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The future of strawberry breeding at the University of California has been secured. Perhaps.“As we reported last summer, more than half of the strawberries that you pick up in supermarkets got their start in greenhouses and test plots at the University of California, Davis. It’s one of the biggest breeding programs in academia, and possibly the most lucrative, generating millions of dollars each year in royalties for the university.”For the past year, though, a feud worthy of a soap opera has been stewing there. The scientist who ran the breeding program jumped ship, accusing the university of not valuing his work or paying him enough.He’s now starting a private company that will compete with the university. The university allegedly considered shutting down its strawberry breeding, which in turn convinced an industry group, the California Strawberry Commission, to sue the university and accuse it of betraying a public trust. The university responded by suing the commission.A flat of Albion strawberries at the Bob Jones Ranch fruit stand near Oxnard, Calif.
Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries
Trays of albion strawberries are on display at the Bob Jones Ranch fruit stand on Aug. 25, 2012 in Oxnard, Calif.
Big Bucks From Strawberry Genes Lead To Conflict At UC Davis
This week, it appears, all is forgiven. Both sides announced that the lawsuits are history. As part of this reconciliation, the university has hired a scientist who will “design a new strawberry breeding program for the 21st century,” according to the university’s statement.The new boss is Steven Knapp, who spent 19 years teaching at Oregon State University, but most recently held the imposing title of global director for vegetable breeding technology at Monsanto, the giant biotech and seed company. In that position, Knapp managed more than 200 scientists in far corners of the world.“I missed academia,” Knapp tells The Salt. He’d just walked into his university office and had to do some investigating to find his new phone number. This particular academic job, he says, is “a dream come true.”But Knapp has not previously worked with strawberries. For a few years, at least, he’ll have to rely on others as he learns this new crop. What he brings, instead, is management experience. Evidently, university administrators wanted someone with the political skills to smooth the conflicts that erupted last year.Those conflicts involve the program’s essential purpose. In recent decades, the UC Davis strawberry program has acted much like a private company. Its leaders focused on creating new varieties and guarding their intellectual property. The strawberry farmers who grow those varieties, in fact, want the university to continue doing exactly that.Some university administrators, though, want it to behave more like an academic program, devoted to research that isn’t guaranteed to pay off commercially. And paradoxically, the new hire from Monsanto is singing exactly the same tune. Knapp tells us he’s “creating a true academic program” that will have more “transparency.” The previous breeder, Douglas Shaw, was noted for his secrecy.Knapp admits that this new strategy may eventually hurt the program’s financial bottom line, which currently benefits from royalties that farmers pay for the right to grow the university’s commercial varieties. But he says this may be an inevitable outcome. “The reality is, there’s more competition,” he says. “Will [the UC Davis program] remain the Juggernaut that it’s been? The trends suggest probably not.”In fact, Shaw, Knapp’s predecessor at UC Davis, is among the private competitors that are hoping to eat the university’s royalty lunch. Shaw has not announced details of his new venture, but other strawberry breeders have been trading rumors about it.According to those rumors, Shaw already has begun raising a new crop of strawberry seedlings — which perhaps will be the ancestors of strawberries that you will eat one day in the future.

Albion Strawberry Taste

albion strawberry taste
How does the albion strawberry taste? It’s a common question when deciding on what strawberry you should grow in your garden. In short, the albion strawberry is the perfect dessert strawberry because it’s sugar content is through the roof! It’s our favorite variety because it’s versatile enough to be delicious in almost any use, including jams, baking, garnishes, or just plain eating right of the plant. There’s nothing quite like the taste of an albion freshly picked from your garden. Don’t believe us? Try one yourself!

Albion Strawberry Patent

albion strawberry patent
The albion strawberry plant was invented by Douglas Shaw and Kirk Larson

The albion strawberry patent was filed on January 29, 2004 and then later published on August 4, 2005. Here’s the publication number: US20050172374 P1. Here’s the application number: US 10/769,471.

The strawberry plant variety was invented at the University of California, Davis by Douglas Shaw and Kirk Larson. UC Davis is renown for strawberry research and is reported to have made $50 million in royalties from 2004 to 2013. Most of the strawberries we eat everyday have some kind of connection or tie with UC Davis. Continue reading Albion Strawberry Patent

Albion Strawberry Scientific Name

The albion strawberry’s scientific name is Fragaria x ananassa. This scientific name isn’t necessarily specific to the albion variety; in fact, most day-neutral or ever-bearing strawberries have the exact same scientific name. They are all simply hybrids of the Fragaria x ananassa.

albion strawberry scientific name
Albion strawberry scientific name: Fragaria x ananassa

Albion Strawberry Yield Per Plant

albion strawberry yield per plant
An albion strawberry plant can yield about 1 lb. of high quality strawberries (see above).


A few things to consider in regards to Albion yields:

1. Produce fruit in spring, summer, and fall
2. Fruit is high-quality: firm, juicy, beautiful red (very marketable!)
3. Yields are slightly lower than other strawberry varieties
4. Plan on about 1 pound of strawberries per plant (depends on zone, soil, planting, sun, etc…)

Perhaps you’ve seen a carton of strawberries at the grocery store like the one pictured above. That image should provide some perspective, as the albion strawberry yield per plant is roughly what is pictured, 1 lb. of strawberries under ideal conditions. But this is going to get produced over the entire growing season (spring, summer, and fall). Continue reading Albion Strawberry Yield Per Plant