From developing new seed varieties to insect control, the Everglades Research & Education Center of the University of Florida is a scientific partner to the agricultural businesses in the Glades region.

“Our goal is to help make agricultural practices more sustainable, both environmentally and financially,” said Director Dr. Gregg Nuessly, who leads a team of 85 scientists and researchers in Belle Glade. The research team provides insights into best practices for crop production, including plant breeding for greater nutrition and control of pests and plant diseases.

“We use remote sensing techniques to improve our ability to identify and address potential threats to crops at an early stage,” said Nuessly. “We also educate farmers on water management and precision agricultural techniques, such as applying the appropriate amount of fertilizer to each plot.” Nuessly said the center has helped growers dramatically reduce the level of phosphorous in runoff water over the past 25 years. He added, “We are also looking at controlling aquatic vegetation in canals, which can release nutrients that affect the water quality.”