Balancing Citrus Nutrition in the Era of HLB

Josh McGillHLB Management, Nutrition, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has committed to updating nutrition recommendations for citrus now that HLB is endemic across the state. Some of this ongoing research was discussed during the February All In For Citrus podcast.

Growers will be interested to hear from Davie Kadyampakeni, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of soil and water science, who detailed his new research on citrus nutrition. He has been studying the impact of macronutrients on yield, tree health and juice quality. He also has been researching the role of micronutrients like manganese, boron, zinc and iron.

Citrus Nutrition
Davie Kadyampakeni is working to update nutrition recommendations for HLB-affected citrus.

“We have seen tremendous success where we have increased the amounts of micronutrients over current recommendations,” Kadyampakeni noted. “We have done this research over the past three to four years. We are learning we need balanced and constant nutrition for these HLB-affected trees. We should give these trees as much as they need in small amounts over time.”

Kadyampakeni says his research is being applied to updated recommendations for citrus nutrient applications that account for the impacts of HLB. Those impacts include less root mass, less canopy and trees struggling to take nutrients from the soil and water.

“Going forward, we are looking to take the information we’ve learned in the past three to four years into recommendations for HLB-infected trees that growers can put into their toolbox,” Kadyampakeni said. “Hopefully, this information will help improve tree performance and yields.”

All the problems HLB causes to citrus trees will be taken into consideration to develop nutrient recommendations to help mitigate those stresses. According to Kadyampakeni, this nutrient work also coincides with irrigation strategies to help reduce stress.

The All In For Citrus podcast is a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media. Hear more from Kadyampakeni in the February episode.

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