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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host strawberry field day at Alcalde agricultural science center

ALCALDE, N.M. - Home gardeners and commercial growers interested in raising strawberries are invited to New Mexico State University's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde to view this year's crop and learn about the variety study being conducted.

The Strawberry Day will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 6. Shengrui Yao, NMSU Extension fruit specialist, will discuss research she is doing regarding strawberry cultivar performances and planting systems. Robert Flynn, Extension agronomist, will talk about the management of soil nutrient and fertility to raise the crop in the soil of Northern New Mexico.

"The strawberry plants in our trial did lose their primary berries because of the week-long frost mid-April and late frost in early May, however the plants have come back with a good fruit set of their secondary berries," Yao said. "It appears there will be a reasonable late crop for the strawberries."

Yao is studying 16 June berry cultivars and two planting systems. This year will be the second harvest of berries. The study, which began in 2011, is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant and the Agricultural Development and Promotion Fund from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

"The cultivars responded very differently in their adaption to the high pH soil, winter hardiness and productivity in Northern New Mexico's weather and soil conditions," she said. "Home gardeners, commercial growers and whoever has an interest in raising strawberries are invited to our first Strawberry Day."

After the presentations there will be a field tour and fruit tasting session. Attendees will be able to taste the fruit and pick their favorite cultivars, then observe their performance in the field.

The science center is located at 371 County Road 40 in Alcalde. For more information, contact August or Melissa at 505-852-4241.