CRDF Board Passes Preliminary Budget and Funds Projects

Daniel CooperCRDF

Trunk-injection projects are a primary focus for the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.
Photo by Ute Albrecht

During its April meeting, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) board of directors passed its preliminary budget for the next fiscal year. It allows $1.4 million in new project funding.

“This amount should be enough to fund the projects the board wishes to fund from our primary request for proposals, which are aimed at answering practical questions growers have regarding the systemic delivery of bactericides, as well as other obligations already on the books,” said Rick Dantzler, CRDF chief operating officer. “We won’t have the reserves we always have, but with things as dire in the industry as they are, we didn’t think now was the time to hold back.”

Numerous other projects were funded, including a project with Silvec Biologics. This company bought the citrus tristeza virus vectoring technology from Southern Gardens and is attempting to get it approved by regulators. There is a repayment clause included if a commercial product results from this research.

An additional year of funding was granted to the following researchers:

  • Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, an entomologist with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), to study the effects of trunk-injected oxytetracycline (OTC) on psyllid pathogenicity and vector populations
  • Ute Albrecht, UF/IFAS associate professor of plant pathology, for research on the application of different rates of OTC
  • Kim Bowman, U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist, to finish his work on developing SuperSour rootstocks

The board sent back to the CRDF Research Management Committee a project by Mark Ritenour, UF/IFAS professor of post-harvest technology, which is testing new grapefruit rootstock and scion combinations. There were questions about the data being collected.

The board funded another year of data collection on a grove that has had back-to-back injections of OTC to measure if there is backslide during the off year. Trees that receive a third year of treatment will be compared to trees that do not.

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Frank Giles


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