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Soil health is the key to good spinach plants

in Morning Ag Clips

Soils keep plants healthy by providing plants with water, helpful minerals, and microbes, among other benefits. But what if the soil also contains toxic elements?

In areas like Salinas Valley, California, the soils are naturally rich in the element cadmium. Leafy vegetables grown in these soils can take up the cadmium and become harmful to humans. What to do? The solution goes back to the soil. Adrian Paul, a former researcher now working in the Sustainable Mineral Institute in Brisbane, Australia, is working to find which soil additives work best. Continue reading

International conference highlighted strength of Texas spinach industry

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas’ billion-dollar spinach industry was the focus of the 2016 International Spinach Conference, which brought more than 80 people from various countries to San Antonio.

The two-day conference, coordinated by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, was attended by spinach growers and shippers, as well as others involved in the agricultural and scientific aspects of spinach production. Attendees were from the U.S., Canada, China, Denmark, England, Japan and the Netherlands. Continue reading

AgriLife researcher starting program to produce spinach and tomatoes in Texas

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. Continue reading