NMSU studying 30 Chinese varieties of jujube fruit new to U.S.
Fruit farmers face many financial issues from late frosts in Northern New Mexico with not only apple trees, but other fruits such as apricots or peaches. With these fruits being early bloomers, late frosts will stop them from producing fruit. But fruit specialists at New Mexico State University’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde have discovered a fruit that has shorter growing seasons. The jujube, also known as the Chinese date, blooms later in the spring, causing it to be a better choice for farmers. Fruit specialist Shengrui Yoa has surveyed many jujube trees in New Mexico, trees of which the owners were unaware that the jujube was edible and high in vitamin C. She believes that these fruits could prosper in New Mexico. “This climate is really good for jujube fruit to grow, and it is a nice alternative crop for the growers,” Yao said. “We just need to find a wider selection of cultivars that ripen at different times and can be used for different purposes, such as fresh eating, drying or both.”