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Carol A. Miles and D. Gayle Alleman

Asian crops can provide growers with a means to diversify crop production and marketing options. However, before expanding into Asian crops, growers should determine consumer expectations regarding a new crop. Existing market criteria for each crop (i.e., maturity, color, size, shape) must be considered for all markets including traditional Asian use as well as for the general North American market. If growers decide to target general consumers in North America, then consumer awareness and acceptance must be addressed in a marketing and promotion program. Extension publications, popular magazines, and newspapers are useful tools in a marketing and promotion program. Crop production information must be available to enable growers to successfully produce Asian crops. Yet, most growers are unlikely to invest heavily in new production equipment and systems until a market has been established for the crop. It is a challenge for university scientists and extension agents to concurrently create supply and demand for new Asian crops. To accomplish this, multidisciplinary teams that include university and community experts should initiate a diversified program of Asian crop production, promotion, and marketing.