Guidance released to help Malling Centenary growers maximise yield potential
23rd January 2023
Malling Fruits has issued grower guidelines for its most successful variety Malling Centenary, which has become the strawberry sector’s standard Junebearer variety.
The guidance was developed to help growers to maximise the variety’s yield potential. It includes some of the main challenges that growers need to overcome if Malling Centenary is to outperform Elsanta and other Junebearer varieties.
Guidance is also offered on optimum plant establishment, cultural management, chilling requirements, nutrition and crop protection.
The guidelines were originally issued by Delphy based on information from cultural trials by the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club. They have now been updated using information from Malling Fruits’ post-breeding development programme, and growers who were willing to share their own experiences.
Malling Centenary was bred by EMSBC and released in 2013. It replaced the previous standard Elsanta with its high-quality fruit, increased class 1 percentage and reduced picking costs.
Commenting on the updated guidelines, Malling Fruits technical officer Alin Borleanu said: “We’re extremely grateful to all those growers who have contributed. Such openness will help the variety to succeed across the whole industry.”
One glasshouse grower who shared his experiences manages a high-tech strawberry growing business in Lincolnshire. He reminded growers to avoid forcing Malling Centenary into fruiting too quickly.
“For December planted crops, aim for slow but steady early growth, targeting an average temperature of 10oC. 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 requires its own unique form of cultural management, so growers failed to achieve the maximum benefits on offer, Malling Fruits says.
A new cultural trialling system, instigated by EMSBC for all its most promising selections, aims to circumvent this problem, and ensures that growers have the very best information available to maximise yields and quality.
Both grower guidelines and comprehensive information on all new varieties from the EMSBC can be found by visiting www.mallingfruits.com