From the Director
One question that I often get when I am visiting with citrus growers is, “How does UF/IFAS decide on what research projects to fund? What are the priorities that drive the decision-making process?”
Overarchingly, IFAS citrus research projects focus on finding viable solutions for dealing with significant citrus diseases, grove management techniques and situations that cause economic stress for growers. The main priority is HLB (citrus greening), but we also address critical diseases like citrus black spot, canker, etc. We listen to what growers are telling us and work to design research and outreach projects that respond appropriately.
Current research strategies are also driven by the findings from a national gathering of growers, funders, and researchers in 2019. This group prioritized the need for new knowledge in four areas:
UF/IFAS currently has 53 research projects that focus on one of these four priorities. There are an additional 43 HLB-related projects that focus on short and long -term topics including new varieties, genetic improvement (including gene editing projects) and psyllid management.
- Understanding the citrus tree’s phloem biology;
- Testing potential therapeutics and delivery strategies;
- How to maintain HLB -infected trees; and
- Nutrition and their deliveries.
You can read more about our many research projects at the citrusresearch.ifas.ufl.edu website. Click on Resources, select Other Resources and then scroll down to Research Summaries or click here.
One thing is consistent with all of these projects: they focus on a promising outlook for near term and/or future use by Florida’s citrus growers.
Michael E. Rogers
Professor and Center Director
UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred
UF/IFAS Citrus Research & Extension Programs