While many of us have been enjoying a little down time for the summer, the CRAFT staff, Technical Working Group (TWG), and Board of Directors have been hard at work collecting data from Cycle 1 projects, putting the finishing touches on Cycle II and developing the framework for Cycle III.
As of August 1, there were 102 approved projects in the program’s first two cycles that fall in to one of five primary research categories: rootstock/scion, nutrition, pest management, biostimulants and resets. The CRAFT team is now working with Cycle I and Il growers to finalize plantings and begin collecting data on their
projects to be added to the CRAFT Data Portal created by our partners at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Partnership for Data Innovation (USDA-ARS PDI).
“The CRAFT Data Portal will provide a one-stop reserve of information unlike any developed in the Florida citrus industry before,” said USDA–ARS PDI GIS Analyst and Data Portal creator Caryn Nezat. “From the drone imaging that provides precise maps of each grove, to the production and economic data directly from the growers combined with grove health reports from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services Division of Plant Industry and other laboratory partners, this Data Portal provides the most comprehensive look yet at what practices really work in the fight against citrus greening.”
Looking forward to Cycle III, the Technical Working Group identified what they saw as gaps in the research from Cycles I and II and presented that to the Board of Directors. After consideration, Factors of Interest were established by the Board for inclusion in Cycle III. Of particular interest are projects studying early and mid-season varieties such as Parson Brown and Hamlin; OLL scions; grapefruit plantings located in the Ridge or Flatwoods regions; water acidification; the use of cover crops for nutritional, water and weed-control benefits; peptides; plant defense inducers; nematicides; brassinosteroids; and the economic phased replantings. This list is not inclusive, and interested growers are encouraged to submit applications for they think may be of interest and beneficial to the citrus industry.
Citrus Research and Field Trial(CRAFT) Citrus Grower Assistance Program: More information on the program, along with the application for participation in Cycle lil can be found online at www.craftfdn.org. The window to apply opened in mid August and will close at 5:00 p.m. on October 14, 2021.
Anyone with questions are encouraged to contact CRAFT Program Manager Tamara Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863.698.9276.