ARRA - National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates
Fields in central California (western San Joaquin
Valley) suffering from severe salinization
United States Salinity Laboratory
National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates, Riverside,
- Scope of work under Recovery Act
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.
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:
- Reducing soil and water contamination by pathogens and pharmaceutical
chemicals released from animal waste products,
- Quantifying pesticide volatilization and pesticide loadings from
agricultural fields to surface and ground waters,
- Evaluating the impact of irrigated agriculture on soil, air and groundwater
- Developing and testing numerical models and databases for evaluating water
flow, solute and energy transport in agricultural soils,
- 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
The specific objectives of the research program are to:
- Develop management practices and agricultural technologies to sustain
irrigation with saline and recycled waters;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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 &
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:
- Acquisition of the widest possible genetic diversity within citrus and
dates to reduce genetic vulnerability in the future,
- Testing and treatment of accessions for pathogenic organisms,
- Maintenance of accessions in a protected, pest-free environment,
- Genetic, horticultural, and physiological characterization and evaluation
- Establishment of an informational record for each accession covering
acquisition, inventory, evaluation, and gene descriptor data,
- Distribution of pathogen-free germplasm to qualified researchers throughout
- Research into improved methods of collection, evaluation, propagation,
preservation, and distribution.
Project Photographs Before Construction
Project Photographs During Construction