Grant to Enhance Pollinator Habitat in Groves

Daniel Cooper California Corner, soil

The California Farm Bureau and its partners have received $5 million from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to implement climate-smart farming practices in citrus groves in 11 counties. The project, part of CDFA’s Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program, will focus on hedgerow planting, carbon sequestration and soil management practices. All of those practices create a safe …

How to Liven Up Your Soil

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, soil

How much life lives in a tiny bit of soil? A lot, according to Sarah Strauss, assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). “The estimate I often mention is there can be over a billion microorganisms in a gram of soil, which is about this size of a quarter,” she said during the …

How to Manage Salt Stress in Citrus Groves

Josh McGill soil, Tip of the Week, Water

By Amir Rezazadeh Saline soil and water damage many citrus groves in Florida. In general, when the dissolved salt concentration in soil or water increases, it is referred to as “saline” soil or water. But how much increase in salt concentration makes soil or water saline? Citrus plants’ major reactions to excessive salt in the soil or water are reduced …

Sneak Peek: June 2022 Citrus Industry

Josh McGill Nutrition, Sneak Peek, soil

In the quest to keep HLB-infected citrus trees productive, many growers are turning to techniques to improve soil health. That’s the focus of the June issue of Citrus Industry magazine. The hope is that better soil health will lead to better tree health. Methods under study include compost, cover crops and oak mulch. Citrus grower and consultant Brad Turner makes …

nutrient availability

Keeping Soil pH at the Optimal Level

Josh McGill Nutrition, soil

By Brandon White This time of year is the end of the peak nutrient demand for citrus trees. Regardless of the types of fertilizer or inputs applied in the groves, trees have been taking up nutrients while growing in full tilt during the spring season. One of the greatest factors determining how well trees take up nutrients is soil pH. …

The Fate of Phosphorus in Florida Citrus Soils

Ernie Neff Nutrition, 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 …

How Soil Health Changes Impact Citrus

Ernie Neff soil

A team of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers is investigating how changes in soil health impact citrus and other subtropical tree crops. Specifically, they will examine how quickly soil health can change in Florida and how specific changes might impact yield. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding …

Updates on Irrigation and Nutrient Management

Ashley Robinson Irrigation, soil

Proper irrigation and nutrient management are necessary to maximize root density and tree health, especially in trees infected with HLB. Davie Kadyampakeni, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor, shared a few irrigation and nutrient research updates during the March episode of the All In For Citrus podcast. IRRIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS Young citrus trees require optimal …

Experimenting With Cover Crops in Citrus

Ashley Robinson Cover Crops, soil

Sarah Strauss, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil microbiologist, shared initial results from a UF/IFAS cover crop research trial during the March 23 OJ Break virtual meeting for citrus growers. According to Strauss, use of cover crops has received increased interest by growers as a method to sustainably and economically improve soil health and …

Understanding the Fate and Persistence of Herbicides in Soils

Tacy Callies Herbicides, soil

By Ramdas Kanissery, Rachel Fenn, Biwek Gairhe and Davie Kadyampakeni Chemical weed control, using herbicides to manage weeds, is an important production practice in citrus groves. Herbicides applied in groves can end up in the soils from direct spray hits, indirect or non-target spray movement (also known as drifts) or release from the dead weeds and vegetation. In soil, the …


Fast, Inexpensive Soil pH Testing

Ernie Neff soil

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,” …


Soil Health Focus for HLB

Ernie Neff soil

A citrus soil health field day recently attracted about 40 people to the Howey-in-the-Hills area to see growers’ success using cover crops and compost on Florida groves once stunted by HLB. Event organizer Juanita Popenoe, commercial fruit production Extension agent for Lake, Marion and Orange counties, comments on the groves’ success. Popenoe is with the University of Florida Institute of …


Citrus Soil Health an Important Part of Overall Tree Health

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release, Research, soil

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will host a field day focused on improving citrus soil health, a topic of growing interest to researchers and growers. With the challenges of citrus greening, there is an increased need for understanding overall tree health, including the soil, Juanita Popenoe, UF/IFAS Extension multi-county agent, said. The field day …

Soil Microbial Communities for Citrus

Ernie Neff soil

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences soil microbiologist Sarah Strauss discusses her research on ways to potentially use microbes to improve tree root health. She says microbial communities in the soil can be manipulated indirectly by changing the soil environment or directly by adding specific organisms to the soil. “We’ve seen impacts on the overall soil microbial …

HLB, irrigation, nutrition

Soil Moisture Sensors Help in Face of HLB

Ernie Neff HLB Management, soil

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Rhuanito (Johnny) Ferrarezi discussed the use of soil moisture sensors at a recent grower workshop in Sebring. He summarizes that presentation, which included a discussion of how the sensors can help in the face of HLB. “The main goal of using soil moisture sensors is to increase irrigation efficiency,” Ferrarezi …


A Lively World Under the Tree

Ernie Neff soil

The vast diversity of organisms in soil can have positive impacts on citrus, Sarah Strauss told growers and others at a July seminar in Immokalee. “Potentially, though we haven’t verified this, (there are) up to a billion organisms in one gram of soil underneath a citrus tree,” the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences soil microbiologist says. “A …