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   University Of FL/IFAS Team Awarded Strawberry Sustainability Grant
by Andrew P. Kays, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 9:04AM EST

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly all of the strawberries in the United States are grown in Florida or California, but faced with growing competition in the industry from Mexico, a team of UF researchers is looking for ways to diversify the industry.

Led by horticultural sciences professor Carlene Chase, the team hopes to develop new organic and sustainable methods of growing strawberries in the southeastern United States. Hers is one of two UF teams awarded grants by the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, a program funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability.

Through consumer surveys, as well as collaboration with industry leaders and sustainable growers, Chase’s team wants to make organic strawberries a viable crop for farms of all sizes. Of more than 7,000 acres producing strawberries in Florida, Chase said about 1.5 percent are organic.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida

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