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Photo of citrus greening disease affecting a citrus tree. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program

The citrus industry in the U.S. is valued at over $3.3 billion with major production presently concentrated in Florida, California, and Texas. Citrus production in the U.S is threated by an invasive bacterial pathogen known as Candidatus liberibacter asiaticas that causes the Huanglongbing (HLB) disease.

The bacterium is transmitted by an invasive insect vector, the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB, also known as citrus greening, was first detected in the U.S. in 2005 in Florida and has now also been detected in Texas and California. HLB is responsible for over 75% reduction in citrus production in Florida. 

The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act authorized the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund to provide mandatory funding to combat HLB. USDA-NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research & Extension (ECDRE) program aims at bringing together the nation’s top scientists to find scientifically sound solutions to Huanglongbing (HLB), in a financially sustainable way. The ECDRE program was preceded by the Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program.

ECDRE Goals and Outcomes: 

  1. Combat HLB and its disease complex in order to continue to be able to farm citrus in a financially sustainable way through collaborative approaches and knowledge;
  2. Transition from component-focused research to deploying research outcomes and conclusions on farms; and
  3. Encourage research teams to bring knowledge together to find grower solutions to combat and prevent HLB infection.

NIFA’s ECDRE program aims to address US citrus industry needs through the promotion of collaboration, open communication, information exchange, and the development of resources that accelerate the application of scientific discoveries and technologies to farm-level solutions for HLB.

The ECDRE program funds projects that integrate research and extension activities with strong evidence for grower engagement in the project development and implementation. Applicants to ECDRE program are also encouraged to incorporate collaborative approaches across disciplines that harness available knowledge to develop new solutions that can be deployed by growers to manage and prevent HLB infection in the near term

Project Types

The ECDRE program funds three types of projects:

  1. Standard Projects (SP): These support targeted problem-solving efforts that are narrower in scope.
  2. Coordination Networks (CN): These facilitate greater sharing of HLB research results nationally, at the state level, and internationally.
  3. Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP): These address national-scale efforts by coordinating research and extension efforts across multi-state/multi-institutional teams.

For each funding cycle, priorities for ECDRE are mandated by the Citrus Disease Subcommittee of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board.

Review Process

The ECDRE application review consists of two-stage process. The first review is at the pre-application level by an industry relevancy panel that is made up of US citrus growers. Applications that are selected by the panel members are then invited to submit full applications.

The second review process is by a scientific merit review panel which follows the standard scientific review at NIFA. The final ranking of applications incorporates the results from both the industry relevancy review and the scientific merit review.

Current Request for Pre-Application (FY2024)

Funded Projects

Program-Specific Resources



Program type
Competitive Grant Programs

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