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2012 Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grants

Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Lake Alfred, Fla., $9,000,000. This project will work to eliminate citrus greening by blocking the ability of insects to move the disease from infected trees to healthy ones. The research team will also conduct outreach to growers and consumers to increase the adoption of this new biological control system, which could ultimately be transferred to the citrus industries in Arizona, California and Texas.

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., $827,745. This project will create needed genomic resources for spinach to accelerate the genetic resistance to the downy mildew pathogen.

University of Delaware, Newark, Del., $1,573,112. This project will develop better management practices for controlling diseases of lima beans, and then to put them into the hands of the growers in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $3,027,746. This project will develop innovative technologies for automating the dormant pruning of grape and apple, by utilizing modern sensors, computers, and robotic manipulators.

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $1,582,001. This project will develop a stakeholder-driven systems approach for cucurbit crop production in the eastern half of the United States to help growers meet the rapidly growing demand for locally-grown produce while protecting agroecosystem health and profitability.

Michigan State University, Lansing, Mich., $1,697,671. This project will address priority issues of specialty crop pollination and develop region- and crop-specific Integrated Crop Pollination management approaches to diversify pollination sources and maintain consistent crop yields.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $2,136,488. The goal of this project is to develop improved, low-input grass seed cultivars.

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., $1,298,023. This project will improve the sustainability and profitability of the U.S. Christmas tree industry by developing and using genomic tools to produce low cost and high quality Christmas trees with properties desired by consumers.

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa., $1,442,481. This project will produce several biopesticides for commercial use to offset the loss of registered chemicals and resistance.

Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $34,046. This planning grant will identify the research and extension needs of the vegetable production industry with a specific focus on peas.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc., $2,144,836. This project will improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability for the vegetable production and processing industry based on an improved understanding of the role of consumer markets.

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Davis, Calif., $1,761,897. This project will develop effective wood-canker disease management strategies that improve the productivity and longevity of almond, grape, and pistachio.

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Davis, Calif., $1,142,930. This project will use conventional and novel breeding strategies to develop walnut rootstocks with improved resistance to four major soilborne diseases.

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, S.C., $1,335,515. This project will contribute to a more sustainable and profitable tomato industry by developing detection methods for emerging tomato viruses and viroids, identifying genes responsible for virus resistance and transferring these technologies and disease resistance materials to stakeholders to accelerate tomato breeding.