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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Research Project #443455

Research Project: Identifying Healthy Individuals in the USDA-ARS Citrus Breeding Program and Replicated Second Stage Trials Using Drone Technology and Subsequent…

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Project Number: 6034-21000-020-007-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

Work with CRDF and Aerobotics to drone fly all of the USDA-ARS citrus breeding plant materials in the field and measure tree health characteristics.

There are 53 trials across an estimated 117 acres in 10 Florida counties. Drones will be flown under the conditions specified by Aerobotics to generate the best quality data for trait quantification and analysis. Common and agreed threshold values to determine the healthiest individuals will be discussed and agreed upon by USDA and UF researchers with input from healthy tree data provided from the drone company. A list of the most promising materials will be generated and will be visited by USDA staff to confirm identity and validate drone-documented HLB tolerance. Photographs will be taken of tolerant trees for reporting purposes, in addition to some visual ratings confirming tree health. The data will be analyzed to provide a general overview from the drone company and additional analysis will be included from USDA scientists using ANOVA, correlations, and linear regression to be used in subsequent scientific publications and bulletins. An initial report will be filed with CRDF in March of 2023 including non-proprietary information requested by the RMC committee followed by a final report that will include a more in-depth analysis by the end of September 2023. Aerial imagery and LiDar are accurately measured.