Several citrus growers and production managers offered input on future HLB research at a meeting on Feb. 15 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. The growers shared their thoughts with members of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s Research Management Committee (CRDF-RMC). David Howard, CRDF-RMC chairman, provides an overview of the approximately three-hour session called specifically to receive grower input.
Howard says his committee will soon call for research proposals. The committee will consolidate questions and ideas from the growers and others into a list of priorities for research recommendations. “I think we got a broad spectrum of questions that ran a huge range of different topics,” Howard says. “And we’re encouraging everyone to come in with any ideas that might be helpful. He suggests that those who weren’t at the meeting offer their suggestions to CRDF by March.
“I think we’ve answered some basic research questions … where it’s (now) time to drill down to specific questions that growers have,” Howard says. “There’s a strong focus right now from growers to look into the dynamics of the soil profile and how it affects the greening (HLB) process, whether it be nutritionals that are working, soil-applied treatments…”
Howard says there’s a lot of questions about what’s going on below the surface of the soil that haven’t been addressed. “Growers are really looking for some answers in that area,” he says. “I’m hopeful that we’ll get some promising research to solve and answer some of those questions.”
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