Case of Strawberries ready for market
Updated: May 3, 2021
By Dr. Joseph Fiola

A variety of information on commercial strawberry production including organic production, pest and weed management, frost and freeze prevention, and more.

Commercial Production Guides

  • Season-Long Strawberry publication with Everbearers (EB401)
    Willie Lantz, University of Maryland Extension—Garrett County, Extension Educator—Agriculture and Natural Resources; Dr. Harry Swartz, Retired—University of Maryland, Associate Professor, Horticulture, Owner Five Aces Breeding; Kathleen Demchak, Senior Extension Associate, Horticulture, Penn State University; Sherry Frick, University of Maryland Extension—Garrett County, Program Assistant, Horticulture

    Strawberries are available in grocery stores 365 days a year. This is largely due to the fact that berries are shipped from different locations across the United States and around the world. However, in the eastern United States, fresh, locally-grown strawberries are only available at farmers markets, roadside stands, and grocery stores for several weeks during the late spring and early summer. This limited availability occurs mostly because the commercial strawberry production in the East is derived from June-bearing varieties, which have a brief production season.
     
  • The Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide for Commercial Growers
    This guide is produced by Penn State in cooperation with Rutgers University, the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.

    (2013-2014)  provides general information on preplant considerations, soil management and nutrition, and pest management, as well as specific information for planting strawberries, blueberries, brambles, gooseberries, and currants. Appendixes provide information on expanded special topics, diagnostic services, nursery sources of berry plants, and production supplies and services. Additional sources of information are also given.
     
  • The Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada (NRES-88)

    The most comprehensive guide ever produced for strawberry growers. Includes 14 chapters, 37 figures, 47 tables, and 115 color photographs. Includes a key to common strawberry pests and problems.

Commercial Storage and Produce Safety

Commercial Storage

  • The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks (Handbook # 66, Revised Feb. 2016)
    Edited by Kenneth C. Gross, Chien Yi Wang, and Mikal Saltveit
    Gross and Wang are formerly with the Food Quality Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD. They are now retired. Saltveit is with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA.

    Agriculture Handbook 66 (AH-66) represents a complete revision and major expansion of the 1986 edition. It has been reorganized and now includes 17 Chapters and 138 Commodity Summaries written by nearly a hundred experts in plant science and postharvest technology. This version, like the previous editions of AH- 66 in 1954, 1968, 1977, and 1986, presents summaries of current storage requirements of fresh fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, and other horticultural crops. However, this highly expanded version also includes information on quality characteristics, maturity indices, grading, packaging, precooling, retail display, chilling sensitivity, ethylene production and sensitivity, respiration rates, physiological disorders, postharvest pathology, quarantine issues, and suitability as a fresh-cut product. A large number of fruits and vegetables were added, as well as sections on food safety, nutritional quality, texture, and fresh-cut produce. The purpose of storing plant material is to lengthen the time it can be consumed or utilized. In doing so, it is critical to provide an environment that minimizes deterioration, maintains microbial safety, and retains other quality attributes. AH-66 provides guidelines and other important information for storing and handling horticultural commodities to accomplish this.

Produce Safety

Frost/Freeze Protection in Strawberries

 

Pest, Disease, and Weed Management

Spray Programs or Pest Advisory

  • Spray Program for Multi-Small Fruit Plantings
    R. David Myers, University of Maryland Extension

    Multi-Small Fruit Spray Program (updated yearly) for the control of major small fruit (Strawberries, Brambles, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Grapes Pest and Disease.) 

     
  • IPM Net
    IPMnet is an online resource for commercial ornamental plant production and maintenance with an emphasis on using an integrated pest management approach. We primarily work with nursery growers, landscapers, greenhouse growers, cut flower growers, IPM scouts, and arborists.
     
  • Maryland Fruit & Vegetable Blog
    Provides readers with current information on fruits and vegetables, disease and pest updates, and much more.
     
  • Plant & Pest Advisory
    Rutgers Cooperative Extension

    Provides seasonal updates focusing on insects, diseases, and weeds of importance to NJ Commercial Growers.

Diseases

Mites

Strawberry Anthracnose

  • Strawberry Anthracnose Part 1: Better Understanding and Management
    Mengjun Hu, Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, and Kathy Demchak at Penn State have been working to better understand the anthracnose situation in the region. Their work has included collecting diseased fruit and plants, using them to identify the fungal species present, and testing for fungicide resistance to improve management recommendations.
     
  • Strawberry Anthracnose Part 2: A Closer Look at Management and Fungicide Use
    Mengjun Hu, Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, and Kathy Demchak at Penn State have been working to better understand the anthracnose situation in the region. Their work has included collecting diseased fruit and plants, using them to identify the fungal species present, and testing for fungicide resistance to improve management recommendations.

Pests

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

  • Stop BMSB
    Collaborators: USDA/NIFA - Specialty Crop Research Initiative, USDA -Ag Research Services, Rutgers, Penn State, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Northeastern IPM Center, Washington State University, Cornell University, Organ State University, and North Carolina State University.

    Stop BMSB Web Site is bringing its latest findings to growers in North America. A group of 50 researchers from 10 institutions across the United States is solving the mysteries of this pest that damages a huge range of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. You will find a photo identification guide and recommendations for how to control it.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Lanternfly

  • Spotted Lanternfly
    Peter Coffey
    University of Maryland Extension


    The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a new invasive pest insect in the Mid-Atlantic. It has the potential to be an important pest on several important crops. It has been detected in several states that border Maryland but has not yet been detected in Maryland. This publication highlights identification, biology, and what the Maryland public should do if they find a spotted lanternfly.

Weed

Strawberry Production Methods

Plasticulture

Organic

  • 2016 Organic Production and IPM Guide for Strawberries
    NYS IPM Publication No. 226
    Cornell University

    This guide for organic strawberry production is an outline of cultural and pest management practices and includes topics that have an impact on improving plant health and reducing pest problems.
     
  • Strawberries: Organic Production
    Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, Martin Guerena, and Holly Born, NCAT Agriculture Specialists, Published 2007 © NACT IPO46

    This publication provides an overview of organic strawberry production methods. It also covers integrated pest management and weed control techniques that can reduce pesticide use in strawberry production. Included are discussions of weeds, pests, diseases, greenhouse production, plasticulture, fertility, economics, and marketing. Lists are provided of further resources, both electronic and in print.

Growing in Containers

Tunnel Production

  • Tunnel Production
    Cornell Fruit Resources: Berries

    This site features information for growers and educators on all types of protected culture for strawberries and brambles.

Websites

  • AgNIC Strawberries: Home
    MSU Libraries | Guides
    Michigan State University

     
  • Ready to Take Root-Getting Started with Small Fruit & Hops
    The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) and the University of Maryland Extension (UME) partnered in 2018 and 2019 to offer a series of workshops on everything you need to know to grow, sell and market small fruits and hops in the Southern Maryland region and throughout the state of Maryland. The workshop series and resource portal was made possible in part by a Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund Grant (RMPIF) and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
     
  • Strawberry Production
    Cornell Fruit Resources: Berries
    Cornell University

Useful Links

University of Maryland Research Laboratories

  • Hamby Lab
    Dr. Kelly Hamby
    Associate Professor/Extension Specialist

Organizations

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