DAVIS — Things are souring between California’s strawberry growers and the University of California, Davis.
The Sacramento Bee reports that growers worry a university breeding program they have long relied on for new varieties will shut down.
Not so, say university officials. That assurance that hasn’t stopped an association representing growers from filing a lawsuit.
Strawberry varieties developed by UC Davis represent just over half of California’s crop, which is valued at about $2 billion annually.
Now, the school’s two strawberry breeders plan to leave and form their own company.
The private California Strawberry Commission, which for decades has funded research at Davis, filed a lawsuit that alleged the university plans to abandon its plant-breeding program.
UC officials want the complaint dismissed, saying the breeding program will continue.