The severe impacts of recent storms are layered on top of the complex set of challenges already facing U.S. citrus growers—especially in Florida.
From high input costs to domestic supply shortages, the unmatched devastation caused by citrus greening disease, and now the recovery efforts needed post-hurricane, growers need holistic solutions–and they need them fast.
The good news is that breakthrough research is revealing the wide-ranging benefits of certain strains of soil microbes in rebuilding citrus tree roots, encouraging new growth on previously dying root systems, and enhancing nutrient and water uptake from the soil.
All of this is even more important to help citrus groves recover from the damage inflicted by severe weather events.
Here are four reasons your citrus grove will benefit from incorporating biologicals:
1.) Certain biologicals give young trees a better chance of survival
Citrus greening (HLB) disease severely damages part of the vascular system of citrus trees, which is the system that manages the uptake, storage, and utilization of water and nutrients.
Research indicates that HLB-spreading psyllids prefer to accelerate their attack in the early stages of citrus tree shoot development, during the emerging and developmental phases.
READ: A SHIFT TOWARD SOIL MICROBES IN YOUNG CITRUS TREE CARE
Implementing a control strategy during these early phases will give trees the best chance to fight the stresses of HLB. Soil microbes play a role in this endeavor. To do this, many citrus growers are turning to the use of biologicals developed by Locus Agricultural Solutions (Locus AG).
Often referred to as soil probiotics, Locus AG’s products contain powerful microbes specifically selected for their benefits on young citrus trees. These strains can help support growing trees by enhancing nutrient uptake and improving root growth—with impacts confirmed through root digs.
WATCH: FLORIDA CITRUS ROOT DIG AND RESULTS
2.) Specific biological strains rebuild and strengthen roots on existing trees
While it’s best to get citrus trees started on biologicals in the early stages of development, the data also shows that the right microbes can strengthen root systems in mature citrus trees and help sustain root strength throughout the tree’s lifetime.
Certain microbes colonize the rhizosphere, which is the area around citrus tree roots. This is where they perform essential complex functions within the soil microbiology of citrus trees, including:
- Breaking down residues from the citrus tree
- Nutrient cycling to the citrus tree from the soil
- Increase the growth of citrus tree feeder roots
The specific biologicals produced by Locus Agricultural Solutions (Locus AG) are demonstrating significant results for Florida citrus groves infected with HLB, including sustained root growth on previously dying or severely weakened root systems.
After just four applications, Florida citrus growers who used Locus AG’s biologicals have observed a 77% increase in root mass, as well as larger fruit sizes, better quality fruit, and less fruit drop. That’s because the soil solutions contain specific strains of microbes specifically selected to optimize results.
3.) Endophytic biologicals live within the tree for longer-lasting results
Certain strains of microbes amplify the biological’s benefits to the citrus tree, strengthening root systems and supporting feeder root grow-back on trees infected by HLB.
Endophytic microbes are biological strains (mostly bacteria and fungi) inhabit the internal tissues of plants without causing disease. Non-endophytic microbes are soil-dwelling strains that inhabit and surround the rhizosphere.
There are both endophytic and non-endophytic strains that are beneficial to citrus trees. However, certain endophytic strains perform specific functions that produce longer-term positive impacts, particularly for trees infected with HLB.
Locus AG specifically selects microbes for their crop-specific properties, with high CFU counts and strains that work synergistically rather than in competition with another. Several of these novel strains are endophytic and help to supplement food to non-endophytic microbes, increasing the overall soil microbial population.
4.) Biologicals can enhance nutrient and water uptake to the citrus tree
In the rhizosphere, soil microbes produce metabolites and organic acids that help to solubilize, move, and recycle soil nutrients–including the most important macronutrients: N-P-K. Biologicals with certain microbial strains have been shown to enhance the uptake of these nutrients and other inputs.
After a full year of soil and tissue testing on 240 mature citrus trees in eight different locations in Florida, the citrus groves treated with a low-dosage program of Locus AG biologicals observed:
- 8% more Nitrogen
- 13% more Phosphorus
- 11% more Potassium
By helping the tree better absorb available nutrients, certain soil microbes can be a supportive player to nearly any other citrus treatments used.
Start treating citrus groves with biologicals today
Citrus growers don’t have time to waste when it comes to restoring their groves.
It’s critical to invest in soil fertility and strengthen feeder roots to reap the highest benefits and efficiency from soil inputs.
No matter what treatment path you choose or where you’re at in the management planning process, incorporating soil probiotics can help create a stronger foundation in the soil.
Locus AG soil probiotics are produced in the USA, and are available now for immediate shipment.
To learn more, contact Locus AG at LocusAG.com/Contact or call 888-331-5008.