My research program is a multi-faceted approach to addressing many issues related to agricultural crop production and wetlands in south Florida. This program was focused on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) and Everglades wetlands until 2015, then my research program shifted to focus more on agricultural and citrus production issues for the Indian River region. My program encompasses basic and applied research activities affecting crop production and soil and water quality in south Florida. The overall objective is to better understand soil biogeochemical cycles and to use the knowledge to optimize land and crop management practices while minimizing adverse effects on natural resources and sensitive aquatic ecosystems.
The goal of my extension program is to work with clientele groups (growers, water managers, private industry, students, teachers and the public) to disseminate information they need to ultimately improve their quality of life. Being a faculty member of the Everglades REC until Spring 2015, and of the Indian River REC since Spring 2015, my job responsibilities primarily involve working closely with agricultural producers and water managers in the EAA and citrus growers in the Indian River region. Other clientele groups served include schools and teachers within these two regions. I partner with county extension agents on grant funding opportunities and demonstration projects to facilitate communication with clientele and conduct surveys to gauge changes in grower behavior and adoption of new management practices.
My extension program focuses on 1) improving grower understanding and adoption of nutrient and fertilizer management strategies for crops grown on organic soils in the EAA and 2) improving Florida’s citrus production and management. I educate growers, water managers, extension agents, and the public about land and water management strategies to improve crop production, reduce input costs, and reduce nutrient export from the EAA to improve water quality. Citrus production is being severely hampered by citrus greening disease, and my extension focus in this area is to educate growers about new and emerging treatment methods that can be considered for adoption to aid growers in combating HLB. The nature of this extension program necessitates the use of field demonstration projects to identify suitable treatments that can be used for wide-scale adoption by growers. Likewise, I utilize the citrus undercover production systems (CUPS) to educate growers about a new way to produce citrus in the age of citrus greening disease, and provide information learned from our trials so that growers may take advantage of this unique production system.
Extension and Popular Press Publications