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CUPS project named 2021 IA Vanguard Award recipient

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (July 15, 2021) — The Irrigation Association is excited to announce that the Citrus Under Protective Screen project has been named the recipient of the 2021 Vanguard Award, sponsored by Hunter | Senninger. The IA’s Vanguard Award honors an innovative project in the irrigation industry executed by a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities. Projects chosen for this award exemplify the IA’s mission of promoting efficient irrigation.

The CUPS project involved growing citrus under a protective screen structure in conjunction with precision irrigation and inputs to yield high-quality disease-free citrus while minimizing the use of water, fertilizer and pesticides. Using this relatively new, cutting-edge method to grow citrus required researching, designing and installing a highly technical, automated irrigation and control system to monitor weather and soil conditions and to deliver precise amounts of water and nutrients to every tree.

“The Vanguard Award not only recognizes projects that embody efficient irrigation but also the partnerships that made these projects successful,” said IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. “The CUPS project is a great example of how a specially designed and efficient irrigation system plays an important role in a large, innovative agricultural project.”

The partners in this project include Agri Services International, Dundee Citrus Growers Association and Precision Citrus LLC. Through this partnership, the CUPS project has experienced success in keeping the young citrus trees disease-free, while allowing them to grow and flourish utilizing an efficient precision irrigation program.

“Agri Services International, in partnership with Dundee Citrus Growers Association and Precision Citrus, is honored to receive the Irrigation Association’s 2021 Vanguard Award for the CUPS project in Dundee, Florida,” said Doug Marine, president of Agri Services International. “With the innovation of protective housing coupled with meticulously designed and automated irrigation systems, there is now a viable and efficient alternative to traditional growing practices that have been plagued by HLB, also known as citrus greening. Thank you very much to the IA for this recognition!”

This project will be featured in a future issue of Irrigation Today magazine. More information about this and other IA awards and past recipients can be found at