AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

about page banner

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


Growing Miracle Fruit for Specialty Crop Production in Florida

Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Miracle fruit is the botanical source of miraculin and an understudied tropical fruit species with potential as a natural, noncaloric sweetener. Miraculin changes the perception of sour (acidic) foods and beverages to sweet by temporarily modifying taste receptors on the tongue. This report provides background information on growing miracle fruit, information on miracle fruit yield, and research on miraculin content to commercial growers and those interested in gardening in southern Florida. Written by Lynhe Demesyeux, Maria Brym, and Alan H. Chambers, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department; 6 pp.
Released On: 09-12-2022

Threecornered Alfalfa Hopper Spissistilus festinus (Say) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Membracidae)

Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

The Featured Creatures collection provides in-depth profiles of insects, nematodes, arachnids and other organisms relevant to Florida. These profiles are intended for the use of interested laypersons with some knowledge of biology as well as academic audiences.
Released On: 09-12-2022

Safe Salinity Levels for Irrigation of Two Ornamental Crops: Hibiscus and Mandevilla

Critical Issue: Water Quality and Conservation

This publication introduces the findings from a recent study conducted to find safer levels of water salinity in the irrigation of two economically important foliage crops: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Mandevilla splendens. Written by Young Gu Her and E. Vanessa Vassilaros, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, June 2022.
Released On: 06-21-2022

Florida’s Agricultural Carbon Economy as Climate Action: The Potential Role of Farmers and Ranchers

Critical Issue: Other

This article introduces concepts related to carbon sequestration, credits, and markets to help Extension agents, farmers, and concerned residents to better understand how agriculture can help to mitigate climate change, and thus become a part of Florida’s carbon economy. Written by Young Gu Her, Tara Wade, Sawssan Boufous, Jehangir Bhadha, and Michael Andreu, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, May 2022.
Released On: 05-31-2022

Saltwater Intrusion and Flooding: Risks to South Florida’s Agriculture and Potential Management Practices

Critical Issue: Water Quality and Conservation

This article highlights the impacts of saltwater intrusion and flooding on the health of agricultural soils. It also discusses management practices to reduce the negative impacts of soil salinity due to saltwater intrusion and/or flooding. Written by Haimanote K. Bayabil, Yuncong Li, Jonathan H. Crane, Bruce Schaffer, Ashley R. Smyth, Shouan Zhang, Edward A. Evans, and Trent Blare, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, May 2022.
Released On: 05-31-2022