Click on the links below to move to your area of interest. Please contact Elise Pike 0429 841 133 for more variety information.
Is one of the more recent commercial varieties from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Breeding Program (QDAF). It has shown to be a distinct vigorous upright plant with the flowers emerging through the canopy of the foliage. Suncoast Delight has been a consistent early producer of large conical shaped fruit. During colder periods the fruit can hold white shoulders, however if left too long on the plant, the colour can turn quite dark. The plant itself appears to have more resistance to fungal diseases than other mainstream varieties and does not produce many runners in the fruiting field. Suncoast Delight may be suited to growers looking for a variety to grow organically. As an early producer with good plant health, Suncoast Delight is expected be available early in the harvest season. Nutrition should be monitored in order to maintain flavour, and control vigour.
from the local QDAF (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) breeding program, became available to growers to trial in the 2015 season, and in the 2016 season has proven quite popular in southern Queensland operations. Whilst the 2016 season proved challenging, Red Rhapsody performance indicated it’s potential to be a prominent early season variety. The variety consistently shows to be a moderately early producer of extra-large sized, glossy dark red fruit. The fruit itself has been large and conical with a pleasant flavour. Taste tests conducted at past strawberry industry field days rates Red Rhapsody similar to Florida Fortuna. At times, white shoulders contrasting against dark red skin are noted and are likely to relate to weather conditions. In the past, the plants have shown some susceptibility to early wilt and another unknown condition that has caused plants to show “rust” like symptoms and then dry out and slowly die. This issue was not seen again in the 2016 season.
The QDAF selection, Sundrench (2011-214), has sparked some industry interest mainly due to its early production of large sized fruit and high yield potential. The plant itself is open and manageable with minimal to no runners produced in the fruiting field. Trials will continue to assess Sundrench, as its dark skin colour and limited weather tolerance may limit its commercial viability. As an early season variety it may appeal to growers looking for an alternative to current early season varieties. 2016 trials during the atypical conditions have shown that early season heat during harvest and planting can lead to excess vigour, increased runners and delayed production.
Another QDAF selection, Parisienne Kiss (2011-049) has shown some promise within Research Farm plots and first year on farm trials, due to its moderately high production of very large, red glossy fruit. Whilst there has been some evidence of frog-mouthed fruit, the majority is a broad-conical shape with good flavour. The plant itself does appear to be quite vigorous and therefore can lead to increased susceptibility to disease in times of high pressure. This plant size may be able to be controlled, to some degree, by limiting nutrition.
Has been the “work horse” variety of the Queensland industry for a number of years. It is a tropical short day variety from the University of Florida breeding program. Fruit production commences relatively early and continues throughout the season. Flesh is bright red with good flavour. Fruit are typically firm, deep red, attractive and conical shape. Fruit are also well displayed on long stems, and therefore easily harvested. A few small sizes may occur, especially towards the tail end of the season. Festival produces very few misshapen or unmarketable fruit and therefore is an easy variety to pack. Performs well under a range of weather conditions and has again shown good resistance to rain this season, when not over fertilised. In order to maintain highly acceptable fruit, Festival should be picked when red only. Ideal planting times are from the last week of March till mid-April. Earlier planting times will result in increased vigour, high runner production in the fruiting field and a more erratic production cycle. Festival is known to susceptible to Gnomia fungal spot and therefore may require de-leafing if the plant is allowed to grow too large.
Has gained popularity amongst growers due to its large aromatic fruit and high, steady production. With similar characteristics to Festival, Florida Fortuna may complement Festival plantings by usually producing earlier in comparison and whilst Festival fruit is known to reduce in size later in July, Florida Fortuna has the ability to maintain L to XL sized fruit. Extreme weather conditions can cause misshapen fruit, which often resolves itself when conditions improve. Florida Fortuna should not produce as many runners in the fruiting field compared to Festival. Florida Fortuna runners are naturally thin and weaker than other varieties and in order to be able to maintain production throughout the season, the runners must be heavily fertilised for the first three to four weeks after planting to ensure a vigorous plant. Due to being naturally susceptible to Phytophora, Florida Fortuna should be planted into fumigated ground and treated with registered chemicals as per the product labels at time of planting. This variety is not recommended for second year plastic or organic production. Caution should be taken with early plantings, as immature runners often do not survive transplanting. Optimal planting time is from 28th March through to around the 8th April.
is a day neutral variety that has been released from the Californian Lassen Canyon breeding program. Limited trials in the Queensland Granite Belt area have shown that it produces large, conical fruit and overall production was comparable with current commercial varieties. In the warm summer of 2013/2014, previous trials of Sweet Ann withstood the hot conditions better than commercial varieties.