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11/1/2022

Bowery Collaborates With University of Arkansas

Jennifer Polanz

In our May Inside Grower cover story, I featured Bowery Farming, a vertical farm that started in the Northeast and is expanding to Pennsylvania, Texas and Georgia. Now, the company has announced it entered into a new agreement with researchers at the University of Arkansas’s Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture, to further research indoor growing. One topic it will look to conduct further research on is spinach, more specifically to identify genetic markers for resistance to water-borne pathogens like Pythium, which is a barrier to growing spinach hydroponically.

“The agreement between Bowery Farming and the Division of Agriculture highlights our dedication to improving modern agriculture using advanced breeding technologies,” says Jean-Francois Meullenet, senior associate vice president for agriculture research and director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. “Collaborations like this exemplify the kind of public-private research partnerships the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station has conducted for decades as part of our land-grant mission.”

Arkansas has a strong spinach program, the announcement says, quoting associate professor and vegetable breeder Ainong Shi, who says the program has been going strong for more than 50 years. It was that history and expertise that prompted the initial contact from Bowery Farming.

Ainong will work with Jim Correll, distinguished professor of entomology and plant pathology on the Pythium resistance project. Ryan Dickson, assistant professor of greenhouse and controlled environment horticulture, will help carry out the testing, as well. The research isn’t just Pythium-focused, though. They’ll also be looking for other positive genetic traits that will help grow spinach hydroponically.

Read the full story at aaes.uada.edu/news/bowery-uada to find out more about the collaboration. IG

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