Source: Cornell University

A Cornell University-led team of industry and academic researchers is launching an effort to develop a $100 million broccoli industry on the East Coast over the next 10 years — a move that could reduce fuel costs, cut carbon dioxide emissions from cross-country trucks and save water in the western United States.

The effort is backed by a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There will be an additional $1.7 million in matching contributions from participating companies that will help develop broccoli varieties to suit conditions in the eastern U.S., recruit farmers and organize networks for growers and distributors.

Growing broccoli in the East is a challenge due to climate and the lack of a coordinated effort between various sectors of the industry. Today, 90 percent of broccoli sold in the east is shipped from California and Mexico. 

Original news release