Whether a citrus grove is thriving or not is often based on what is observed above the ground. However, the best measurement of fertility comes from what’s happening below ground—in the soil microbiology. There is a complex community of living organisms, everything from worms and insects to tree roots.
One of the most important elements is soil microbes.
Soil microbes are vital to citrus productivity
Also known as “microscopic organisms”, soil microbes are critical to ensuring fertile soil. Their presence is also vital to the productivity of the citrus tree.
There are four broad categories of soil microbes, which include bacteria, protozoa, fungi and viruses. While they are too small to be seen, the beneficial soil microbes from these categories perform complex functions within the soil microbiology.
These essential functions include:
- Breaking down citrus tree residues
- Cycling nutrients through the soil to the tree
- Stimulating citrus feeder root growth
The importance of a citrus tree’s rhizosphere
As little as one teaspoon of fertile soil contains more microbes than the world’s population of people. These microbe colonies tend to live in the rhizosphere—an area around the citrus roots.
In this rhizosphere, soil microbes help enhance nutrient utilization, including the most important three macronutrients, N-P-K. During their reproduction process, soil microbes produce metabolites and organic acids. These metabolites and organic acids help solubilize, move and recycle soil nutrients.
When a citrus tree’s rhizosphere is in disrepair
Productive citrus trees need fertile soils. And fertile soils need beneficial soil microbes. A lack of enough “good” microbes, or the presence of harmful microbes, negatively impacts all the citrus trees growing within the soil.
When a citrus tree rhizosphere is in disrepair, it can lead to imbalanced soil pH, die-off of young and new feeder roots, soil compaction and nutrient run-off. The citrus tree is also no longer able to develop a symbiotic relationship with the beneficial microbes needed to improve productivity.
Soil probiotics increase microbial activity in citrus groves
Novel microbial soil amendments, also known as soil probiotics, have been developed as a tool for citrus growers to build a thriving rhizosphere.
Similar to how probiotics help build “good” bacteria within the human microbiome, agricultural soil probiotics add beneficial soil microbes. They also encourage higher microbial activity in the soil. Increased microbial activity supports root growth and enhances nutrient and water uptake by the citrus tree.
Choosing the right microbial strains for citrus
Not all soil amendments are created equal. It’s important to select soil probiotics with specific microbial strains and functions. The microbes should be strategically chosen; and they should meet the needs of citrus groves.
Certain microbial strains work synergistically together, amplifying benefits within the rhizosphere of the citrus tree. The strong relationship between these specific few strains provides powerful results that the use of weak, ineffective or competing strains can’t match.
One example is a line of award-winning soil probiotics developed by Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG). These soil probiotics have been used to treat citrus groves across with country with proven results on productivity.
Benefits of soil probiotics on HLB-impacted citrus trees
With citrus greening disease (HLB) devastating groves, low supply, soaring fertilizer prices and a substantial increase in overall production costs, Florida growers need holistic solutions to save their citrus groves.
In as little as 30 days, Florida citrus groves treated with Locus AG’s soil probiotics have:
- Considerable feeder root grow-back
- Stronger, more resilient root systems
- Reduction in leaf litter
- Increased canopy density
Florida citrus growers have observed higher quality fruit and a reduction in fruit drop after applying Locus AG soil probiotics to their groves. Read more about Locus AG’s citrus results.
Most importantly, Locus AG soil probiotics have been encouraging new root growth on previously dying or severely weakened root systems due to HLB.
Locus AG soil probiotics are made in the USA and are available for immediate shipment.
See the results for yourself
Growers need to focus on the root cause of declining citrus production—starting with poor soil fertility. To do this, they can’t treat individual symptoms or use just any soil microbes. They must select soil biological products that specifically fit their current citrus program, growing methods and grove needs.
When citrus growers use the correct strains of soil microbes, they see lasting results and boost citrus tree productivity from the ground up.
To learn more, visit LocusAG.com, or call us at 888.331.5008.