Yield and fruit quality of strawberry cultivars grown in organic farming in the mid-Adriatic area

F. Capocasa, F. Balducci, C. Martellini, A. Albanesi
Organic fruit and vegetable productions in Marche Region, the main Italian Region of the mid-Adriatic area, are still rising. The interest for the production of organic strawberries is also increasing and brings about the need to identify strawberry cultivars with higher adaptability to open field and protected organic cultivation in this area. With this aim, thanks to a collaboration started between D3A-UNIVPM and the Regional Extension Service Agency (ASSAM), a two years experimental trial was set, comparing sixteen cultivars of strawberries; thirteen of these cultivars were short day cultivars ('Alba', 'Aprica', 'Asia', 'Brilla', 'Clery', 'Cristina', 'Garda', 'Joly', 'Madeleine', 'Premy', 'Romina', 'Sibilla', and 'Syria'), while three were day neutral ('Albion', 'Malga' and 'Monterey'). Among these cultivars, only four were already recommended for strawberry integrated crop production in the Marche Region, while all the other were identified from different national and international programs. The experimental trial, set in 2014, was prepared following a randomized design with three blocks of sixteen plots, of twenty plants each, for both cultivation conditions (open field and protected-Veronese tunnel). At harvest time, data on plant and fruit susceptibility to fungal and pest diseases were detected and vegetative (vigor of the plant, number of crowns), productive (total plant production, total discard for rot and deformed fruit and fruit average weight) and quality (texture, color, content sugars and titratable acidity) parameters were measured. The results showed a significant difference in adaptability, yield and satisfactory quality of some cultivars. Of greatest interest resulted 'Romina', 'Sibilla' and 'Cristina', as short day, and 'Monterey' as day neutral. The 'Veronese tunnel' resulted as a flexible and easy way to manage protected cultivation system that helped to increase yields of different cultivars, highlighting how this technique is essential for the success of strawberry organic production in this area.
Capocasa, F., Balducci, F., Martellini, C. and Albanesi, A. (2017). Yield and fruit quality of strawberry cultivars grown in organic farming in the mid-Adriatic area. Acta Hortic. 1156, 619-626
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1156.91
protected cultivation, June-bearers, everbearers, vegetative parameters, precocity

Acta Horticulturae