Making Sense of Biologicals: Seaweed for Citrus Stress Management

Tacy CalliesMSOB


Florida provides an environment conducive to producing a variety of crops 365 days a year. It has beautiful sunshine, an ideal climate and ample rainfall for most of the year. These conditions allow Florida growers to produce some of the best citrus in the world.

But Florida citrus is not immune to the harsh realities that can come with growing any crop. Even in a state where there are few limits to crop production, there are challenges that every citrus grower must overcome.

High stress factors impact citrus production every season. These include hot temperatures, very little rainfall, too much rainfall or high winds from tropical systems. The question all producers must answer is how they will manage their crop during extreme weather events.

Eric Herve, president and founder of C Green Ag Biotechnology, says the most sustainable way to manage a crop during an extreme weather event is to apply biologicals.

Industry experts classify biologicals into three categories: biostimulants (liquid manure compost, seaweed extracts), biopesticides (Bacillus thuringiensis, mineral oil) and biofertilizers (rhizobium, azotobacter).

Polyamines (PAs) are endogenous phytohormones or flowering hormones that plants produce at various times during the growing season. If growers apply specific compounds extracted from biostimulants, specifically certain varieties of seaweed, this can increase the level of polyamines in their crop.

“I’m not the creator of anything; Mother Nature did it. I’m just an observer,” says Herve. “I observed what the crop can do in certain situations with seaweed. Seaweed is incredible because we have a lot of varieties, and they live in different spots all over the globe.”

Seaweed is especially impressive because of its survival rate during some of the most extreme settings across the world.

“There is a seaweed that lives very deep in the ocean and cannot catch much light for photosynthesis. That seaweed develops an incredible skill to increase photosynthesis in any crop on earth,” Herve says. “We have a seaweed that’s been selected. It has the capacity to remain on the sand and out of the ocean for several months without rotting. We studied this seaweed and why it doesn’t rot. We found it develops specific compounds to avoid fungal diseases.”

According to Herve, C Green chose five different seaweed species for its CYAN 365® biostimulant product. Each of these different species has the capacity to survive and multiply in extreme conditions and is an integral part of CYAN 365®.

Herve says the product reliably handles the extreme weather conditions that a grower can face during Florida’s citrus-growing season. In addition, CYAN 365® has helped citrus growers in Texas, some of which have been using the product for more than a year. Trees that received this biological application before and after last February’s freeze are recovering faster and showing more vigor than other trees, says Herve.

While Florida’s citrus-growing regions do not often experience freezing temperatures, freezes have destroyed the state’s signature crop in the past. In addition, Florida is susceptible to other extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

“Don’t forget that Florida is actually a beach. It’s a sandy soil,” says Herve. “It’s a strainer where everything goes through. You have to constantly feed the crop.”

While Florida’s sunshine and humidity are conducive to growing crops, these conditions are also conducive to diseases thriving. “Diseases are exploding during the wet season; canker, which is bacterial, and greasy spot, which is fungal,” Herve says. “With the high stress that the citrus crop may endure from heavy rainfall or drought, I think CYAN 365® is one of the best products on the market to combat this.”

Herve says he has good reasons to make that claim. “All the agronomic data shows that the crop is thriving way better when it receives CYAN 365®,” he says. “The product is improving and strengthening the main vital metabolic physiological function of the crop.”

As a product that is derived from seaweed, CYAN 365® is much more complex than just seaweed that is broken down. Herve says the three main things the product accomplishes are cell differentiation, cell division and cell enlargement in the crop.

“We are bringing a serum of life to these different crops; they understand immediately what those compounds are because they are natural compounds,” he explains. “The crop is responding immediately. When it is under heavy stress, it can grab those compounds contained in the product.”

CYAN 365® is a natural biostimulant that, in combination with conventional fertilizers or fungicides, fortifies the trees’ core and helps produce high-quality yields. It also aids in improving fungicide efficiency, which could lead to a reduction of those chemical inputs. Simply put, trees are naturally healthier with this product.

“I think growers know the capacity of the product to help their trees endure the stresses they will encounter throughout the year,” says Herve. “Consider HLB (citrus greening disease) in citrus. HLB is actually suffocating the trees. What growers need to counter these diseases is a good fertilizer program, a good protection program and a product that helps them to repair the damages made by all these different stress factors. That’s what CYAN 365® is contributing to.”

Visit the C Green Ag Biotechnology website at to learn more about CYAN 365®.

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Clint Thompson