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CSANR, BSE researchers seek sites to grow tomorrow’s produce

Chad Kruger, director of CSANR; Claudio Stöckle, Biological Systems Engineering professor; and Kirti Rajagopalan, assistant research professor with CSANR,Thanks to a changing climate, production of fruits and vegetables may be more challenging in some regions of the country in the future.

To help ensure tomorrow’s fruits and vegetables, researchers with the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) and Department of Biological Systems Engineering are on a four-year, $3.4 million research project to find more places to grow produce, led by the University of Florida.

At WSU, Chad Kruger, director of CSANR; Claudio Stöckle, Biological Systems Engineering professor; and Kirti Rajagopalan, assistant research professor with CSANR, received more than $490,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“The fruit and vegetable industries make very significant investments in infrastructure and logistics to produce, process, pack and distribute products,” said Kruger. “Having better information to understand future risks to these investments is critical to the sustainability of fruit and vegetable production in the U.S.”

“The Pacific Northwest has growing advantages and opportunities that we want to explore,” added Rajagopalan. “We’re excited to help chart new strategies to sustain the fruit and vegetable value chain, while maintaining our nutritious, reliable and environmentally-sound food supply.”