Submitted to: Fruit Growers News
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: 'Ovation' was released to nurseries on 9 January 2003 for its exceptionally late fruiting season and consistently attractive, large, firm fruit, and high vigor. 'Ovation', tested as B440, was derived from the cross of 'Lateglow' by 'Etna'. Seedlings from this cross were screened for resistance to red stele. Surviving seedlings were evaluated in the field, and B440 was selected in 1991 by G.J. Galletta and J.M. Enns. 'Ovation' was evaluated in Maryland during the period 1992-2003, in both the advanced matted-row and plasticulture production systems. Yields in the plasticulture system consistently were at or among the top in comparison with other cultivars and selections. Yields in the advanced matted row system were average to slightly below average, thought fruit size and appearance remained high. Plants in both systems show high vigor. 'Ovation' also was sent to cooperating scientists to determine geographic adaptation. 'Ovation' performed very well in plasticulture in New Jersey and is recommended there as the late season cultivar to follow 'Chandler'. In Pennsylvania traditional matted-row evaluations, 'Ovation' was the top-rated late season cultivar. In Ohio evaluations, 'Ovation' was considered an outstanding late-season cultivar in either the traditional matted-row or plasticulture production system evaluations. Although we have not observed anthracnose disease symptoms on 'Ovation' plants in the field during 12 years of evaluation, controlled growth chamber tests indicated it is possible that 'Ovation' plants may be infected by the anthracnose pathogen when conditions are conducive for disease development. In Maryland, 'Ovation' often developed symptoms of powdery mildew after fruiting, to about the same extent as 'Earliglow'. However, the disease does not seem to reduce plant vigor. Other than powdery mildew, plants were generally free of significant foliar disease in both spring and fall. An added bonus is that 'Ovation' fruit tested among the highest in fruit nutritional characters such as antioxidant capacity. This trait may be important to some health-conscious consumers. 'Ovation' was named, not only because the cultivar marks the end of the strawberry production season in these regions, but also to honor the long and productive career of the late Dr. Gene Galletta.