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Ag researchers study north NY juneberry prospects

WILLSBORO, N.Y. (AP) -- Researchers in northern New York will study whether a blueberry-like fruit called the juneberry will thrive in the region.

The Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in the Essex County town of Willsboro will be taking part in a multi-state effort to determine if the berry can be successfully cultivated outside its main range in the western U.S. and Canada.

The berry formally known as the amelanchier is a strong source of iron, calcium, manganese, protein and fiber.

The plants flower from March to May and fruit in June and July and generally prefer coastal areas.

Juneberry is an endangered species in New York, where it grows on Long Island and Staten Island.

The New York research farm expects its first commercial-scale harvest in 2015.