Nutrition and pH Management for HLB

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Nutrition


kelly morgan

At Citrus Expo, University of Florida soil scientist Kelly Morgan said nutrient uptake by HLB-infected trees can be improved by applying the proper amount of nutrition and managing pH.

“Those two things go hand-in-hand,” he said. “As you reduce soil pH below 7, you increase the uptake of most nutrients. So we need to reduce our pH. Our pH has increased over time. We need to get below 7, preferably between 6 and 6.5.”

Morgan, who serves as director of the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, noted that copper fungicides are essential for management of canker and other diseases, but can further negatively impact HLB-infected trees. “We need to look for alternatives” to copper, he said. “We need to work with our pathologists and find out what those alternatives would be.”

Until economically feasible alternatives are found, he said, “the growers just need to look at their leaf tissue analysis reports and make sure that copper is not getting excessively high.”

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About the Author

Tacy Callies

Editor of Citrus Industry magazine