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Research has always been a primary pursuit of the Florida citrus industry, however, with the spread of greening and canker research has taken on even more importance.

There are now more than 100 research projects underway designed to provide short and long-term solutions to each disease. Scientists are confident that intensive and sustained research can solve the greening and canker puzzles once and for all. Growers have paid for those projects out of their own pockets with money normally devoted to marketing citrus. But if these diseases aren’t beaten there will be no product to market.

Much of the country’s citrus research takes place at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). CREC, which recently celebrated its 90th Anniversary, is one of the world’s pre-eminent citrus research
institutions. CREC’s website address is http://www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu/

In addition to CREC, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service operates research facilities in Ft. Pierce and Winter Haven, Fl. that also conduct in-depth citrus research. ARS’ homepage is at http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), a direct service organization affiliated with the University of Florida, manages the industry’s research push. The CRDF is governed by a Board of Directors comprised mostly of growers. For a list of CRDF projects and more information on the Foundation, go to www.citrusrdf.org

Mutual has been working hard to secure state and federal funding through appropriations and the Farm Bill to support the grower research dollars going forward.