This year’s Citrus Nutrition Day — at which growers will learn the latest data about growing the fruit, from the soil up through the plants — is expanding to include tours of field trials.
After a morning of updates from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers, participants may tour field sites at the Peace River Packing grove in Polk County. That’s where Tripti Vashisth has been conducting two fertilizer trials during the past three years.
“Growers will get to see the trees and fruit load on them,” said Vashisth, an assistant professor of horticultural sciences and citrus Extension specialist with the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). “Last year, we found that some of the enhanced mineral nutrition trials yielded better than conventional nutrition, and we anticipate the same this year. Therefore, growers might be interested in seeing this ongoing trial.”
Citrus nutrition refers to mineral nutrients that a plant needs for normal function, growth and development, Vashisth said.
Plants can absorb carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the atmosphere, but growers must provide the rest of the essential nutrients for their crops, especially in regions with poor soil nutrition or where land is used repeatedly for agriculture. When a plant has optimal nutrients, it can produce high-quality fruit, grow better and fight pests and diseases.
The event, from 9:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon, Dec. 11, will feature several UF/IFAS faculty. Researchers will speak on the following topics:
- Irrigation management for trees affected by citrus greening, or huanglongbing (HLB); Davie Kadyampakeni, assistant professor of soil and water sciences, UF/IFAS CREC, Lake Alfred
- Effect of soil pH on tree nutrient status; Kelly Morgan, professor of soil and water sciences and center director, UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee
- Improving performance of HLB-affected trees with macro- and micro-nutrients; Kadyampakeni, UF/IFAS CREC
- Interpreting leaf tissue nutrient data from HLB-affected groves; Arnold Schumann, professor of soil and water sciences, UF/IFAS CREC
- Nutrition trial update, Tripti Vashisth; assistant professor of horticultural sciences and citrus Extension specialist, UF/IFAS CREC
“We are discovering pieces of information that can help maintain health and productivity of the groves,” Vashisth said. “All the leading Florida citrus nutrition experts will present new information in this event, which is readily applicable to groves and can help in improving tree health.”
To register for the event, to be held at the Stuart Conference Center, 1710 Highway 17 South, Bartow, Florida, click here.
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