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New Strawberry And Raspberry Varieties From East Malling Research

Three new strawberry varieties and a raspberry variety from the breeding programmes at East Malling Research (EMR) have been named. ‘Amelia’, ‘Lucy’ and ‘Sallybright’ are all June-bearing strawberry varieties, while ‘Malling Juno’ is a summer fruiting raspberry. ‘Amelia’ and ‘Sallybright’ will be launched at 12.30pm on the Meiosis Limited stand (M2) at this year’s Fruit Focus, to be held at EMR on 25 July.

‘Amelia’ (formerly EM1103) is a late season variety, which crops 12-15 days later than Elsanta. ‘Amelia’ produces attractive, mid red coloured, regular shaped berries, which have good firmness and have an excellent shelf life. The late cropping season, improved shelf life and berry colour mean that ‘Amelia’ is well placed as an alternative to the variety ‘Florence’.

‘Lucy’ (formerly EM931) is a mid-season variety, which produces excellent yields of large berries, which are very firm and have an attractive mid-red colour. ‘Lucy’ is a grower friendly variety, which has performed well in trials conducted on pick-your-own farms and less intensive growing systems. With its good tolerance to rain damage, ‘Lucy’ is well suited for traditional field production without the use of polythene tunnels.

‘Sallybright’ (formerly EM1296) crops slightly earlier than Elsanta and produces very regular shaped berries, which have an excellent flavour. The berries are juicy and have an attractive, glossy, red to deep red colour. ‘Sallybright’ will be particularly interesting for PYO and direct market growers, but is not considered to be suitable marketing through the multiple retailers.

‘Malling Juno’ (formerly EM6544/80) starts to crop at a similar date to Glen Moy, but Juno’s season is more condensed and the 50% pick date can be 2 weeks before that of Glen Ample. The fruit quality of ‘Malling Juno’ is superior to Glen Moy, the berries having an attractive mid-red colour, and are brighter and firmer than Moy and have a good flavour.

East Malling Research (EMR) will also offer visitors to Fruit Focus an opportunity to speak directly with their scientists and view the latest results of their soft fruit research, on a guided walk around nearby plots. Topics on show will include:

- Fungicides, natural products and commodity substances for the control of Botrytis and powdery mildew in raspberry – Dr Angela Berrie

- Research on pheromones of the raspberry cane midge, other fruit midges and capsid bugs – Dr Jerry Cross

- Biology and biological control of western flower thrips on strawberries – Dr Jean Fitzgerald

- Biofumigant crops as replacements for methyl bromide soil sterilisation in strawberry production – Dr David Yohalem

- Developing novel water-saving irrigation strategies to produce fruit with more consistent flavour, quality and improved shelf-life – Dr Mark Else

Visitors to the show can sign up for these tours at EMR’s stand, which will also highlight EMR’s other current Horticulture LINK projects.

Ursula Twomey | alfa
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