New Strawberry Varieties
New Strawberry Varieties
In our constant search for the ideal strawberry we
are always experimenting with new varieties.
At the moment strawberry growers can choose
from a wide array of different new selections that
are being produced by research stations world wide.
However worldwide conditions may not apply
to  Canadian of even Ontario conditions.
Even in Ontario it can make quite a difference
whether you are in the Niagara peninsula, close to
Thunderbay, or in eastern Ontario.
We have found that the Quebec situation is quite similar to our conditions and consequently the varieties that are recommended by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) sub-station in L’Acadie, Quebec.

The first one we have been trying out is

“La Clé des Champs” : the first step toward ecological management

“La Clé des Champs” is a moderately vigorous, mid-season strawberry cultivar that
has been strongly resistants to foliar diseases for the past 10 years. The plant's
fruit contain high levels of antioxidants and high measures of phenolic compounds,
giving it a longer potential shelf life. These characteristics also explain the absence of
grey mould (Botrytis) and white mould (Oïdium) during plot observation, making “La
Clé des Champs” ideal for ecological production management.
“La Clé des Champs” fruit is attractive, with a clear red colour and a remarkably glossy
and firm skin. It also has a uniform taste, making it the perfect choice for fresh-market
and kiosk sales. Its fruit contains an excellent source of healthy antioxidants. The fruit's
attractive appearance has been widely appreciated during the many sampling
demonstrations in which it has been involved.
“La Clé des Champs” produces medium to high yields, depending on the region. Good minor-element
fertilization is required to grow the plant and it produces a high-calibre fruit all through harvest. While
under observation, the test crops proved to be very hardy, both in Acadia, with little snow cover, and
in St-Thomas-de-Joliette, with heavy snow cover. (-30 C)
‘Clé des Champs’ produces attractive large, light red, shiny fruit, orange-red almost throughout and very firm. Fresh fruit store well for up to 5 days at room temperature (20oC) with no sign of mold or deterioration compared to ‘ Kent ’ which showed deterioration after 2 days.  
A completely randomized design with four replicates was set up in 2002 and also in 2003 to compare ‘Clé des Champs’ with selected known commercially grown cultivars. ‘Clé des Champs’ produces similar yield to ‘ Kent ’ and ‘Jewel’.  ’Clé des Champs’ produces larger size and firmer fruits compared to ‘ Kent ’.
Storing well has to do with the fact that it is very high in antioxidants.
Check for more information here

A second one is a Day Neutral variety called Albion
Day Neutral means it produces fruits independent of length of daylight as opposed to June bearing varieties..
We will have to wait and see whether Albion is hardy enough to survive our Canadian winters. Especially when we hit a bad spell with hardly any snow cover.
It is a fact that Albion is quite special variety.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham found that more than 50 compounds contribute to the fruit's taste.

"There was a huge variation between the different varieties," said MacTavish-West, who has specialist knowledge of the health benefits and flavour of fruit.

"Some tasted very tangy-acidic and others were quite sweet.
Only a few varieties actually tasted like a strawberry should."
She claimed that one variety, Albion, "stood head and shoulders" above the others, with an even balance of sweetness and acidity, along with a well-rounded, intense strawberry flavour.

The University of Nottingham work showed that Albion contains twice the amount of flavour compounds of other varieties tested.
The study confirmed other facts that are already known about strawberries, such as that they contain numerous antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds. These include anthocyanins, the compounds responsible for the fruit's red colour, and ellagic acid, known to have strong anti-cancer properties and also found in raspberries.

Albion again came out top, as the variety contains 15 to 25 per cent more anthocyanins than the best of the others. Albion is also one eof the few strawberries that will continue to ripen slightly after picking.

The third  planted in 2010 is Chambly.
This one resulted from a cross between  'Sparkle' and 'Honeoye'. 'Sparkle', a previously popular commercial cultivar in eastern Canada, is noted for its high fruit flavor and 'Honeoye' is a high-yielding cultivar with large fruit size well-adapted to the northeast .
... high yields of firm, deep red fruit with raised neck, elevated calyx, and uniform well-colored flesh...
We were not too happy with 'Honeoye'  because the fruit had a tendency to go off taste when overripe. Also the colour got really dark.

Chambly' plants are of low vigor, medium in size, with four to six inflorescences per plant, and can tolerate winter temperatures below -25C (with 10 cm of straw mulch cover)" . Plants have a sparse appearance. Inflorescences (which is the flower stalk) are held erect on long, moderately thick peduncles during bloom, becoming arched (semi-erect) as the fruit mature. Inflorescences generally have 10 to 20 flowers.
Fruit shape is conic and  are medium size (8 to 10 g) with a white, raised (2 to 3 mm) neck. Skin is shiny and deep red at maturity, and the flesh is red throughout. Fruit flavor (sweetness) is similar to that of 'Bounty' and 'Sparkle' . Fruits are firm, similar to 'Kent', and can be decapped as easily as 'Glooscap'. The calyx does not separate from the fruit at harvest time.
'Chambly' has outyielded 'Bounty', 'Honeoye', 'Redcoat', and 'Sparkle' in  trials.
Check for more information here

