At Citrus Expo, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) introduced a new Citrus Nutrition Program to help growers ensure their trees are getting the proper nutrition. Tripti Vashisth, UF/IFAS horticulturist at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), provides more information about the effort.
“We have learned the past few years that citrus nutrition can improve the health and productivity” of trees in the face of HLB, Vashisth says. But, she adds, “There’s no one size that fits all,” and fertilizer programs need to be tailored to individual groves. She points out that groves have variability in soil pH, organic matter, scions, rootstocks and other factors that can affect a fertilizer program.
The UF/IFAS Citrus Nutrition Program was explained at an Oct. 8 meeting at the CREC. Additional meetings will take place Oct. 23 at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, and Oct. 29 at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce.
Vashisth says growers attending any of those meetings will learn how the program works and be given nutrient test kits. The presentations will be the same at all of the meetings, she adds. The kits will include instructions and tools for leaf and soil sampling in up to 20 acres of grove for a year.
Vashisth says once soil and leaf samples are submitted, UF/IFAS personnel will review the results and help growers customize nutrition programs. Although the program is only providing kits for up to 20 acres, “whatever a grower can learn from this program, they can take it further and do it on their other groves, too,” she says.
Hear more on this topic from Vashisth in the current episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.
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