Expedited Tree Propagation Program Approved

Josh McGillFlorida Department of Citrus, HLB Management, nurseries

The Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on July 20 approved the Florida Department of Citrus’ (FDOC) plan for implementation of the Program for Expedited Propagation of HLB Tolerant and Resistant Trees (PEP). The program’s goal is to provide resources needed to ramp up the availability of the apparently HLB-tolerant Donaldson tree and others like it.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery

The FDOC received $1 million in non-recurring state general revenue funds for this fiscal year to help fund the propagation of these materials.  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (DPI) certified and non-certified materials for Donaldson tree propagation will be available for nursery propagation, topworking and in-field propagation trees. Additional scion trees included in this program are Parson Brown, Carney 2, Carney 3 and Roble. 

Funding available to the nurseries will be distributed with the expectation it will cover much of the cost of tree propagation in order to incentivize nurseries to provide these trees at a lower cost to growers. Receipt of funding will require good standing with DPI, quarterly progress reports and a final report.

The FCC also approved an agreement with Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery to purchase the Donaldson trees that were grown from embryonic rescue by the Rucks’ lab. The FDOC will purchase the material so that it can be made available for all nurseries interested in participating in this portion of PEP. 

This agreement purchases up to 3,000 trees at $10.20 per tree. The trees will be housed at DPI. Most of these trees are already at the DPI facility. Once all of these trees are delivered, the payment would be made through a purchase order to the Rucks nursery. This is expected to occur before Aug. 31.

Learn more here about the Donaldson tree and the expedited propagation program.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

Florida Department of Citrus Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Florida Department of Citrus)

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