Grower guidelines released for strawberry variety Malling Centenary

Malling Fruits has issued grower guidelines for Malling Centenary, its most successful variety that has become the strawberry industry’s standard Junebearer variety.

Bred by the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club (EMSBC) and released in 2013 to commemorate 100 years of research at NIAB’s East Malling site, Malling Centenary replaced the previous standard Elsanta, with its high-quality fruit, increased Class 1 percentage and reduced picking costs.

The guidelines have been developed to help growers to maximize the variety’s yield potential and were originally issued by Delphy from information generated by EMSBC’s cultural trials. Malling Fruits technical officer Alin Borleanu explains that the guidelines were updated using information from both Malling Fruits’ post-breeding development program and commercial growers willing to share their own experiences. “We’re extremely grateful to all those growers who have contributed. Such openness will help the variety to succeed across the whole industry. The guidelines include some of the main challenges that growers need to overcome if Malling Centenary is to outperform Elsanta and other Junebearer varieties. They also offer guidance on optimum plant establishment, cultural management, chilling requirements, nutrition, and crop protection.”

One glasshouse grower managing a high-tech strawberry-growing business in Lincolnshire was very willing to share his experiences with Malling Centenary. He reminds growers to avoid forcing the variety into fruiting too quickly. “For December planted crops, aim for slow but steady early growth, targeting an average temperature of 10°C. For summer-planted crops, do everything possible to relieve the stress on the plant in the first three weeks after planting. This approach may delay the start of harvest, but it has a really positive effect on yield and quality later in the crop’s life.”

In the past, growers adopting newly released varieties followed the cultivation ‘blueprint’ developed for the varieties being replaced. However, more often than not, a new variety required its own unique form of cultural management, so growers failed to achieve the maximum benefits on offer. A new cultural trialing system, instigated by EMSBC for all its most promising selections, circumvents this problem and ensures that growers have the very best information available to maximize yields and quality.

Both grower guidelines and comprehensive information on all new varieties from the EMSBC can be found by visiting www.mallingfruits.com 

For more information: 
Malling Fruits
licensing@mallingfruits.com 
www.mallingfruits.com 


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