As interest in strawberries continues to increase, Anciso said important data will continue to be compiled, including yield, quality and shelf life.
Dr. Juan Anciso, an AgriLife Extension fruit and vegetable specialist, examines one of eight varieties of strawberries growing in a demonstration plot in Weslaco.
A one-year grant from the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by the University of Arkansas Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, is providing a Texas AgriLife Extension fruit and vegetable specialist an opportunity to see how strawberries will work in south Texas.
Strawberry production is not common in the lush, subtropical landscape of South Texas citrus, sugarcane and palm trees. But if Juan Anciso’s study pans out that could change.
For several months, Dr. Juan Anciso has been on a sharp learning curve as he tries his hand at growing strawberries a few hundred yards from his office at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.
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“Texas produces very few strawberries compared to the state’s tremendous market demands,” Anciso said. “The idea is to produce more strawberries here, rather than importing from California or Mexico. The result could be an alternative profitable crop for Texas growers, while consumers enjoy a fresher, tastier product.”
Anciso is part of the Texas Strawberry Project Team whose goal is to make strawberries a mainstream Texas-produced delicacy.