Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Reginald S. Fletcher

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center, 2413 E. Hwy. 83, Weslaco, Texas 78596

Key words: Citriculture, citrus, Citrus spp., Geographic Information System (GIS), soil survey geographic data (SSURGO), Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data, grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, oranges, Citrus sinensis

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2009, volume 11, issue 1, pages 3-9.

Abstract: The South Texas citrus industry needs an inventory of soil properties within existing citrus (Citrus spp.) orchards, wants data at the county level showing soils that are suitable for citrus production, and would value any information related to the establishment of citrus orchards. This study discusses integration of citrus, soil survey geographic data (SSURGO), and U.S. Census spatial and tabular data with geographical information system (GIS) technology for citriculture. For this study, Hidalgo County Texas was evaluated because it is the major citrus producing county in South Texas. The spatial and tabular data and commercial GIS software were used to inventory selected soil chemical and physical properties within citrus groves, to identify orchards that may be affected by urban expansion, and to select potential sites for establishing new citrus orchards. Results indicated that citrus, SSURGO, and U.S. census spatial and tabular data integrated with GIS technology can be a powerful tool for citriculture. The information provided in this study should appeal to producers, extension agents, scientists, and government agencies within the U.S. and abroad.

Applications of GIS to Citriculture in South Texas

Journal of Applied Horticulture