Also new for 2010 are

St.Pierre, Harmonie, and St.Laurent

Saint-Pierre is a new June bearing strawberry cultivar (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) bred for Eastern Central Canada and climate similar to Quebec condition. 'AC-Saint-Pierre' was released because of its very large and firm fruit and its keeping quality several days after picking or maturity in the field. It is ideal for growers who need to store the fruits several days before marketing.
Plants are pretty vigorous, have an upright growing habit and produce 2-5 inflorescences per crown. They can tolerate winter temperatures below -30ºC (with 10 cm straw mulch cover).
The fruit shape is conical with a raised neck. The flesh is dark throughout and firm. Fresh fruit store well for up to 5 days at room temperature. Fruit descriptions originating in the UK report similar observations for fruit colour, shelf life and firmness.
Saint-Pierre' is recommended for growers in Eastern Central Canada, especially in areas where the climate is similar to that in the strawberry production areas of Quebec. This cultivar is useful where there is a need to extend the strawberry season or for transportation. 'AC-Saint-Pierre' plants perform very well in sandy soil and they are also adapted to growing in compact or heavy soil.
Our soils belong in the latter category.

'Harmonie', resulting from a cross between 'Yamaska' and 'Joliette' made in 1993 by S. Khanizadeh.
'Harmonie' has been tested at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) sub-station in L'Acadie, Quebec since 1994, and during 1995-2002 by the Association des producteurs de fraises et framboises du Québec .
Plants of 'Harmonie' are of medium vigor, have a flat growing habit, and produce about 5 inflorescences per crown. They can tolerate winter temperatures below -30 °C with 10cm straw mulch cover.
'Harmonie' produces attractive large, light red, shiny fruit . The fruit shape is globose-conic. The flesh is orange-red almost throughout and very firm. Fresh fruit store well for up to 5 days at room temperature. .
'Harmonie' produces simlar yield to 'Kent', 'Bounty' and 'Chambly'.. 'Harmonie' is a late season cultivar and 50% of primary fruits are ripe by July 4 same as 'Yamaska' , which -together with St Pierre- will help extend our season by at least two weeks.
As a note of interest, AC-Yamaska' was released because of its very large, dark red, glossy fruit, its late ripening season (five to seven days after Bounty) which extends the strawberry harvest (Khanizadeh, 1994), and after receiving requests for propagation licences from Canadian and European nurseries. The Prefix 'AC' in the name is the abbreviation for 'Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada'. The name 'Yamaska' refers to a town located near the shore of Lake Saint-Peter, a widening of the St. Lawrence River between Richelieu and Nicolet counties. Yamaska located in a rich agricultural county where farming and market gardening are the main occupations. The name Yamaska is an native indian word meaning "where there is grass under the water" and it probably refers to the extensive marshes in the area.
Whereas Joliette' has high yields of large, moderately firm fruit and it is resistant to leaf spot (Mycosphaerella fragariae Tul.) and to six North American eastern (NAE) races of red stele (Phytophthora fragariae Hickman).
Joliette has Jewel in its ancestry.

Saint Laurent
‘Saint-Laurent d’Orléans’ is a new June bearing strawberry cultivar  released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. ‘Saint-Laurent d’Orléans’ was named because it has large, very firm, light red, shiny fruit, with excellent shelf life (Five days) and resistance to leaf diseases. The selection was named after the village of St-Laurent d'Orléans, which is located at the south of l’ Île d'Orléans , Quebec . In this area the principal economy comes from agriculture, with a major emphasis on vegetable and strawberry production. This village is known as the capital of strawberry production in Quebec and is recognized for the high quality the fruit produced there.  
Half l'Acadie (keeping quality of several days after picking or maturity in the field), we can expect a strawberry with excellent shelf life.
Partly also because of its size Saint Laurent out yields several well known varieties.
‘Saint-Laurent d’Orléans’ was tested in several locations but the data presented here are from the replicated trials (four replicates) in commercial fields (Les Fraises de l' Île d'Orléans Inc., St-Laurent, Île d'Orléans, Quebec)  since 1999.  ‘Saint-Laurent d’Orléans’ produces significantly higher yield and larger fruit size than ‘Kent’, the most popular variety in Quebec, and also outyields ‘Mira’, ‘Honeoye’, and ‘Annapolis’ (Table 1).
An interesting trait of this variety is that the plants tend to produce fruit several weeks beyond the longest day, when most varieties stop fruiting and produce runners.

And the newest kid on the block is Herriot

ByCraig Cramer

Courtney Weber/Provided
Herriot, a luscious new strawberry, grows up
to 25 grams (nearly an ounce),
averaging about 11 grams.
Strawberry lovers will soon have Herriot --
a sweet treat featuring a flavor reminiscent
of historic varieties and a slight pineapple
overtone -- to look forward to, thanks to a
new variety of large, heart-shaped fruit developed by Cornell.

Its high yields, vigor, disease resistance and eye appeal should also make it a sweet option for growers, said breeder Courtney Weber, associate professor of horticulture.

Saint-Pierre, a cross between 'Chandler' and 'Jewel'