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Picking a crop to match the climate (and the market)–two stories

Two stories in the news this week highlight potential advantages growers have in choosing a crop that not only matches the local climate but also takes advantage of market potential.

The Modern Farmer released a story this week which described the growing peony crop in Alaska.  This hardy plant can survive temperatures up to 60 below zero with deep insulating snow cover.   Alaska is one of the few places in the world where peonies bloom in July.  Growers there realized that they had a perfect niche for providing the popular wedding flowers and have been expanding their production to take advantage of this market.  You can read the story by clicking here.

Another story from Growing Georgia highlights the development of a new variety of wine grape which is suitable for growing in the South and takes advantage of local climate conditions.  This is the variety of grape that is used in Chardonnay and Sauvignon wines.  Researchers from Auburn University working with private industry have been testing a new disease-resistant variety for the last four years and show that it has excellent potential for growing commercially in the future.  Plants are expected to be released this winter and grapes should be available in about three years.  You can read the story by clicking here.