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Bill Castle, longtime UF/IFAS professor, inducted into Florida Citrus Hall of Fame

Bill Castle

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Professor Emeritus William S. “Bill” Castle, who is internationally recognized as the leading authority on rootstocks and work that has shaped the entire Florida citrus industry, will be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame on March 11.

“Dr. Castle inspired numerous students to become involved in the citrus industry, and many serve in leadership roles today,” said Jack Payne, senior vice president of agriculture at UF. “His impact on the citrus industry and the role he played were vital to the survival of that industry.”

Castle conducted research at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred for more than 30 years. His research has resulted in improved citrus scions and rootstocks, orchard designs and management of high density plantings, citrus propagation and pre-plant expert systems, windbreak design and establishment, along with pomegranate cultivars and plantings.

Castle performed significant work in developing new sweet oranges, with focus on early-maturing selections with better juice color and flavor, to improve the not-from-concentrate (NFC) product. He was also extremely conscientious about his research and its benefit to the industry, working with economists to make certain that his information was not only scientifically correct, but also economically sound for the grower.

Known widely throughout the international community, his extensive network of researchers has made numerous collaborations possible, resulting in break-through research on HLB and most recently, while in retirement, the beginnings of a commercial pomegranate industry. Castle’s research also helped to develop the “DISC” precision agriculture program and one of its outcomes, Advanced Citrus Production Systems.

The induction luncheon ceremonies will be held in the Hollis Wellness Center at Florida Southern College, Lakeland. For more information, contact Brenda Eubanks Burnette at (561) 351-4314 or


By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566,

Source: Jack Payne, 352-392-1971,