A citrus under protective screen (CUPS) project in Dundee, Florida, has received the 2021 Vanguard Award from the Irrigation Association (IA). The award honors an innovative project in the irrigation industry executed by a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities. Projects chosen for the award exemplify the IA’s mission of promoting efficient irrigation.
The partners in the Dundee CUPS project include Agri Services International, Dundee Citrus Growers Association and Precision Citrus LLC. The CUPS project has experienced success in keeping the young citrus trees disease-free while allowing them to grow and flourish utilizing an efficient precision irrigation program.
The project involved growing in a CUPS structure in conjunction with precision irrigation and inputs to yield high-quality, disease-free citrus while minimizing the use of water, fertilizer and pesticides. The CUPS system includes a highly technical, automated irrigation and control system to monitor weather and soil conditions and to deliver precise amounts of water and nutrients to every tree.
“The CUPS project is a great example of how a specially designed and efficient irrigation system plays an important role in a large, innovative agricultural project,” said IA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hamlin.
Doug Marine, president of Agri Services International, said, “With the innovation of protective housing coupled with meticulously designed and automated irrigation systems, there is now a viable and efficient alternative to traditional growing practices that have been plagued by HLB, also known as citrus greening.”
This project will be featured in a future issue of Irrigation Today magazine.
The CUPS project was discussed in detail in a 2019 Citrus Industry magazine feature on Dundee Citrus Growers Association.
Source: The Irrigation Association