– Bayer CropScience joins the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation in the fight against citrus greening –
FFVA trade associate member Bayer CropScience has a history of providing science-based solutions to challenges facing farmers. The company demonstrated that commitment in September with a $200,000 donation to research efforts to fight citrus greening in Florida.
Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), threatens to devastate the nation’s orange and other citrus crops. Healthy citrus trees can produce fruit for decades; however, HLB-infected trees yield discolored, inedible fruit and can die in as few as five years. The Florida citrus market has suffered a loss of more than $4.5 billion in crops and has lost an estimated 8,300 jobs because of the disease.
Bayer CropScience announced a collaboration with the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation to create a three-year grant program for citrus greening research. The grant was awarded to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation during FFVA’s 70th Annual Convention in September.
In its first year, the grant will support CRDF’s existing research on HLB and Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that carries the disease. For the remaining years, the collaboration partners will determine the focus of the research.
“Bayer is committed to collaborating with the citrus industry to eliminate this debilitating disease,” said Alan Ayers, director of stakeholder relations and stewardship, Bayer CropScience. “The future of citrus depends on the development of innovative answers, and through this partnership, Bayer is focused on finding a solution.”
Bayer also supports other efforts related to Florida agriculture. In addition to the three-year citrus greening grant, Bayer has donated $10,000 to Farmers Feeding Florida, a food recovery program instituted by the Florida Association of Food Banks. Farmers Feeding Florida provides much-needed relief by connecting Florida residents in need of healthy food with growers and packers who have excess produce. Bayer’s donation will help to further FFF’s mission and support the Florida food industry.
“Bayer CropScience is dedicated to providing innovative solutions for the food chain,” said Florida Specialty Crop Foundation Executive Director Sonia Tighe. “We are honored that Bayer continues to partner with our foundation to meet the needs of growers and the citrus industry.”
Bayer CropScience is the subgroup of Bayer AG that is responsible for its agricultural business. Bayer AG is a 150-year-old global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials.
Bayer CropScience is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control.
More information on Bayer CropScience’s sustainability initiatives can be found on the company’s “Our Commitment” page.