The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation has constructed a citrus research facility at the Docville Farm in partnership with the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter. The new facility, called the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, is in Violet, Louisiana.
“This facility will be utilized to support Louisiana citrus growers as well as promote citrus and other specialty crops to the general public and youth,” says Jeb Fields, LSU AgCenter assistant professor and Extension specialist. “The facility has just been constructed and we are putting the final touches on peripherals in the coming weeks. The research within has not started, but initial projects are planned to begin this spring. My initial research involves container production of citrus fruit, specifically those with economic viability in Louisiana. We are identifying opportunities Louisiana growers can adopt for container production practices in an economically sound manner.”
Fields says this is just the beginning. “We have received funding for containerized citrus projects from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry that we plan to begin this year. Moreover, this facility will be utilized heavily in subsequent research projects stemming from the Soilless Substrate Science project.”
Other major projects are planned at the center, including efforts to get children and young adults involved in agriculture. “We expect that providing exposure to a state-of-the-art production facility and demonstration can generate interest and open opportunities for our future farmers,” says Fields.
A virtual tour of the new citrus research facility will be part of the LSU AgCenter 2021 Citrus Symposium from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, said Anna Timmer, LSU AgCenter assistant Extension agent. The virtual symposium will offer information from LSU AgCenter researchers, University of Florida citrus Extension agents and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Topics will include new research on citrus canker in satsuma cultivars and timely information on post-disaster options for growers who experienced losses in the 2020 hurricane season.
Symposium sessions will be live with participant Q&A available. Sessions will also be recorded for viewing later at www.lsuagcenter.com. Email Timmer at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the symposium.
Source: LSU AgCenter
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