Grower-Friendly HLB Research Summaries

Josh McGillHLB Management, Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) provides research directed at overcoming the devastating HLB disease and protecting the nation’s citrus industry. Since 2014, NIFA has funded approximately $200 million for HLB research projects. 

HLB Research

Many HLB-related NIFA project one-page summaries are now easily accessible and written in a grower-friendly language and format on the Science for Citrus Health (SCH) website. The University of Florida (UF) and/or the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) head several of these summarized projects. Additional grower-friendly summaries are being solicited. 

Annually, requests for applications are announced through the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension (ECDRE) program, with total funding specified. Submitted potential projects are first reviewed by citrus growers, and the preproposals they select are invited to submit full proposals. These are then evaluated by panels of scientists. Their review, combined with an industry relevancy review, is used to identify projects for funding.

Project directors for the proposals may request up to five years of funding for Cooperative Agricultural Projects (CAPs), which often have four or more principal investigators from diverse research institutions, including universities like UF, corporations and the USDA ARS. Other projects have fewer researchers than CAPs and can be funded for up to three years. So far, 42 projects have been funded through ECDRE and its predecessor program through NIFA.

Projects must provide annual summaries of progress, which are posted online, but require a log-in to review.

A November 2022 Citrus Industry article reported that seven entities had recently received $21.7 million in USDA NIFA funding to conduct HLB research at the farm level. The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) received the majority of that funding, more than $16 million.

Source: UF/IFAS

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