USDA: New Farm Bill Funds Available For Citrus Greening Fight

HLB inspectionU.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $25 million in funding for research and Cooperative Extension Service projects to combat citrus greening (aka, HLB). The funding comes from the 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA allocated another $6.5 million, for a total of $31.5 million, to several other projects through its Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination Group (HLB MAC).

The announcement provides funding to the Citrus Disease Research and Education Program (CDRE) and is a supplement of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). The 2014 Farm Bill provides $25 million per year for a total of $125 million of the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative funding toward citrus health research over the next five years.

Because there are wide differences in the occurrence and progression of HLB among the states, there are regional as well as national priorities for CDRE. These priorities fall within four categories: 1) priorities that deal with the pathogen; 2) those that deal with the insect vector; 3) those that deal with citrus orchard production systems; and 4) those that deal with non-agricultural citrus tree owners. Priority will be given to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary and include clearly defined mechanisms to communicate results to producers. Successful applicants will be expected to engage stakeholders to insure solutions are commercially feasible. Projects should also include an economic analysis of the costs associated with proposed solutions. A letter of intent to apply is due to NIFA by June 27, 2014. Full applications, to be invited based on relevancy review, are due Sept.29, 2014.

Also, USDA’s HLB MAC Group announced funding allocations for three new projects to combat HLB. Edward Avalos, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, made the announcement regarding these projects during last week’s Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs. The first project will commit approximately $2 million to field test antimicrobials that have shown promise in combating HLB in laboratory and greenhouse studies.

The second HLB MAC project, also funded for up to $2 million, will support the deployment of large-scale thermotherapy since studies have shown heating a tree to 120°F for approximately 48 hours can kill the HLB bacterium in the upper part of the tree, allowing the tree to regain productivity. This funding will address the challenge of identifying a quick and practical way for growers to use the technology on a large scale.

For the third project, the MAC Group is providing about $2.5 million to establish several model groves in cooperation with Florida Citrus Health Management Areas. A model grove would use best management practices—including systematic surveys, timely chemical treatments, new planting strategies, and the removal of dead and abandoned groves – so growers can produce healthy citrus crops even in the presence of HLB.

 

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories

CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vegetable Growers
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Water Storage Program
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty Crop Block Grants
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Hall Of Fame Selects Class Of 2015
December 10, 2014
Three more industry stalwarts added to prestigious list. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Concerns For Floridians
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
CitrusProspects Perking Up For Florida Citrus In 2015 [Opinion]
December 5, 2014
Positive alignment of numerous programs give reason for optimism. Read More

The Latest

CitrusSouthwest Florida Citrus Bus Tour Yields Learning Oppor…
December 18, 2014
Find out what Florida Grower editor Frank Giles saw and heard during Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association's annual outing. Read More
CitrusStudy: Florida Citrus Valued At More Than $10 Billion
December 17, 2014
Industry continues to have large impact on the state’s economy. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vege…
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Wate…
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty C…
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Crop Forecast Update: So Far, So Good
December 10, 2014
USDA estimates hold steady for third month in a row. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Hall Of Fame Selects Class Of 2015
December 10, 2014
Three more industry stalwarts added to prestigious list. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Conce…
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
CitrusProspects Perking Up For Florida Citrus In 2015 [Opinio…
December 5, 2014
Positive alignment of numerous programs give reason for optimism. Read More
CitrusDemand For Florida Farmland Exceeding Supply 
December 5, 2014
High prices and water shortages in other parts of the country have potential buyers looking to the Sunshine State. Read More
CitrusTrio Of Acquisitions Make Alico Top Citrus Producer In …
December 3, 2014
With growth opportunity in its sights, Florida company pulls trigger on strategic purchases of three local operations totaling more than $360 million for nearly 30,000 acres. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Commission Adds New Member
December 1, 2014
Gov. Rick Scott appoints Dan Casper of Southern Gardens to replace Virginia Pena; reappoints two others. Read More
CitrusJuicy Subjects In Store For 2015 Florida Citrus Show
December 1, 2014
Day 1 of the annual two-day gathering in Ft. Pierce to provide a refresher course on HLB management strategies. Read More
CitrusGenNext Growers Webcast Calls For Action
December 1, 2014
Young leaders need to activate and motivate now more than ever. Read More
CitrusBe Willing To Take A ‘Wild Turkey’ Approach…
November 27, 2014
Editor Frank Giles says Florida Grower will be stepping up to the bully pulpit in 2015 addressing topics that impact the industry the most. Read More
CitrusNew Partnership To Expand ‘Fresh From Florida’ Foot…
November 26, 2014
Latest deal puts exclamation point on successful Asia marketing campaign. Read More
CitrusReasons Aplenty Florida Growers Should Feel Good Going …
November 24, 2014
Thanks to recent industry achievements, the next 12-month period is shaping up to be a year to remember --- fondly. Read More
CitrusIndustry Organizations Sound Off On President’s Immig…
November 21, 2014
Agriculture is not given the attention it so sorely deserves when it comes to the immigration debate. Read More