By switching from soil to a hydroponic system, growers may be able to produce strawberries year-round.
To help farmers wanting to make the switch, the University of Arkansas plans to produce a series of instructional videos, according to a news release.
The project is one of several funded by the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, which the Wal-Mart Foundation is supporting with a $3 million donation.
The videos will demonstrate how growers can build, maintain and use different hydroponic systems to produce strawberries in a more sustainable way, according to the release.
Michael Evans, a horticulturist based in Fayetteville, will lead the project.
In addition to extending the season, using hydroponics in high tunnels or drop-wall greenhouses should help growers reduce chemical inputs for soil sterilization, fertilization, and weed and pest control.
"As we assemble the structures and systems and manage the strawberry crops, we will produce detailed videos that document each phase, from building structures to harvesting fruit,” Evans said in the release.
The group also will monitor the number of viewings and comments as well as the number of strawberry growers who convert over to hydroponics.
Evans says he expects to begin filming in about a month, and expects to post the first video on the Web in two to three months.