The “Florida 127” strawberry, developed by Vance Whitaker, assistant professor of strawberry breeding at UF’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, could be the fruit consumers and growers have been waiting for.
This promising new variety increases flavor, while still allowing for early production and prolonged shelf life. According to Whitaker, fruit from Florida 127 last longer than the typical 10-14 day shelf life by one or two days, which can make a big difference considering the primary market for Florida strawberries is the Northeast.
“I think that’s a good advance. If you’re shipping all the way to Ontario, which many Florida strawberries do, they’ve spent several days on the road,” Whitaker said. “That (shelf life) is a really important aspect we’ve got to focus on.”
Florida 127 was planted on only 150 acres last season, but it is expected to expand to 2,000 acres for the 2-15-16 season.