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Tropical REC

Tropical Research and Education Center(TREC) was established in 1929 by an act of the state legislature in what is now Miami-Dade County. Due to the region's humid subtropical climate, TREC is the only state university research center in the continental U.S. focusing on a large number of tropical and subtropical crops. Also, the area's oolitic limestone soil is unique to extreme southern Florida. In addition, the Center addresses water and environmental issues that impact crop production over a shallow aquifer and in proximity to Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Marine Park, Florida Bay and major well fields which provide drinking water to the several million people in neighboring urban areas.

Editorial Team


Costos Estimados de la Producción de Compost de Sargazo

FE1130/FE1130by Trent Blare, Afeefa A. Abdool-Ghany, Helena M. Solo-Gabriele, y Erick GonzalezMarch 16th, 2023El objetivo de este estudio fue para dar visibilidad dentro del municipio y negocios pequeños quienes están considerando ser empresas de composteo, realizando operaciones para lo cual usaran Sargazo spp. como materia prima.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Cost Estimates of Producing Purple Passion Fruit in South Florida

FE1129/FE1129by Trent Blare, Victor Contreras, Fredy H. Ballen,Joshua D. Anderson, Jonathan H. Crane, and Nicholas HaleyMarch 15th, 2023This publication examines the estimated costs and returns of an established purple passionfruit orchard in south Florida. The information presented in this publication was collected through field interviews with growers and industry specialists. It is based on a variety of production practices on small scale farms (1-2 acres). The information is intended only as a guide to estimate the financial requirements of running an established passionfruit planting. We estimated that the average net return of an established passionfruit (purple) plantation in south Florida is approximately $2,562/acre, or $0.92/pound.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Cost Estimates for Producing Sargassum spp. Compost

FE1128/FE1128by Trent Blare, Afeefa A. Abdool-Ghany, and Helena M. Solo-GabrieleFebruary 23rd, 2023This publication examines the costs that the city of Ft. Lauderdale incurred to establish a sargassum compost facility. The objective of this analysis is to provide insights to other municipalities and small businesses around south Florida who are considering starting similar composting operations with the expectation that sargassum composting will provide them with more space in their landfills while maintaining their beaches’ tourist appeal. The data for this analysis were collected through interviews in 2021 with several individuals in municipalities and small businesses, which use a wide range of sargassum management strategies. We found that Ft. Lauderdale saves at least $326,000 annually by operating its own composting facility.Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment

Cost and Profitability Estimates for Producing Lychee (Litchi chinensis) in South and Central Florida

FE1127/FE1127by Trent Blare, Fredy H. Ballen, Nicholas Haley, Victor Contreras, Jonathan H. Crane, and Daniel CarrilloDecember 12th, 2022Florida is one of three US states (the other two being California and Hawaii) that have the climatic conditions to cultivate lychee. Given the growing consumer demand for this crop, the production of lychee has the potential to be a profitable crop for Florida growers. This publication estimates the costs and returns associated with operating a lychee grove in south and central Florida. It presents the results of field interviews with lychee growers and industry experts. Growers on average can expect to earn nearly $8,000 an acre per year from lychee production when there is a harvest, but climate variation causes inconsistent harvests. When making production decisions, growers must also consider increasing pressure from pests such as the lychee erinose mite, and strong foreign competition.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Overview of US Tahiti Lime Production and Markets: Trade and Consumption Analysis

FE1122/FE1122by Trent Blare, Fredy Ballen, and Jonathan CraneDecember 1st, 2022Key and Tahiti limes have historically been very important to the economy of south Florida. However, there are few commercial orchards left for these lime cultivars in the state. Many orchards were destroyed during Hurricane Andrew, and those that survived were then eliminated by Florida’s Citrus Canker Eradication Program in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Tahiti limes are being considered for reintroduction in Miami-Dade County because of the growing demand for this fruit, especially among buyers who are willing to pay more for Florida-grown fruit. In this publication, we explore the history of lime production in south Florida and current trends in the market, especially growing demand in the United States for Tahiti limes. The price premiums from the growing domestic market for Tahiti limes would likely be enough to overcome the challenges growers face in combating the disease pressure from citrus canker, citrus greening, and intense competition from Mexico and other countries.  Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems