Stevia rebaudiana is a natural, low-glycemic, low-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It’s also a promising crop suited to a wide variety of climates and soils.
Growing Stevia for Market is your complete guide to growing, harvesting, and marketing stevia leaves and bedding plants. Valuable information is compiled from growers, research trials, and the author’s own experience. Includes stevia leaf buyers, sellers, and other resources. Illustrated with 40+ grayscale photos.
- How day length affects stevia leaf yields
- Propagating from seeds, cuttings, or divisions
- Field preparation and plant spacing
- Irrigation, pruning, and pests
- Yield, income, and expense estimates
- Harvesting, drying, and marketing stevia
Governments around the world are approving stevia for wider use in food and beverage products. In the United States, sales of stevia leaves, extracts, and powdered leaf have long been allowed under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain stevia extracts for use as food additives. Elsewhere, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have issued positive opinions on the safety of glycosides from stevia for use as food additives. This could lead to widespread approval in the European Union. Clearly, the time for expanded stevia production has arrived.
Stevia rebaudiana thrives in a wide variety of climates and soils. It can be a perennial crop in some climates or an annual crop where winters are cold. However, the cultivation of stevia is fairly new. We’ve only begun to optimize procedures for commercial production. There is great potential for improvement in stevia yield, quality, and profits. This book provides a head start for academic and on-farm experimentation. Best practices for stevia cultivation are suggested based on research studies from around the world as well as the author’s own experience of growing and using stevia for over a decade. Growing Stevia for Market will help farmers, researchers, market gardeners, nurseries, and greenhouse operators succeed with stevia.
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