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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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ARRA - National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates Riverside, California

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Link to ARS Recovery Act Info.

Link to USDA Recovery Act Info.

Link to White House's site.

Photo: Field in central California

Fields in central California (western San Joaquin Valley) suffering from severe salinization

United States Salinity Laboratory
National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates, Riverside, California

  • Scope of work under Recovery Act

Amount: $625,000

Repairing critical deferred maintenance including replacing research greenhouse mechanical systems and replacement of chiller.

May 2010 - Construction contract awarded for $613,000 to replace the research greenhouse mechanical systems at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates and to replace the chiller at the U.S. Salinity Laboratory.

Construction Photos

Research at the United States Salinity Laboratory

The United States Salinity Laboratory studies the movement of waters and salts in irrigated cropping systems to develop ways to keep salt from building up in agricultural soil or to improve crop production in areas where salinity is building up.

Scientists at the Salinity Laboratory have found a natural way to keep land productive and reduce environmental problems in California's Central Valley. The valley's lack of rainfall makes irrigation a necessity, and its clay soils prevent irrigation water from seeping into aquifers. Farmers create evaporation ponds to catch excess runoff from irrigated fields, but these evaporation ponds can contain salts, and also take land out of production. Researchers found that planting bermudagrass and irrigating it with the drainage water reduces the need for the ponds and provides forage for livestock.

A cyclical strategy has been devised by the Salinity Lab where good quality water is only used for growth of saline-sensitive crops and during sensitive growth stages of other crops, while saline drainage water is used for the growth of tolerant crops or during tolerant growth stages. Reuse strategies advocated by the Salinity Laboratory have served as models for numerous reuse plans in other locations around the world. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Resources Agency have adopted minimized leaching and drainage water reuse concepts pioneered at the laboratory, to conserve water, minimize drainage volumes, and protect water quality as the heart of the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program.

National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates

The Repository conserves and makes available to researchers and producers the seeds and other genetic materials needed to protect the U.S. supply of citrus crops and date palms. These resources preserve our Nation's agricultural heritage and protect the future of agriculture.

Research Units at the Salinity Lab

Contaminant Fate and Transport Unit

The mission of the Contaminant Fate and Transport Unit is to develop methods for evaluating, predicting, and managing the movement of contaminants and solutes (e.g., water, salts, agricultural chemicals and microorganisms) in the root and vadose zones of arid-region soils; and to develop new knowledge, methods and tools for assessing soil-water-crop management strategies to make effective use of limited resources.

Major emphasis of current research:

  1. Reducing soil and water contamination by pathogens and pharmaceutical chemicals released from animal waste products,
  2. Quantifying pesticide volatilization and pesticide loadings from agricultural fields to surface and ground waters,
  3. Evaluating the impact of irrigated agriculture on soil, air and groundwater quality
  4. Developing and testing numerical models and databases for evaluating water flow, solute and energy transport in agricultural soils,
  5. Devising source control management systems for reducing chemical and biological loadings to surface and groundwater supplies.

Water Reuse and Remediation Unit

The mission of the Water Reuse and Remediation Unit is to develop the necessary knowledge and management practices for sustainable and economic plant production using saline water or salt affected soils while conserving water and soil resources.

The specific objectives of the research program are to:

  1. Develop management practices and agricultural technologies to sustain irrigation with saline and recycled waters;
  2. Develop models and comprehensive criteria/standards to assess the suitability of water for irrigation and develop new salinity and toxic element reclamation and management models;
  3. Develop an integrative understanding of salt and ion-specific tolerance in plants that will lead to improved management for reuse of water to increase plant yield and quality;
  4. Develop tools such as GIS-techniques and precision agriculture technology for efficient management of recycled water and salt-affected lands.

Research at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates

The mission of the National Germplasm Repository for Citrus and Dates is to collect, maintain, evaluate, preserve, and distribute germplasm of citrus, dates, and related Aurantioideae genera and Phoenix species.

The achievement of this goal involves:

  1. Acquisition of the widest possible genetic diversity within citrus and dates to reduce genetic vulnerability in the future,
  2. Testing and treatment of accessions for pathogenic organisms,
  3. Maintenance of accessions in a protected, pest-free environment,
  4. Genetic, horticultural, and physiological characterization and evaluation of accessions,
  5. Establishment of an informational record for each accession covering acquisition, inventory, evaluation, and gene descriptor data,
  6. Distribution of pathogen-free germplasm to qualified researchers throughout the world,
  7. Research into improved methods of collection, evaluation, propagation, preservation, and distribution.

Project Photographs Before Construction

Repairs to be done in Riverside Repairs in Riverside
Repairs in Riverside  

Project Photographs During Construction

Last Modified: 9/3/2015
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