Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)
Strawberry Breeding Program
Dr. Mark Herrington heads the strawberry breeding program at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Maroochy Research Station. Located near sea level at 27° S. latitude, the station at Nambour typifies the semi-tropical production environment of the Queensland strawberry industry. During the production season, average temperatures range from 24° C during the day to 8° C at night while rainfall varies from 48 – 140 mm/month.
Dr. Herrington selects cultivars grown on non-fumigated soil utilizing bare-root, leaf-on runners. His selection priorities include:
- Enhancement of flavor and aromatics
- Expanding the range of flavor components in strawberry fruit
- Maximizing early yield of marketable fruit
- Improving uniformity, size of fruit throughout the season
- Reducing production costs by improving plant architecture and accessibility of fruit
In 2014, Dr. Jodi Neal (photo) joined Dr. Mark Herrington in the strawberry breeding department.