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New technology at UF could help citrus production

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Inside his lab at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural sciences, Dr. Thomas Burks is working on new technology called precision agriculture.

" I think the ultimate goal of precision agriculture is twofold. One is to improve profitability for farmers so they can stay in business, but also to help produce more with less," Dr. Burks said.

Precision agriculture translates real time data about weather, soil, pests and other factors into recommendations farmers can use to grow crops more efficiently.

One of those crops is citrus – a vital part of Florida’s agriculture and economy.

Dr. Burks says the technology is currently being introduced to Florida.

" Even though it began in the Midwest it is being adopted slowly in Florida by some of the larger producers," Dr. Burks said.

Ultimately Dr. Burks hopes precision agriculture will create a better future for farmers and the for the increasing population.

" It will help farmers be more profitable while at the same time conserving and sustaining our environment and providing more food for the world population."

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