Opera

 

Selection: tested as FF-1203
Origin: Fresh Forward, Eck-en-Wiel, The Netherlands

Planttype:

As a plant Opera is vigorous and has an erect growth habit with long petioles and flower trusses. Harvest is therefore less time consuming because fruit is well displayed under the canopy as for Sonata and Elsanta. Opera has comparatively a low chilling requirement which ensures sufficient inflorescence elongation, good fruitset and an easy harvest. Opera is consequently a very suitable variety for spring production, especially in the second cycle after overwintering in a greenhouse. A lack of chill often poses risk to varieties such as Sonata and Elsanta resulting in more misshaped and small fruits.

Productivity and fruit quality:

Opera has almost the same flowering and production period as Elsanta. Fruiting trusses are characteristically less complex in structure. The number of flowers per truss is lower; on average 7 berries per truss further gving rise to berries with superior size. Fruiting trusses are more evenly staged resulting in an extended harvest period and superior average berry size. Production is similar to Elsanta. Sometimes Opera even outperforms Elsanta. Average berry weight of Opera is consistently larger than Elsanta (19-24 grams versus 12-15 grams). Flowers of Opera have abundant viable pollen and are formed on long inflorescences. Fruit set is therefore excellent and deformaties are unusual. In general strawberries of Opera have a regular conical outline. Primary berries are sometimes wedge shaped, especially when plants are grown under high nitrogen during flower differentiation. Fruits of Opera are easy to pick. Itís consistent large size and open plant habit enables efficient harvest ability all season. Opera produces bright orange red glossy fruits with a strong bite. Berries are juicy early in the season and flavour improves during the harvest season. On average Brix is similar as Elsanta. Shelf life is considered excellent.

Disease susceptibility:

Opera has demonstrated a good tolerance to crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) and is less susceptible than Elsanta to red steele (Phytophthora fragariae). Opera appears more tolerant to powdery mildew (Sphaeroteca macularis ) compared to Elsanta. Based on results from artificial inoculation trials Opera is susceptible to angular leaf spot (Xanthomonas fragariae). However, in greenhouse production this bacterial disease is not of great importance.

Experiences:

There is still very limited experience in the cultivation of Opera. Trials in The Netherlands showed that Opera has a lower chill requirement than Sonata and Elsanta and is therefore suited to greenhouse production. Fruitset, fruitsize and firmness were superior compared to Elsanta. Opera is characterised by light green leaves and has a higher requirement for micro-elements such as zinc, manganese and iron compared to Elsanta. Due to its sensitivity to tip-burn it is recommended, especially prior to fruiting, to grow Opera initially with a lower EC and higher calcium rate. Towards the last part of the harvest Opera can sometimes have some issues with small skin cracks around the achenes. This happens especially under conditions of lower light and temperatures.

Characteristics:

Characteristics of Opera in greenhouse production (Average of 3 trial years - source Fresh Forward)

Characteristic

Opera

Elsanta

Firmness*

4,6

3,5

Bruising*

3,9

3,2

Yield

100%

89%

Class 1

90%

88%

Class 2

7%

9%

Fruit Rot

3%

3%

Brix

7,4

7,7

Fruit weight

21g

14g

Total score*

3,8

2,8

*Score from 1 (low or unsufficient) to 5 (high or excellent))


 

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