In Texas, fresh market and processed vegetables were grown on more than 73,700 acres in 2,276 farms with a sales value of $474 million (USDA 2012). Crops included cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, chili peppers, cucumbers, honeydew melons, spring and summer onions, spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon and snap beans. In addition there are about 5,800 acres of leafy greens; 39,000 acres of dry beans, southern peas, and pumpkin combined, and 14,040 acres of fresh market and processing potatoes. World, national, and statewide trends indicate an increased interest in the production of vegetable crops in response to environmental and health concerns, population growth, as well as the potential for higher economic returns. Thus, the future economic growth and increased health awareness are likely to cause an upsurge in global demand for vegetables. This will cause major changes in the use of water, land, and environmental resources.
Our goal is to maximize water productivity, increase the adaptation to drought and heat stress (tolerance or resistance), maintain or improve the quality and nutrition for consumers, and ultimately enhance the economic returns for farmers and industry in the ‘farm to the table’ chain.
Current Projects -2015
- Vegetable cropping system management in relation to environmental stresses. HATCH 8098.
- Environmental and genetic determinants of seed quality and performance. W-3168.
- Water conservation strategies and water use efficiency for high-value crops in Texas. TDA-SCBG-USDA.
- Production and marketing strategies for specialty melons and artichokes. TDA-SCBG-USDA.
- 1-MCP to modulate transplant growth in tomato. AgroFresh.
- GEM: Linking traits for water use efficiency and drought tolerance. TAMU AgriLife State Initiative.
- Enhancing horticultural crop production and commercialization of small-scale South African farmers. Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), South Africa.
- Detección de QTLs ligados a la producción de biomasa y aceite en Cynara cardunculus L. Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina.