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Letter: Another take on berry size

June 7, 2019

I was surprised to see the Economy column claiming that large strawberries were developed to make for more efficient harvesting [How farm-labor concerns led to creation of giant strawberry, May 24]. It’s an interesting perspective, but size of berries is only one of many considerations strawberry breeders have in mind at both the University of California Davis and the proprietary breeding programs. They are also looking for plant vigor, berry flavor and color, minimal runners, and pest and disease resistance. The biggest berries come from the first flush of fruit for the season. Strawberry plants in California bloom for six to nine months, continuously producing fruit. That fruit does not stay consistently large for the entire season: The plant gradually gets bigger and produces smaller fruit.

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Carolyn O’Donnell
California Strawberry Commission

 

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