The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) received 59 proposals for funding of projects in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals (RFP).
“This is the best RFP we’ve ever done since I’ve been here,” said CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler.
The deadline for submitting proposals was April 26, a day before the CRDF’s board of directors met.
Several of the proposals were from corporations that have products, including peptides, that are close to being ready for use in the field, Dantzler said. “They need help figuring out if they work.” He added that CRDF can help determine if the products work for citrus, as well as how they work. If the products work, an appropriate delivery method needs to be determined, Dantzler said. That might be spraying, injection or some other means.
“We’ve been trying to get corporations that have products that are close to being ready, to allow us to help them get new products to growers as quickly as possible,” Dantzler said.
Dantzler told the CRDF board what the organization has been doing in terms of reaching out to companies and researchers who have promising peptides that could help the citrus industry. He reported that he has dealt with 10 entities – mostly companies but also some university researchers.
“I’ve been saying for some time that I think peptides are going to be part of the fix (for HLB); I still believe that,” said Dantzler.
The CRDF board also heard reports from researchers, including Fernando Alferez from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Alferez spoke about his research using individual protective covers to prevent young trees from being infected with HLB by excluding disease-spreading psyllids.
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