Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) President Larry Black discusses the organization’s potential role in large-scale field trials to demonstrate how citrus can be grown in the face of HLB. He also talks about a communication study showing how growers like to receive information about CRDF.
The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program would be funded for approximately $8 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is the program that Florida Citrus Mutual previously referred to as the Grower Replanting Initiative Program (GRIP).
“The exciting part about CRAFT is to take the research learning from all of the projects we’ve funded over the years and layer it then together to have real-world experience for growers,” Black says. He says CRAFT will have demonstration plots “to show off what has been learned and really prove to the world, to the industry, that you can successfully grow citrus in this environment by taking the best rootstocks, the best nutritional strategies, soil health, etc. (and) layering those together to be successful.”
According to Black, CRDF has been asked by Florida Citrus Mutual to administer the program. “The board is receptive but very cautious,” says Black. “They’ve asked Rick Dantzler, our COO, to continue to negotiate the contract and bring it back to the board.”
Black also addressed the recent communications survey that CRDF conducted to learn how growers like to receive information about CRDF. “The survey really proved that a lot of our traditional means, such as your magazine (Citrus Industry), are really where growers look to get information,” he said.
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