Florida127, a strawberry variety released by the University of Florida in 2013, has been branded as Sensation for marketing purposes.

The variety was trialed as FL 09-127 and is a cross between WinterStar FL 05-107 and an unreleased breeding selection, FL 02-58, according to a University of Florida Extension newsletter.

During several years of testing at the Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center and the Florida Strawberry Growers Association's headquarters in Dover, it produced larger fruit and firmer fruit than Florida Radiance.

Although the newcomer has excellent shelf life, it is slightly more susceptible to water damage than Florida Radiance.

Fruit culled because of water damage has been greater for Florida127 than for Florida Radiance.

But fruit culled because of small size has been less than Radiance, resulting in overall lower cull rates for Florida127.

External fruit color is bright red that appears lighter than Radiance. It does not darken overly late in the season.

Since the fruit is firm and develops external color gradually, growers should adjust their picking schedules accordingly.

University of Florida Extension specialists who have trialed the variety recommend a picking interval one day longer for Florida127 than for Radiance during much of the season.

When ripe, Florida127 fruit have excellent flavor and aroma. Soluble solids exceeds those of Radiance on six out of seen harvest dates tested.

Early and total season yields of Florida127 have been comparable to those of Radiance in multiple years of testing both in experimental and on-farm trials.

When planted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 at the GCREC, the new variety has performed very well.

Extension specialists encourage growers to experiment with planting dates on their own operations.

Florida127 produce vigorous plants, so row spacing of 15-16 inches is recommended, especially when planting early.

The new variety has higher resistance to anthracnose than Florida Radiance but appears more susceptible to powdery mildew.

Based on observations in grower trials, Florida127 may be more susceptible to Botrytus fruit rot than Radiance. But the disease incidence was not significantly different in GCREC trials.

A Web-based disease forecasting system, http://agroclimate.org, can help time treatments for anthracnose and Botrytis fruit rot.