Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have teamed up for a year-long trial to test the feasibility and profitability of growing Asian vegetables in Texas.
Trials will be held at AgriLife facilities in El Paso, Overton, Uvalde and Weslaco.
The scientists will assess the vegetables in unimproved soil, in high tunnels and in greenhouses during the trials, They will include fall and spring plantings to test cool-season varieties such as bok choi, tatsoi and Chinese celery, as well as warm-season varieties to include Asian eggplant, yardlong beans and smooth luffa.
“We’re doing the research because demand for Asian vegetables is increasing due to changing demographics and consumer awareness,” said Dr. Genhua Niu. “Asian vegetables are proven to be profitable crops in other states, but farmers in Texas aren’t familiar with how to grow them and whether they can be profitable. So, we want to look at market demand around the state and field test a range of Asian vegetables in four locations to see if they are a fit for Texas producers.”
Niu said Texas has the third-highest Asian population in the U.S. and Asian vegetables are one of the most profitable crops for producers on the East Coast based on market prices.
Niu said the scientists are looking for external funding to expand the field trials into the future.
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