The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation has announced a new Existing Tree Therapies Program for Florida citrus growers. The program is designed to provide the citrus industry with a better understanding of the best use patterns, combinations and timing of newly developed therapies. Therapies eligible for the program show promise in restoring health and improving juice quality and quantity, as well as fruit retention in Florida.
The Existing Tree Therapies Program will focus on four primary therapies used on existing plantings: 1) gibberellic acid, 2) 2,4-D, 3) brassinosteroids and 4) the direct systemic application of approved antimicrobials. Existing groves between 10 and 100 acres that will be treated with one or a combination of these therapies will be eligible for application into the program.
Much like the current CRAFT new planting program, participants will be required to submit related production records and yield data to the CRAFT U.S. Department of Agriculture data portal as a part of the program. In exchange for their participation, growers will receive payments totaling $350 per acre over the course of their three-year agreements.
Current funding will allow for approximately 7,500 acres in the initial phase of the program. Participants will be selected through a random lottery, administered by a third-party entity. Additional funding has been requested for future phases of the program.
Growers can apply now to the Existing Tree Therapies Program and learn about additional rules and information at the CRAFT website. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on April 30, 2023.
CRAFT held its first board meeting in 2019. It was formed to fund growers for participating in commercial research projects that evaluate the effectiveness of various practices to combat HLB disease.
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