RESEARCH BENEFITSThe Mid Florida Citrus Foundation (MFCF) is a Nonprofit Organization and the Research Arm of Water Conserv II.
The Goals of the Foundation Include:
- Producing citrus using recommended Best Management Practices (BMPs).
- Studying the long-term effects of irrigating citrus with reclaimed water.
- Evaluating new citrus varieties for production and marketability.
- Developing management practices that will allow growers in the northern citrus area to grow it profitably.
- Studying the effects of golf course irrigation with reclaimed water.
- Evaluating non-citrus crops for economic viability. These crops include deciduous fruits and nuts, vegetables, pasture grasses, and forage.
- Conducting research on various species of trees for phytoremediation and production of a fuel source for utilities.
- Promoting urban and rural cooperation.
Research Results Include:
- The benefits of irrigating with reclaimed water have been consistently demonstrated since 1987.
- Citrus on ridge (sandy, well drained) soils responds well to irrigation with reclaimed water and can tolerate up to 100 inches per year (in addition to rainfall).
- No negative impacts have resulted from the use of reclaimed water.
- Tree condition and size, yield, and soil and leaf mineral aspects of citrus trees irrigated with reclaimed water are typically as good as, if not better than, groves irrigated with well water.
- Fruit quality from groves irrigated with reclaimed water is similar to groves irrigated with well water.
- Boron and phosphorous are present in adequate amounts in reclaimed water and can be eliminated from the citrus fertilizer program.
- Reclaimed water maintains soil pH within the recommended range for citrus; therefore, lime no longer needs to be applied.
- High quality deciduous fruit and nuts can be grown on sandy soil with reclaimed water.
- A wide variety of vegetables can be grown efficiently with reclaimed water.
- Reclaimed water does an excellent job of establishing forage crops such as Bahia, Bermuda and limpo grass, and perennial peanut.
- Golf course grasses respond well to applications of reclaimed water.
Faculty from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) conducts all research. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of citrus growers in north central Florida and representatives from the City of Orlando, Orange County, the University of Florida, the project’s contract operator, and various support industries. All research conducted by the Foundation is located within the Water Conserv II service area. All research results are published in various scientific journals and presented at meetings and field workshops.