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Education | Extension | Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Citrus Hall | Horticulture and Harvesting | Plant Pathology |
Entomology and Nematology | Postharvest Handling | Processing | Plant Biotechnology


Welcome to the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida.   CREC is the world's largest Research, Teaching and Extension center devoted to citrus.   CREC scientists and engineers interact closely with the citrus industry to address pertinent issues in horticulture, pests and diseases, and postharvest and processing technology. 

Over 250 people are employed at CREC.  Facilities include over 200 acres of groves, greenhouses, a citrus packinghouse, a citrus processing pilot plant and over 40 laboratories.   Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Citrus Hall includes conference facilities, meeting rooms, a teaching laboratory, an electron microscopy facility and the largest citrus library in the world.  CREC is also home to the scientific research staff of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC).   

Learn more about CREC's Research, Teaching and Extension programs through this online tour.  Thanks for visiting!

University of Florida students at CREC can pursue M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Horticultural SciencesEntomology & NematologyPlant PathologySoil & Water ScienceAgricultural & Biological EngineeringFood Science & Human Nutrition, and Food and Resource Economics. (Click Images to enlarge)

Electron Microscope Training

Grosser Lab

Grosser Greenhouse Trials

Hands on Testing

Limited Onsite Dorms

Students Setting Up Spray Appl Test

UF courses and selected degree programs in Soil and Water Science (Environmental Science track), EntomologyPest Management and Agricultural Education are available through UF's College of Life and Agricultural Science distance educationCitrus-related courses are offered at CREC, and other courses are available through a videoconferencing network.  An on-campus student dormitory is available.

Education Outreach


Robotics Camp Visit Copter On Ground

Robotics Camp Visit

CREC personnel devote time to students from area schools and organizations such as Future Farmers of America (FFA), 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. They also participate in activities such as science fairs, field trips, research projects and school visits.


Extension serves the public by providing information and conducting educational programs for citrus growers, processors, packers, related industry groups and homeowners. Short courses, workshops, meetings and other events are held yearly.

Dr. Arnold Schumann Nurserymen Tour

Dr. Arnold Schumann Nurserymen Tour 2

Dr. Arnold Schumann Nurserymen Tour 3

Nurserymen Tour Group 2014

Meeting Room

Jamie Burrow  Intl Nurserymen Tour 2014

Tour Guests

Tour Guests.Intl. Nurserymen 2014 3

m dewdney tour

Ben Hill Griffin

The Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Citrus Hall at CREC, dedicated in 1982, includes meeting and conference rooms, a teaching laboratory, an electron microscopy facility and the largest citrus library in the world. The construction of this facility was made possible by financial contributions from the citrus industry. (Click Images to enlarge)


BHG Lobby

EM-Lab Equipment

Library BHG

BHG Library Entrance

Teaching Lab

Seminars and events for the citrus industry and allied groups are held in the Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Citrus Hall. View upcoming events and activities on the Latest News section.

Meeting Room

Meeting Room2

Meeting Room3

Horticulture and Harvesting

Thirteen faculty scientists lead programs that focus on citrus production, horticulture, harvesting and related topics.  Some of the research areas include:

  • New scion and rootstock development
  • Soil, water and nutrition issues
  • Weed and pest management
  • Mechanical harvesting
  • Grove design and planting
  • Regulation of flowering and fruit development
  • Fruit quality and production
  • Economics
  • Freeze protection technology
  • Environmental stress physiology
  • Production management and precision agriculture
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Spray application technology

Canopy Shaker Harvesting

Flourscope Image

Freeze Protection

GPS Mapping

Grove care

Growth Chamber


Mechanical harvesting

Microsprinkler Tests

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Plant Pathology

At CREC, seven plant pathology faculty lead programs on diseases such as tristeza, citrus canker, postbloom fruit drop, greasy spot, citrus blight, citrus brown rot, foliar fungal diseases, citrus psorosis and many others, including exotic diseases. There is ongoing research on the biology and molecular genetics of disease-causing organisms, detection methods and management strategies. CREC plant pathologists are also working with plant breeders to develop disease-resistant varieties for Florida. (Click Images to enlarge)

Transformation Lab 2


Yellow Vein Chlorosis

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Entomology and Nematology

Six faculty programs are involved in integrated pest management programs for citrus insect, mite and nematode pests. Some current projects: (Click Images to enlarge)

  • Integrated pest management of mites, root weevils, leafminer, aphids, psyllids, nematodes and other pests
  • Monitoring of pests and plant damage
  • Biological control and safe, effective pest management programs
  • Alternatives to methyl bromide for nematode pest management
  • Pest-pathogen interactions and effects on plants







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Post Harvest Handling

The programs of four faculty focus on the preservation of fruit quality during harvest, packing, storage and transport. Some areas of study include:

  • Peel disorders, postharvest diseases and maintenance of fruit quality
  • Development of new citrus products
  • Automated handling and sorting of fruit
  • Sugar and acid metabolism in citrus fruit
  • Food safety
  • Abscission and mechanical harvesting

Tour Packinghouse


Oranges on Converbelt


Extracted juice


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Ten scientists are involved in research on processed citrus juices and citrus products. Current projects include:

  • Processing technology for citrus juices and by-products
  • Juice flavor, color and nutrition
  • Pasteurization and evaporation technology
  • Development of new citrus products
  • Food safety and biosecurity

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The Plant Biotechnology working group enhances interaction between scientists in different disciplines who are working on long-term improvements for citrus production and processing using state of the art recombinant DNA and cell culture methods. CREC also has a Core Citrus Transformation Laboratory for citrus genetic research.

Biotechnology lab