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Illinois Crop operates a winter farm in Puerto Rico, where the growing conditions are ideal due to the region’s warm climate, rich soil and drip irrigation system.
Illinois Crop has over 30 years of experience on the island. While not without its challenges Puerto Rico offers one of the best options for winter work for plant breeders and seed producers. The farm also supports other seed companies on the island by offering seed certification and phytosanitary inspections.
Further, the Puerto Rican south coast offers several advantages over other common winter-farm locations.
Puerto Rico vs. Florida
No risk of freezing temps in Puerto Rico.
Consistent daytime temps in the high 80s with evening temps never falling below 60.
The tropical speedup phenomenon that results in faster turnaround times.
Puerto Rico vs. Hawaii
The commute to Puerto Rico is shorter and less costly.
Shipping from Puerto Rico to the Midwest is faster and less expensive.
In comparisons of the same seed planted in Puerto Rico and Hawaii on the same date in November, the Puerto Rican plot was almost two weeks ahead of the Hawaiian plot at harvest.