Seasonal climate variability impacts strawberry production mainly through changes in the amount of chilling after the crowns have been set out, the accumulation of heat units during fruit development, threat from freeze damage during flower and fruit development, and through impacts from diseases and pests also impacted by seasonal conditions.
In the Southeast, El Niño years tend to have more chilling and more rain during the dormant season than normal, while La Niña years have less chilling and may require additional irrigation during berry maturation. Additionally, because of the clear skies that are common during La Niña years, climatic conditions can influence variety selection when varieties differ in their response to higher light levels. Damaging freezes are more common during Neutral years.
Check the following topics for more information:
- Strawberry Diseases
- Recommendations for timing fungicide applications for Anthracnose and Botrytis fruit rot
- Extension Resources:
- Links to online extension publications with information for strawberry growers.