The Florida Research Center's citrus groves are located in the heart of the world renowned Indian River citrus district on the east coast of Florida. The subtropical climate and abundant rainfall, combined with our rich hammock soils produce the world's best citrus fruit noted for its characteristic flat shape, smooth thin skin, and especially, its sweet, juicy flavor. Our citrus groves are located close to the Indian River and twelve miles from the Atlantic Ocean, which provides us with prevailing tropical breezes, warm temperatures, and high humidity. This unique combination is conducive to producing lush and vigorous tree growth and world renown for citrus 365 days a year.
Our citrus program is built on sustainable agriculture practices that are in turn based on the wisdom of the old Florida 'Cracker' growers as well as incorporating the newest bio-rational pesticides. These early growers used natural, organic fertilizers to provide natural and balanced nutrients that build good, healthy soil. Stories of the "Old Orchid Island Fertilizer Mix" and the superb fruit that it nurtured, led us to use the same balance of nutrients for our fertility program. Our groves are fertilized with some of the same organic fertilizers used in the past. Now, biologically renewable fertilizers consisting of composted urban plant debris are applied to the ground and foliar sprays containing seaweed and fish oil are applied to the canopy. These sprays contain refined petroleum crop oil similar to the oils used in the past to safely control pests not controlled biologically. Toxic pesticides are avoided. These practices are the basis for our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach that protects our fruit crop and trees while providing a sustainable citrus program that is environmentally friendly and safe for all.
Our center provides you with the opportunity to both see and taste the 'fruits' of our exclusive sustainable citrus program used in our citrus groves located in Vero Beach, Florida.
The Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability (FlaRes) researches and showcases sustainable agricultural practices. These economically and environmentally efficient practices protect our natural resources and minimize growers' dependence on non-renewable resources.
The mission of FlaRes is to to ensure economic production of food and fiber crops through application of technologies derived from science-based research in production systems that avoid resource depletion or permanent damage to ecosystems.
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