Biostimulants and Cold-Hardy Citrus

Jim Rogers Biostimulants, Florida, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is asking fruit growers in North Florida, Alabama and Georgia to take a survey about crop biostimulants. UF/IFAS will use the results to better help those growers with the use of biostimulants and direct future research and Extension education programs.

Satsuma (Citrus unshiu)

Those participating in the anonymous survey are asked to share their experiences, concerns, confusion and hopes about the efficient use of biostimulants. Responses will be used for research and educational purposes only.

Question about the survey can be emailed to Muhammad Shahid, fruit specialist at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, or Danielle Sprague, the UF/IFAS Extension agent in Jefferson County.

Plant biostimulants are substances and/or microorganisms that, when applied to plants or the rhizosphere, stimulate natural processes to improve uptake and efficiency of nutrients and water. They also induce tolerance to insect pests, diseases and environmental stresses.

Biostimulants may also improve quality characteristics such as shelf life, sugar content and fruit color, fragrance, shape and size. These products are commercially available in many different formulations with varying ingredients. They are commonly marketed under names such as biological plant activators, plant health stimulators or probiotics for plants, just to name a few.

Some of the most common ingredients in biostimulants are humic substances (humic and fulvic acids), seaweed extracts, beneficial bacteria, beneficial fungi, microbial inoculants, amino acids and polyamines.

Plant biostimulants have great potential for use in horticultural production systems, specifically cold-hardy citrus. They can improve production, quality and frost tolerance while reducing fertilizer inputs and environmental impacts.

Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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