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Wright Soil and Water Science Laboratory

Wright Soil and Water Science Laboratory

Extension Focus

Dr. Wright’s Extension work is closely aligned with the laboratory's research program. He provides updated relevant information to growers and agricultural commodity organizations about nutrient management practices that minimize fertilizer use, and maintain or improve yields. A second thrust for Dr. Wright's Extension work is with water managers, to whom he provides strategies to improve water quality in the Everglades.

The Wright Soil and Water Science Laboratory Extension program focuses on:

1) Improving grower understanding and adoption of nutrient and fertilizer management strategies for crops grown on organic soils in the Everglades Agricultural Area

2) Improving Florida’s citrus production and management

Dr. Wright educates 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 Everglades Agricultural Area, to improve water quality.

Citrus Production

Citrus production is being severely hampered by citrus greening disease, and Dr. Wright's Extension focus in this area is to educate growers about new and emerging treatment methods for their consideration and adoption, as the growers combat 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, Dr. Wright utilizes citrus undercover production systems (CUPS) to educate growers about a new way to produce citrus in the age of citrus greening disease.

During learning engagement events, Dr. Wright provides growers with data and research findings from experiments, so that growers may take advantage of the novel CUPs production system.

Education outreach programs include the use of field days and direct interaction with growers, along with Certified Education Units (CEUs) training sessions and demonstrations at area schools and county fairs.

Community Outreach

A second focus for Dr. Wright's extension activities is to deliver guest lectures to a number of elementary and secondary school classes in south Florida. The presentations are about agriculture, soil science, citrus, and vegetables. Dr. Wright supports high school student interns who volunteered to work in the Wright Soils and Water Science Laboratory as an opportunity to learn about agricultural research, and to improve their scientific understanding. Another function of these endeavors is to help prepare the students for college by teaching basic scientific principles.

The goal for Dr. Wright's 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.