One instance of fruit drop is expected and needed every growing season for Florida citrus producers. A second instance, however, is unexpected, unwanted and just what growers do not need right before harvest time.
HLB WORSENS DROP
But that is a scenario Florida citrus growers encounter every year. This problem has only worsened in the era of citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing (HLB). Premature fruit drop is an unfortunate side effect of HLB, which has plagued Florida citrus for years and is prevalent in the vast majority of the state’s citrus groves.
HLB affects citrus production not only in Florida, but in most of the world’s citrus-producing regions. The Asian citrus psyllid is found throughout Florida and transmits the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which causes HLB.
“There is the natural process of fruit drop that exists for the tree to get rid of excess fruit that it cannot bear and grow,” says Eric Herve, president and founder of C Green Ag Biotechnology. “Usually that occurs in mid-June for most varieties of citrus. Then, there is another fruit drop that is premature fruit drop. This is the one that growers don’t want. It is occurring after the initial fruit drop.”
According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Florida citrus growers experience premature fruit drop every year. Impacted groves can lose as much as 40% of their fruit right before it is time to harvest.
A NATURAL SOLUTION
Herve says help is available for producers who suffer through this phenomenon every year. A product that can assist citrus growers is CYAN 365®, a liquid natural solution from C Green Ag Biotechnology. It is a biostimulant that improves most essential physiological functions during the crop season. According to Herve, CYAN 365® strengthens the health of citrus trees and is a great asset in the grower’s toolbox for the fall season. The product is especially helpful when trees are preparing to enter dormancy and the gibberellic acid (GA) levels are dropping.
Herve explains that CYAN 365® provides an effective alternative for growers needing help retaining their fruit throughout the production season. Research data from a study focused on Hamlin oranges supports Herve’s assertion.
He shares the research results obtained in the study. “We compared our product* to the main synthetic GA products that are on the market,” Herve says. “We obtained 39% less fruit drop with one application of 1 pint (16 oz.) of CYAN 365® per acre, measured 30 days after it is applied. That’s compared to other gibberellic acid treatments where 10 ounces per acre are used, which is the recommended rate per acre, with only one application. One GA treatment resulted in 4% less premature fruit drop, and the other GA treatment resulted in 14% less premature fruit drop.”
GA is a plant hormone that affects tree growth and development. It is not as readily available during dormancy. This is naturally and normally attributed to daylight reduction, which leads to less photosynthesis. However, colder temperatures at night and the presence of HLB in the trees accelerate the drop in GA. All these factors produce more room for abscisic acid but also make the process occur earlier in the crop season, which results in more premature fruit drop, says Herve.
Herve says CYAN 365®’s maximum efficiency occurs at 30 days after application. “After 30 days, it starts to decrease,” he explains. “At 60 days, there is an average of 25% less fruit drop. Before the harvest, if a grower needs to apply a pint every month, he should do it, especially if he fears that excess fruit drop would deplete his production.”
Growers are encouraged to make an application of CYAN 365® if they are at least 30 days away from harvest and looking to protect their yield.
Visit cgreenag.com/products/cyan-365 for more information about C Green Ag Biotechnology and Cyan 365®.
*There are 136 different forms of gibberellic acid (GA) found in nature. Some varieties of seaweed use high amounts of GA to survive and multiply, and usually only one form of GA is used per species of seaweed. CYAN 365® is drawing its natural active compounds from five different varieties of seaweed, which helps lead to a superior level of efficacy.
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