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Latest research blog post: Spider mites in saturated strawberry fields

Latest research blog post: Spider mites in saturated strawberry fields

Feb 9, 2023

In our latest research blog post, Center entomologist Sarah Zukoff discusses how spider mites fair in saturated strawberry fields in California during periods of heavy rainfall, as we have experienced these past several weeks. Impacts on predatory mites as well as on presence of insect-eating fungi like Neozygites are also discussed.

CPC Marketing & Comm highlights Center in Annual Impact video series 2023

Feb 8, 2023

Cal Poly Corporation, Marketing & Communications: Annual Impact video series 2023

The Strawberry Center offers students opportunities to practice sustainable efforts in growing the berries. The center is one of many campus programs that the Corporation partners in Mustang Success. Watch this video and hear about the ways CPC impacts students.

Thank you to the Cal Poly Corporation Marketing & Communications team for including the Strawberry Center in this Mustang Success video series!

Center graduate Jack Koster accepts CSUMB faculty lecturer position

Center graduate Jack Koster accepts CSUMB faculty lecturer position

Feb 8, 2023

We are delighted to announce that Strawberry Center recent graduate Jack Koster M.S. has accepted a position as Faculty Lecturer at Cal State Monterey Bay. Teaching within the Biology and Chemistry Department, Jack's courses are centered in the department's new Agriculture and Plant Sciences Major and focus on crop management, technical writing, molecular evolution and ecology, as well as senior capstone classes. In this new position, Jack specifically enjoys integrating his research work at Cal Poly into his courses and being able to relate to the agriculture community as a local. Jack's ability to not only teach plant pathology labs here at Cal Poly, but his ability to teach and mentor our undergraduate students at the Center helped him prepare for this professional role.

A huge congratulations to Jack, from your colleagues and friends at the Strawberry Center!

Jack Koster, Strawberry Center Field Day 2022
Jack Koster, Cal Poly, Strawberry Center Field Day 2022 (photo courtesy of California Strawberry Commission)

UCCE Annual Strawberry Production Research Meeting

Jan 30, 2023

University of California, Cooperative Extension presents

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 • Virtual via Zoom

Join UC Farm Advisor Mark Bolda and other university and field experts in this virtual meeting to learn about the latest research and advances in strawberry production.

More info @ 

Our RECENT BLOG POST discusses record-breaking rainfall levels

Jan 30, 2023

The much-needed rainfall this year has already exceeded annual rainfall for the previous 18 years and we still have two months to go before we're out of our normal wet season. As of January 17, 2023 rainfall for the current Water Year (measured from July 1 to June 30) is at 36.5 inches (927 mm) […] 
Read more:

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Historic rainfalls on central CA coast!

Jan 18, 2023

The much-needed rainfall this year has been historic for our area, passing our average annual rainfall total -- and the winter season isn’t over yet! Water years run from July 1 to June 30. This bar chart shows annual rainfall for San Luis Obispo Reservoir over the past 18 years. There were some wet years but this winter is the wettest since 2005-06. Rainy, wet conditions present different types of problems for strawberry production. Various molds and soilborne pathogens thrive in these constantly damp conditions. In particular, watch for Phytophthora root rot and angular leaf spot.

Data source:


Latest Blog Post! FW1-resistant varieties with Fusarium wilt in Oxnard, CA

Latest Blog Post! USDA Research Plant Pathologist Peter Henry discusses FW1-resistant varieties with Fusarium wilt in Oxnard, CA.

Jan 18, 2023

Some strawberry varieties are genetically resistant to the Fusarium wilt disease. For example, Fronteras, Portola, and San Andreas are Fusarium wilt-resistant varieties from the University of California. A description of disease resistance for currently available varieties is on the California Strawberry Commission web site. All Fusarium wilt-resistant… [Read more]

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Cal Poly Float Wins Extraordinaire Award at 2023 Rose Parade

Jan 6, 2023

Since 1949, students from San Luis Obispo and Pomona have worked together to create the joint Cal Poly Universities float for the annual Rose Parade held in Pasadena, CA. The Cal Poly Universities float is the only one fully designed and built by students.

First blog post of 2023 highlights report about UV-C's impact on strawberry powdery mildew (SPM)

Jan 3, 2023

Our Center's first blog post of 2023 highlights a recent publication by Mello et al. reporting that strawberry powdery mildew (SPM) was notably reduced by nighttime application of UV-C to field plots. Disease reduction was equivalent to that provided by weekly fungicide applications in CA and superior to that provided by twice weekly fungicide applications in FL. It’s nice to see this work carried out in both CA and FL and telling the same story with a few caveats....

Read full blog post @

SPM and UV-C treatment

How are our plants coping with these low overnight temps?

How are our plants coping with these low overnight temps?

Dec 21, 2022

Like much of California and the country, our area has been experiencing below normal overnight temperatures. The temperature in our strawberry fields yesterday morning at about 7 AM was 34F/1C, certainly quite chilly for the central coast! Strawberry flowers can be damaged or killed at temperatures lower than 30F/-1.1C. Young green fruit will withstand 30F but be damaged at temperatures near 28F/-2.2C. Strawberry plants in general are able to withstand freezes and even benefit from the increased plant vigor that follows low temps. A freeze would be much more troubling during early fruit production.
Photos by our farm manager Drew Summerfield.

Cal Poly Strawberry Center


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