Florida Ag Research is located in Thonotosassa, FL, near beautiful Tampa Bay. This research facility is in the midst of America’s valuable Southeast growing region (EPA Zone 4), producing almost half of the US tomato and snap bean crops and more than a quarter of US cucumbers and bell peppers. It is home to winter strawberry and tomato growing, and is subject to severe disease and nematode infestations due to the tropical weather paterns and characteristic sandy soil types of the region. All of this contributes to an excellent environment to study of pests of tropical and sub-tropical growing areas.
Agriculture Research in the Southeast
Soil product strawberry test plots at the Dover station
Foliar spray application on peppers at the Thonotosassa Florida center
The facilities at Florida Ag include 70 acres of intensively managed farms, complete nematology and plant pathology laboratories, and over two 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 insure dependable insect populations from season to season. More recently, the importance of the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the widespread impact of the bacterium causing Citrus Greening Disease required us to establish a Citrus Working Group within Florida Ag. This includes a plant pathology expert in Citrus Greening Disease, an entomologist familiar with the control and management of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, and a citrus agronomist with comprehensive knowledge of Floridia citrus growing and the industry overall. This team of experts is available for consultation in the design of r&d programs focused on this serious challenge to global citrus production.