soil

Fast, Inexpensive Soil pH Testing

Ernie Neffsoil

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt took several baggies of soil to an OJ break he hosted Jan. 14 at the Citrus Research and Education Center. He inserted a handheld pH meter into the soil in one of the baggies and within seconds told watching growers the content’s pH level. “Soil pH is real important, especially with HLB-infected trees today,” …

testing

University of Georgia Lab Offers HLB Testing

Daniel CooperGeorgia, HLB Management

The University of Georgia’s (UGA) Plant Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MDL) on the Tifton campus is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified lab performing huanglongbing (HLB, also known as citrus greening) testing. It offers the advanced test to commercial growers, homeowners, nurseries, Extension and research personnel and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The molecular test per sample costs $80. Candidatus Liberibacter species associated with HLB …

Phosphorus Recommendations and Soil pH Amendments

Josh McGillHLB Management, Nutrition, Soil Improvement

By Kelly T. Morgan and Davie Kadyampakeni Most information provided in the 2020 3rd edition of Nutrition of Florida Citrus Trees is still sound for healthy citrus trees under Florida production conditions. Past information on nutrients, application methods, leaf and soil sampling, and irrigation scheduling are also effective for management of huanglongbing (HLB)-affected trees. However, research conducted since HLB was …

The Fate of Phosphorus in Florida Citrus Soils

Ernie NeffNutrition, soil

Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt discussed the fate of phosphorus in Florida citrus soils in the September Extension newsletter, Citrus from the Ridge to the Valley. Excerpts from his article follow. The amount of phosphorus in soil is closely related to the potential availability of this phosphorus to plants … Potentially available soil forms of phosphorus are dependent on …

Living With Greening by Improving Soil Health

Tacy CalliesSoil Improvement

By Ronald G. Doetch I am a lifelong farmer/agronomist and, at the age of 73, have worked with many different crops through the many changes in agriculture challenges and production practices. I moved to Florida four years ago to grow a few oranges and have a firsthand look and understanding of the relationship of soil health to tree decline and …

UF/IFAS Plant and Soil Diagnostic Labs Remain Operational

Tacy CalliesIndustry News Release

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) wants growers to know its diagnostic labs are continuing to operate during the COVID-19 crisis. Plant and soil health are critical to agriculture, an industry designated as essential during the pandemic. Therefore plant, soil and water testing will continue to be available. The following UF/IFAS labs are receiving and …

Soil Improvement with Organic Mulch

Tacy CalliesSoil Improvement

By Jim Hoffman This article is about my experiences with incorporating organic mulched materials into select areas of groves at Estes Citrus in the Indian River region. Our citrus groves consist of bedded, 40-acre blocks where it is common to have three or four distinct soil types in each block. Unfortunately, we have several sand-pond areas that have a history …

leaf, water analysis

The Importance of Soil Sampling

Ernie NeffNutrition

Agronomist Oscar Ruiz with Waypoint Analytical, one of the key presenters at a recent soil testing seminar in Sebring, discusses the importance and basics of soil sampling. “Soil testing is very important,” Ruiz says. “It gives you a baseline for your general soil fertility at the beginning of the cropping cycle. Based on that soil report, you can gauge approximately …

Scouting Tools and Tactics

Tacy CalliesCEU

By Matt Smith Editor’s note: This article grants one continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services restricted-use pesticide license when the accompanying test is submitted and approved. This article is an updated version of a previous article, “Scouting: The Tip of the IPM Spear,” published in the …

Sticking to a Solid Production Plan

Tacy CalliesNutrition, Production, Soil Health

Matthew Machata grew up in Polk County on the family’s citrus farm, Rolling Meadows Ranch Groves in Lake Wales, Florida. After he graduated high school, he joined the Marine Corps and served two tours in Iraq. He then attended Auburn University, where he earned a degree in aerospace engineering. At the time, his plans didn’t include farming, but that changed …

Fertilizer Exemption Issued Due to Hurricane Ian

Josh McGillBMPs, Florida, Regulation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently issued an emergency rule allowing growers enrolled in best management practices (BMP) programs to apply replacement fertilizer to reestablish crops impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under the rule, producers can make those applications without fear of being out of compliance with their respective BMP manuals. The emergency rule will be in …

Nutritional Lessons Learned From the Field and in the Wild

Josh McGillNutrition

By Brad Turner In the 1970s, the majority of my family’s groves in Hillsborough, Polk and Hardee counties remained on a 25-foot by 25-foot setting or wider. Most of these “old school” blocks received several light cultivations in both directions, two fertilizations and two foliar sprays per season. These groves contained some of the most grand and bountiful trees in …

Pest Management: A New Approach to an Age-Old Challenge

Tacy CalliesPests

By Brad Turner From a family with deep Florida roots, I have over 40 years of experience in commercial citrus production. I learned the industry from the ground up by working in the family groves while studying citrus production at Florida Southern College. I have owned a citrus nursery, my own groves and a citrus caretaking business. I have also …

Fertilization Methods: Pros and Cons

Ernie NeffNutrition

Brandon White with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences discussed the pros and cons of several types and methods of citrus fertilization at Citrus Nutrition Day on Oct. 26. The event was held at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. White recently became the new commercial fruit crop agent for Florida’s Lake …

Irrigation and Nutrition Management in the Era of HLB

Ashley RobinsonIrrigation, Nutrition

A solid nutrition and irrigation program can enhance the productivity of HLB-affected trees and improve citrus tree health, potentially making production profitable even under HLB conditions. This was the subject of Davie Kadyampakeni’s talk during a March 9 OJ Break virtual meeting held for citrus growers. Kadyampakeni is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant …

Reusing Oilfield Produced Water for Irrigation

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Irrigation

California citrus growers and other farmers in the Bakersfield area may feel vindicated with the result of a new study by researchers at Duke University and RTI International. As reported in the California Department of Food and Agriculture Planting Seeds blog, the study finds that reusing oilfield water that’s been mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo …

Grower Appreciates Nutrition Test Kit

Ernie NeffNutrition

Lake Wales citrus grower Marshall Hartley left a recent meeting at the Citrus Research and Education Center with a box containing nutrition sampling materials for his small grove. His was one of 31 boxes passed out as part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Nutrition Management Program. More growers will pick up boxes …

florida

Update on Florida Ag Legislation and Budget Presented

Daniel CooperFlorida, Legislative

By Maegan Beatty In mid-April, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted the 9th annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma. The conference examines critical policy issues facing agribusiness leaders and provides economic insights. Participants heard from policymakers, key stakeholders and expert researchers on the farm …

therapies

Nutrition Remains a Critical Element as New Therapies Roll Out

Daniel CooperNutrition

Growers have largely adopted new trunk-injection therapies to fight the effects of HLB in citrus groves. In addition, plant growth regulators have helped improve tree health and fruit retention. One University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist reminds growers to maintain their fertilizer programs as the new therapies are deployed.  Davie Kadyampakeni, UF/IFAS associate professor of …

Assistance Available for Food-Safety Expenses

Tacy CalliesFood Safety

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding specialty crop growers that assistance is available for producers who incur eligible on-farm expenses to obtain or renew a certification through the Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) program. Producers can apply for assistance with their calendar year 2023 expenses through Jan. 31. FSCSC covers a percentage of the operation’s cost …