Agriculture Research in the Southeast
Florida Ag Research is located in Thonotosassa, FL, near beautiful Tampa Bay. This facility is in the midst of America’s valuable Southeast growing region (EPA Zone 4), producing almost half of the U.S. tomato and legume crops and more than a quarter of several other vegetable, cucurbit and citrus crops. It is home to American winter strawberry and tomato growing. The region is subject to severe disease and nematode infestations due to the tropical weather patterns and characteristic sandy soil. These conditions contribute to an excellent environment to study pests of tropical and sub-tropical crops.
Florida Ag facilities include 70 acres of intensively managed plantings, nematology, plant pathology, and entomology laboratories, and several acres of experimental greenhouses and shade-houses. The frequent, heavy Florida precipitation creates an ideal environment for establishment and growth of foliar plant pathogens, which allows for reliable efficacy testing of new plant protection products. In addition, the warm annual temperatures without significant frost events, also ensures dependable insect and nematode populations from season to season.
With a continued need for an answer to the devastating Citrus Greening Disease, Florida Ag's Citrus Working Group tests potential solutions in the lab, greenhouse, and field plantings, focusing on vector control, bacterium suppression, symptom remediation, and genetic resistance.