Strawberry Malling Ace excels in unprecedented British Summer temperatures

The everbearer strawberry variety Malling Ace delivered excellent yields and consistent fruit size this season, showing a much-needed resilience to the stress of extreme summer temperatures, says Malling Fruits.

Preliminary results from agronomic trials at New Farm Produce in Staffordshire, UK, show a good production trend during June and July despite the record high temperatures. Malling Ace has upright leaves and its flowers project above the leaf canopy with superb fruit displays making for easy picking. Fruit size during the same period was recorded, on average, between 37.60 g and 38.10 g.

Growers, agronomists, and technologists were shown the variety in peak production at a New Farm Produce farm walk in early August. New Farm Produce’s Stephen McGuffie commented, “Malling Ace showed good resilience in temperatures of up to 40°C without compromising yield and quality. It scored well in benchmarking tests, and growers should consider including this variety in their crop planning.”

His recommendations for growing Malling Ace include adopting a tight spray program for mildew control. “The variety can be managed without problem, but best practice would be to grow other mildew-sensitive varieties away from Malling Ace.

“Once the plants have been established, they can be grown on a low nitrogen feed. Malling Ace grown in the substrate at six plants/m delivered consistent quality with an impressive yield potential of more than 1 kg/plant using a mini tray plant,” said Mr. McGuffie.

Alin Borleanu, Technical Officer-Varieties Development at NIAB, said, “Strawberries crops clearly suffered in this summer’s extreme heat, with varieties dropping in fruit size and some even shutting down and going into thermo-dormancy. Malling Ace appears to be an exception, showing resilience during the heatwave, maintaining its fruit size and continuously expressing new flower trusses. A strong, versatile variety, overall this year, it has performed well in a range of production systems, from an open field in the soil to coir substrate on tabletops under polytunnels and in glasshouses.

“It is encouraging to see Malling Ace standing up to its own name, and these new qualities can be added to an already noteworthy list of traits, including high yields, good fruit quality, and easy/fast picking,” finished Mr. Borleanu.

For more information:
New Road, East Malling
Kent, ME19 6BJ, UK
+44 (0) 1732 843833

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