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Crop research center to close

Andrew Murphy

Tom Obreza, left, professor with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, discusses blueberry production in South Florida with Dick Nogaj, president of Harvest for Humanity Inc., and Rene Hernandez, manager of Harvest Farm near Immokalee. Obreza, based at UF's Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, and other UF researchers worked with Nogaj and Hernandez to develop new production methods for blueberries in South Florida. Until recently, the crop had never been grown commercially south of the Lake Placid area because it was thought the plants required 200 to 400 "chill hours" under 45 degrees F to produce a crop the following spring. (UF/IFAS photo by Tara Piasio)

Crop research center to close

CREATED Sep. 19, 2013
IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) - The University of Florida will close a vegetable and citrus crop research center in Immokalee and transfer its seven faculty members to research centers in Lake Alfred and Fort Pierce.
The Lakeland Ledger reports that the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center's building will not close, but will be put to other uses, possibly a demonstration site that is similar to facilities in Live Oak and Hastings. A task force to be appointed by the end of the year will decide its future.
UF officials had had no information on when faculty members would move or to which research center.
Scientists who have ongoing field research projects at nearby citrus groves or farms will be allowed to complete those projects.
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