Growers Share Nutrition Successes

Grower Matt Story, left, with citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt, from a video shown at the Dec. 11 Citrus Nutrition Day in Bartow.

At the Dec. 11 Citrus Nutrition Day hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Polk County Extension, two growers shared their experiences with nutrition programs. The citrus growers, James Shinn of Shinn Groves/Tree O’Groves Inc. and Matt Story of the Story Companies, shared their knowledge via video interviews with citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt.

Oswalt visited the growers and asked what kinds of things they were doing out in the field and what kind of success they were having with managing HLB through nutrition. He summarized some of the growers’ main points.

“The constant supply of plant nutrition and the irrigation management seemed to be a reoccurring theme,” noted Oswalt. He also said that the growers were using “soil composting or materials like biosolids” to improve the soil structure and its water-holding capacity in addition to “the nutrition and constant feeding during the growing season and through the winter.”

Both growers noted that trees were looking greener as a result of these practices. Oswalt said there was “the belief that the soil amendments had a significant additional impact on the appearance of the trees.”

Oswalt believes that after dealing with postbloom fruit drop a couple of years ago and then Hurricane Irma, “it appears that this year everyone seems to be at least conservatively optimistic” about improving yield.

Oswalt said he enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the growers about their nutrition programs and “came out feeling pretty good about everything that was said.”

Hear more from Oswalt: 

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large