'REDSTART' Day-Neutral Strawberry - 'MSU 67'


Description of Technology


‘Redstart’ is a new strawberry cultivar intended for the Midwestern and Northeastern USA, Ontario and Quebec, and the Pacific Northwest.  The name ‘Redstart’ was selected to represent its early onset of fruiting.  ‘Redstart‘ appears to be a weak day-­‐neutral, fruiting much longer in Mt. Vernon, WA (11-­‐13 weeks) than Benton Harbor,  MI (5-­‐6 weeks). ‘Redstart’ compares favorably to the most widely planted day-­‐neutrals ‘Seascape’ and ‘Albion’.  ‘Redstart’ has higher vigor and yield than ‘Seascape’; its fruit are generally larger and better flavored, paler in color and comparable in firmness. ‘Redstart’ is not quite as firm as ‘Albion’ and has smaller fruit, but it has much higher yields, more attractive and better colored fruit and comparable flavor.  ‘Redstart’, and its co-­‐release ‘Wasatch’, will be the first day-­‐neutrals released outside of California in over 30 years.


History of Technology


The cross producing ‘Redstart’,  ‘Honeoye’ x ‘Chandler’, was made in a greenhouse at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI in March 2006. The original cross designation was 07-­‐13-­‐1.


‘Redstart’ was first selected in the summer of 2007 from a family of 76 planted in an open field at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC), Benton Harbor, MI. It was revaluated in the same field the following spring and was then designated as MSU 67.




Runners from the original mother plant were dug in the fall of 2008 and transferred to a greenhouse at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. The potted plants were allowed to runner in the summer of 2011 and 2013, and the resulting daughter plants were rooted in sterilized soil. These plants were encouraged to go dormant each winter by leaving the greenhouse unheated.


Ten plants of MSU 67 were planted in 2012 and 2014 with other MSU selections in an open field at SWMREC and at Sakuma Brothers Farms, Burlington, WA under high tunnels. Plants were maintained on a black plastic mulch in raised beds at Sakuma’s, while at SWMREC they were grown on flat beds without mulch. All flowers were removed from the first flush of blooms in the planting year. Adjacent to these trials were other plantings of the day-­‐neutral cultivars ‘Albion’ and ‘Seascape’. The plants set in 2012 were evaluated in years one and two for weeks of fruiting, vigor, fruit size, productivity and fruit quality. The plants set in 2014 were evaluated for the same parameters in just that year.




Michigan Field Trials (2012-­‐2013)


In the open fields in Michigan in 2012 and 2013, ‘Redstart’ was acceptable to superior for all the rated characteristics (Table 1). It fruited for 6 weeks in 2012 and 5 weeks in 2013.


In the first fruiting season (Table 1), ‘Redstart’ was more vigorous than ‘Albion’ and had better fruit color. It had similar yields, fruit appearance and flavor, but its fruit were smaller and softer.  ‘Redstart’ out-­‐yielded ‘Seascape’ and was better flavored, had comparable fruit size and appearance, but had a little less internal fruit color and was slightly softer.


In the second fruiting season, ‘Redstart’ had much higher vigor and yields than ‘Albion’, and had comparable fruit appearance, color and flavor. Its fruit were not as firm and were smaller. ‘Redstart’ was more vigorous than ‘Seascape’ and had larger, more attractive fruit with better flavor.  It had lower yields than ‘Seascape’ and was less colored.


The vigor and yield of ‘Albion’ and the fruit size of ‘Seascape’ dropped dramatically in 2013 compared to ‘Redstart’. The year 2013 was unusually hot in Michigan, suggesting that ‘Redstart’ may be more resistant to high temperatures than ‘Albion’ and ‘Seascape’, but more data is needed to confirm this.


Washington Tunnel Trials (2012-­‐2013)


In the tunnel trials in Washington in 2012 and 2013 (Table 2), ‘Redstart’ was acceptable to superior for all the rated characteristics, except fruit size in 2013. It fruited for 11 weeks in 2012 and 13 weeks in 2013.


In the first fruiting season under the hoops in Mt. Vernon, ‘Redstart’ had higher vigor and yields than ‘Albion’, but was less firm and not quite as flavorful. They had comparable color and appearance. ‘Redstart’ was more vigorous than ‘Seascape’, had larger fruit and was more flavorful. The fruit of ‘Seascape’ had less color than ‘Redstart’ and was slightly less firm.


In the second harvest season, ‘Redstart’ was much more vigorous than ‘Albion’ and had better color. ‘Albion’ was larger fruited and more firm, and they were comparable in yield. ‘Redstart’ had more vigor than ‘Seascape’ and had slightly lower yields and fruit weight. They were comparable in fruit color, firmness and flavor.


Michigan Field Trials and Washington Tunnel Trials in 2014


In both Michigan and Washington in 2014, all characteristics of ‘Redstart’ were rated acceptable to superior. In Michigan, ‘Redstart’ fruit were smaller than ‘Albion’ and less firm, but they had better color and their plants had higher vigor and yields; ‘Redstart’ and ‘Albion’ were comparable in flavor and fruit appearance. In Washington, ‘Redstart’ fruit were less firm and smaller than ‘Albion’, but they had better appearance and internal color, and the plants had higher yields.




Except for a few instances, the horticultural characteristics of ‘Wasatch’ proved acceptable to superior across years and sites. ‘Redstart’ proved to be more vigorous, had higher yields and better fruit color than ‘Albion’, although it was smaller fruited and less firm. Their fruit flavor was comparable. ‘Redstart’ had higher vigor and yields than ‘Seascape’, better tasting fruit and comparable firmness. Its fruit were paler than ‘Seascape’.


Patent Status:

Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available:

Non-exclusive licensing rights available


Inventors:  James Hancock


Tech ID: 2015-0057


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University
James Hancock