Most everybody loves strawberries, but with less than 150 acres of commercial production recorded in Texas, few have ever enjoyed a Texas-grown variety.
Now, thanks to a $158,391grant awarded last May, from the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, which was funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by the University of Arkansas Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, Texas A&M AgriLife personnel are on the fast-track to change that.
Dr. Russ Wallace, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service vegetable specialist at Lubbock, heads the Texas Strawberry Project Team, whose goal is to make strawberries a mainstream Texas produced delicacy.
He said horticulturists with AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research are using the grant for their statewide strawberry collaborative effort to address grower, retailer and consumer concerns through five regional teams who are currently investigating and addressing strawberry production issues.
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“Our project emphasis includes expanding sustainable strawberry production throughout the state by introducing high tunnel and plasticulture technology to growers in under-served regions, and increasing the knowledge of strawberry production and consumption to consumers across Texas,” Wallace said.