Skip to main content

Wright Soil and Water Science Laboratory

Wright Soil and Water Science Laboratory


In recent years, an ancient tree native to India and Australia has gained ground in Florida's agricultural production fields. The alternative crop Pongamia is a low maintenance, full-canopy tree that produces legume oil seeds. The trees require only moderate inputs such as water, fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides.

The beans produce more protein than do soybeans. Oil from the seeds could potentially be used for bioenergy, fertilizer, and animal feed. The seeds themselves are in fact large legumes, and are the size of butter beans. The seeds are crushed, the seed oil is extracted, and the plant matter is made into cakes for fertilizer.

A new crop to Florida, UF/IFAS-IRREC researchers study young trees in a research grove. Dr. Alan Wright is seeking data related to the trees' nutrition, water, and soil needs.

researchers in a pongamia grove
Dr. Alan Wright (second from left) and UF/IFAS-IRREC colleagues join a Pongamia producer in the IRREC Pongamia grove