Nutrient deficiencies are common in HLB-affected trees, which make up the vast majority of Florida citrus trees. At a recent Citrus Nutrition Day in Bartow, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Arnold Schumann discussed ways to identify and avoid nutrient deficiencies.
A common identification method for nutrient deficiencies is direct observation, “walking through your grove, maybe collecting some leaves and comparing them with field guide photographs showing symptoms,” Schumann explained.
Artificial intelligence with machine vision offers the promise that a grower can use smart phones to identify nutrient deficiencies. Growers of other crops are already using those technologies for that purpose, Schumann said.
According to Schumann, growers can avoid nutrient deficiencies by maintaining a balanced micronutrient program. Such a program should utilize both foliar sprays and root feeding via ground fertilizer applications, “giving the trees as much access to the nutrients when they need it throughout the year.”
Florida citrus growers have increased their focus on nutrition as a way to maintain tree health and crops since HLB was discovered in Florida groves in 2005.
Hear more from Schumann:
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