Cover Crops for Citrus ‘Really Encouraging’

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Cover Crops

Healthy soil has high percentages of soil organic matter, which improves water-holding capacity, nutrient cycling and retention, and provides nutrients for microbes, along with other benefits. Unfortunately, Sarah Strauss noted, most citrus soils in Florida typically have 1 to 2 percent soil organic matter, “which is basically non-existent.” Strauss and other scientists are researching two ways of improving soil organic … Read More

Cover Crops Benefit California Citrus Grower

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Cover Crops

A California citrus grower says he has substantially increased water retention and decreased irrigation usage by planting cover crops. Chris Sayer, of Petty Ranch, says he has added about 3 percent organic content to his soil, which has reduced irrigation water usage from 2 acre feet to 1.25 to 1.5 acre feet. Sayer is a fifth-generation Ventura County farmer. He … Read More

Eco-Mowing Is Part of Cover Crop Research

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Research

Cover crop research in Southwest Florida will include looking into the effectiveness of eco-mowing, or moving mowed clippings under the tree canopy rather than leaving clippings in row middles. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss discusses numerous aspects of cover crop and compost research being conducted by her and other UF/IFAS scientists. … Read More

Soil, Cover Crops and Compost

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Soil Improvement

soil

Soil organic matter benefits citrus, but there isn’t much of it in Florida groves, says University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss. Most Florida citrus land typically contains only 1 to 2 percent soil organic matter, says Strauss, who works at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. “Areas near the Everglades with muck … Read More

Cover Crops Bring HLB Recovery

Ernie NeffCover Crops, HLB Management

About eight years ago, Ed James had given up on a grove that was ravaged by HLB in the Howey-in-the-Hills area. “I had abandoned the grove,” he says. “I was going to fix the soil to plant alternative crops. And when I started fixing the soil with cover crops, the trees turned around and started producing again.” On Nov. 15, … Read More

Cover Crops for Citrus

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Sarah Strauss, Davie Kadyampakeni, Ramdas Kanissery, Tara Wade, Lauren Diepenbrock and Juanita Popenoe Cover crops are specific crops not intended for sale but for soil improvement and sustainability. They are increasingly common in the agricultural fields of the Midwest and other grain-producing regions because of the wide range of benefits not just for the soil, but also the cash … Read More

Citrus Grower Sees Success with Cover Crops

Tacy CalliesCover Crops

By Juanita Popenoe and Lauren Diepenbrock Ed James has citrus in his veins. He has been working and thriving in the citrus business since he was a teenager — from hoeing orange trees to owning a caretaking business that serviced thousands of acres. That is, until about eight years ago. In 2010, James looked around his personal 45-acre citrus grove … Read More