CRDF May Seek More Applied Research

rick dantzler

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Chief Operations Officer (COO) Rick Dantzler, recapping the organization’s October board meeting, says he would like to see the organization “turn more of its focus toward applied research.” That issue was a major discussion topic for the CRDF board, he says.

“We can’t abandon basic research, certainly, but applied research seems to me to be something that can give growers something they can use right now,” Dantzler says. “It’s going to be up to the board whether they want to go with the idea on the applied research, but I think that’s the direction we need to head.”

Dantzler says growers get more production from HLB-infected trees by relieving stress. He adds that proper nutrition and irrigation are among practices that relieve stress. Stress-relieving practices need to be fine-tuned in Florida’s three major growing regions “so growers can have a recipe that they can follow,” Dantzler says. “That’s the kind of helpful research that I think they would appreciate.”

The board also spent much time discussing updating its business plan, Dantzler says. He would like to see the business plan include giving CRDF the ability to do field evaluations and data collection. “The biggest complaint I’ve heard in the last two months is that we have an awful lot of field trials; (but) nobody really knows what we’re learning from those field trials,” Dantzler says. “We need to compile that data and get it to growers. So the idea would be to allow CRDF to assist our researchers and take over some of the field evaluation responsibilities and collect this data so we can then compile it in a way that growers can use.”

The CRDF will continue discussions on these issues.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large