Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health

Josh McGill Cover Crops, Soil Health

By Sarah Strauss, Emma Dawson and Elena Karlsen-Ayala The term “soil health” has become increasingly popular in the last several years. While there are many definitions of soil health, one of the more commonly cited ones is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It defines soil health as “…the continued capacity of a soil …

Integrating Use of Organic Soil Amendments and Weed Management

Josh McGill Soil Health, weeds

By Ute Albrecht, Ankit Pokhrel, Sarah Strauss and Ramdas Kanissery The soils in most Florida citrus production areas are sandy. They have less than 1% organic matter and a low cation exchange capacity (CEC). This makes them prone to nutrient leaching, especially after heavy rainfall events in the summer. HUMIC SUBSTANCESOne way to improve soils is by amending them with …

Sustaining Citrus With Soil Improvement

Josh McGill Cover Crops, HLB Management, Soil Health

By Frank Giles HLB has taken a toll on growers both large and small over the years. That’s been the case with third-generation grower Chuck Bellamy, who grows citrus near Inverness, Florida. His grandparents planted the first trees on the property in 1930. A few of those trees are still alive in the grove nearly 100 years later. Bellamy says …

Questions Remain on Cover Crops and Compost

Josh McGill Soil Health

Cover crops and compost can impact soil microbes in citrus groves, and that’s generally considered a good sign, soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss said in a virtual May 24 seminar. Microbes are critical components of soil health through their contributions to soil organic matter, nutrient cycling and plant defenses. But the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) …

Sneak Peek: June 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGill Sneak Peek, Soil Health

During a historically low period of Florida citrus production, Inverness grower Chuck Bellamy has found a way to keep fruit on his trees. In the June cover story of Citrus Industry magazine, he tells what regenerative practices have reduced fruit drop in his grove. Not only is he keeping more oranges; he has lowered his production costs in the process. …