Research Council (NRC) of the NAS developed a list of eight subject areas under which research proposals on HLB could be considered and identified potential review panel members for each. The review panels were appointed, and during the fall of 2008 the review panels met in Washington, D.C., each panel evaluating the corresponding set of proposals. Subsequently, a new panel composed of the chairs of the individual panels and the chair of the new panel, who had not participated in the initial process, evaluated all of the proposals. In December of 2008, the new panel submitted a list of research proposals that were deemed worthy of funding for consideration by the FDOC, which had allocated $20 million for research on citrus HLB and other serious citrus diseases.
As part of its request for assistance with the citrus HLB problem, the FDOC also asked the NAS to assemble and support a study committee that was assigned the task of developing a strategic plan for dealing with the citrus HLB problem. The strategic plan is to deal with the near-term mitigation and research efforts and, in the longer term, organizational and technical approaches to reducing the damaging effects of this devastating disease. The formal proposal to develop the strategic plan was approved by the Executive Committee of the NRC’s Governing Board on March 12, 2008. However, the Statement of Task was subsequently revised to include recommendations for ways that the Florida citrus industry can improve its capacity to respond to citrus HLB in a more comprehensive way. The revised Statement of Task, as approved in March, 2009, may be found as Appendix A of this report. In April of 2009, the NRC formed the Committee on Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Addressing Citrus Greening Disease (Huanglongbing). Biographical information on the committee members is presented in Appendix B. Given the urgency of the citrus HLB situation in Florida, the study was placed on a fast-track schedule for completion in early 2010 rather than allowing the usual 18 months or more for completion of a NRC committee report.
The Committee was asked to examine the following:
The current citrus disease situation in Florida and the status of public and private efforts to address citrus greening and other diseases; including lessons learned
The capacity of the industry to mobilize a scientifically-based response to current disease threats and to translate scientific advances into products and services for the protection of Florida citrus industry in the short and long term
The relationship of the industry to public, academic, and private research, and to regulatory and funding organizations at the state and federal level, with respect to controlling citrus greening and developing a comprehensive solution to citrus greening and other diseases.