the study. In October, runner plants were machine-harvested and graded to commercial standards. The cultivars produced a similar number of runners per mother plant. Fumigation with MBCP, CP, and NF resulted in 18.56, 15.75, and 7.89 runners per mother plant, respectively. For `Selva', runner root and crown dry weights were similar for the MBCP and CP treatments, but NF resulted in significant reductions compared to the other two treatments. For `Chandler', fumigation with CP resulted in reduced root dry weight, and NF resulted in reduced crown and root dry weights compared to fumigation with MBCP. The results demonstrate the marked decreases in strawberry runner production and runner size that can occur in the absence of preplant soil fumigation, even on new strawberry ground. Also, small, but significant, reductions in runner production and runner size may occur with CP applied at a rate of 140 kg·ha–1 compared to standard fumigation with MBCP. Chemical name used: trichloronitromethane (chloropicrin).