Station is named after the late Yair Guron, who was among the founders of Arava
R&D and its first director. The station, established in 1991, is located on the
Arava main road (Road 90), in vicinity to Hazeva junction and Hazeva Field
School. The establishment of Yair Station followed considerable research
activities that took place in experimental plots at local farms in Ein-Yahav
(Oded Yaffe farm, 1970's) and Hazeva (Dani Michaeli farm, late 1980's). The
station was founded due to the upsurge of protected agriculture in the Arava
Valley during the late 1980's. The unique environmental conditions of the Arava
Valley, which include high solar irradiation during most of the year, large
daily amplitude of temperature and low relative humidity, along with the
tendency to expand the production beyond the traditional winter season in the
Arava Valley called for research and development efforts aimed to create the
special know-how and the detailed protocols required for sheltered agriculture
in the region.
the station included nine greenhouses that served for variety tests and for
irrigation and fertilization experiments. In the following stage of development
(1994), twelve greenhouses were added, most of which are used for experiments
focused on greenhouse climate control. The composition of crop species
inhabiting the experimental plots usually reflects the distribution of the
current commercial crops grown in the Central Arava region – vegetables and
cut-flowers. The recent expansion of the sweet pepper production has found its
significant expression in the experimental work in the station. With this
regard, alternative soil-bedding concepts, irrigation and fertilization regimes,
plant protection issues, greenhouse climate as well as various cultivation
methods are all under present investigation in Yair station.
With time, new
departments have been opened in the station:
Aquaculture – the
center, which provides R&D activities supporting the increasing industry of
ornamental fish, is the natural heir of the previous aquatic research station in
Ein-Yahav that was active in edible fish and algae production.
Orchards – in the
frame of examining crop species alternative to the traditional intensive
vegetable production, vineyards and other species of fruit trees have been
planted and followed in open field and various sheltered systems.
Organic agriculture –
a noteworthy section that provides professional discussions and practical
solutions for the daily emerging problems characterizing the recent upsurge in
the organic production in the Arava. The experimental work here sticks to the
official organic protocols.
Herbs and spices – in
the frame of examining the cropping of various species and the management of
their pests, diseases, irrigation and fertilization.
Yair station is the
'living center' of the whole Arava region, from Sodom Valley in the north to
Paran in the south, creating and disseminating agricultural knowledge.
Occasional seminars, season-sum days, and other sorts of professional meetings
take place in the conference hall in the station. The "open day", the highlight
happening celebrated on January every year in, attracts thousands of visitors
from Israel and many from abroad, who come to update with the innovative
agriculture emerging from Yair Station.