US (TX): Tastier, tougher tomatoes and spinach being developed

The revival of the once thriving vegetable production industry in South Texas will begin with the development of new tomato and spinach varieties designed to perform well in the area’s harsh conditions, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

Dr. Carlos Avila, a vegetable breeder at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, said work has already begun to combine favorable traits from various tomato and spinach cultivars and germplasm.

Research began even before the ribbon-cutting ceremony in October to open Texas A&M AgriLife’s new Rio Grande Valley Vegetable and Education Building.

“In the case of tomatoes, production was nearly wiped out in the Rio Grande Valley by insects and diseases that were not around in the 1960s and 70s when production was thriving here,” Avila said.

Read the full article at AgriLife Today

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