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UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences

The Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Department at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) specializes in innovative agricultural research, with a strong focus on site-specific soil management, Citrus Under Protective Screen (CUPS), precision agriculture, and citrus irrigation and nutrition. This department is at the forefront of developing and implementing strategies to optimize citrus (and other emerging horticultural crops) production while ensuring environmental sustainability.

In site-specific soil management, the department conducts extensive research to understand the variability in soil properties across different citrus groves. This knowledge is used to tailor soil management practices to specific areas within a grove, enhancing soil health, nutrient availability, and overall tree vigor.

The CUPS program is a pioneering initiative designed to protect citrus trees from pests and diseases through the use of protective screen houses. This controlled environment allows for more effective management of factors such as irrigation, nutrition, and pest control, leading to healthier trees and improved fruit quality.

Precision agriculture is another key area of focus. By utilizing advanced technologies like GPS, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and data analytics, the department aims to maximize agricultural efficiency and productivity. These technologies enable precise application of water, fertilizers, and pesticides, reducing waste and environmental impact.

Citrus irrigation and nutrition research at CREC involves developing optimized irrigation schedules and nutrient management plans to improve tree health, productivity and fruit yield. This is important for devising the best water and nutrient management programs and optimizing efficiency in commercial citrus production systems. The department's work in this area is crucial for sustaining the Florida's citrus industry, especially in the face of challenges like climate change, water scarcity and biological threats.

Overall, the CREC's Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Department is a hub of innovation, driving advancements in citrus horticulture through research and application of cutting-edge practices.

 Portrait of Dr. Davie Kadyampakeni
Dr. Davie Kadyampakeni
Associate Professor
Area of focus: water management,
conservation, and quality
 Portrait of Dr. Arnold Schumann
Dr. Arnold Schumann
Area of focus: precision agriculture