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Science Goes Hand and Hand With Agriculture

Posted on December 7th, 2015 by Jennah Knight

study agriculture-488851853Science can be as simple as planting one green bean and knowing that sun and water is needed for the green bean seed to sprout. If you enjoy science then a degree in agriculture is for you.

So why study agriculture? If you are a problem solver then a degree in agriculture is for you. Science in agriculture is more prevalent in research to solve problems. Problems within agriculture, for example, are the greening and canker issues with citrus. There are now more than 100 research projects underway designed to provide short and long-term solutions to each disease.

Greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon disease, is one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. It is a bacterial disease. It attacks a tree’s vascular system and reduces production, destroys the economic value of fruit, and can kill trees. It has effected citrus production in Florida, Asia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Brazil. It was first confirmed in Florida in 2005 and although it attacks citrus plants, it currently presents no threat to humans or animals.

Citrus canker is another disease that has had an impact on citrus produce. It is a bacterial disease of citrus that causes premature leaf and fruit drop. Citrus canker is highly contagious and can be spread rapidly. Some ways in which it can spread is wind-borne rain, lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment, people carrying the infection on their hands, clothing, or equipment and moving infected or exposed plants or plant parts. The way in which to try to stop the spread of citrus canker is to burn the tree affected and the surrounding trees immediately.

Science in agriculture can be natural and chemical.

In hopes of finding a cure for these two citrus diseases the IFAS created a citrus breeding program, which has so far been productive. This program is getting growers to allow researches to try out experimental materials. They state, “We have a high volume of experimental material.”

If you are eager to solve these problems or be on a research team then a degree in agriculture is for you. Much of the country’s citrus research takes place at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). Here is just one example of science in agriculture. If you are a grower you need to interact with researchers to come to a solution and if you want to be a researcher you need to understand farmers/growers and the problems they are facing. Science and the study of agriculture go hand and hand so don’t ask why study agriculture but rather why not.

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