The University of Central Florida has been awarded a $1.21 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study citrus diseases, such as canker and greening. The UCF research will focus on copper. Copper-based pesticides have been used since the 1960s because they’re effective antimicrobial and anti-fungal agents. However, no substantial advances have been made to advance the technology. The goal is to continue to minimize the amount of copper per application using nanotechnology. According to Florida Citrus Mutual, the total impact of citrus in Florida is approximately $9 billion a year and represented about 63 percent of total U.S. production for the 2010-2011 season.
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