High-Efficiency Fertilizers for Growers

Josh McGillCitrus Expo, Nutrition

At the Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo, Davie Kadyampakeni recommended what he termed “high-efficiency fertilizers” to improve canopy, fruit yield and juice quality, especially in HLB-affected trees. Kadyampakeni is an assistant professor specializing in citrus water and nutrient management the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. FOUR TYPESKadyampakeni described four categories of high-efficiency fertilizers: Slow-release fertilizer (SRF) …

Heritage Practices for Today’s Challenges

Josh McGillCover Crops, Soil Improvement

By Brad Turner Cover cropping and composting in Florida citrus production are not new concepts. Our ancestors understood the basic principles and implemented these practices just a couple of generations ago. YESTERDAY AND TODAYAs a boy, I can remember an old citrus grower telling me how beggarweed and crotalaria, both native nitrogen-fixing legumes, growing wild in neighboring fields would be …

Sneak Peek: June 2022 Citrus Industry

Josh McGillNutrition, 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 McGillNutrition, 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. …

Grower Gives Update on Work With Cover Crops

Josh McGillCover Crops, Production

Florida citrus grower Ed James shared his successful experience with cover crops during a recent event he hosted at his Howey-in-the-Hills grove. The event, sponsored by Sand to Soil Services, included talks from industry experts on soil health and plant nutrition. James said his production went to “zero” before he planted cover crops about 12 years ago. Production “gradually came …

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 …

Soil Is Key to Setting Up Trees for Success

Josh McGillAgriculture, Nutrition, Soil Improvement

By Brad Turner As I started my regenerative journey five years ago, it conjured up memories of walking the family groves in the 1970s with my freshly sharpened eye hoe. I would follow the tractor as it pulled the offset chopper, crisscrossing between the widely spaced trees in all directions. The native grasses and broadleaf plants — including legumes like …

HLB Changed UF/IFAS Recommendations

Ernie NeffHLB Management

Kelly Morgan recently summarized several recommended changes in Florida citrus production practices brought on by the devastating disease HLB. Morgan is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil and water science professor. He discussed what growers need to know to follow best management practices (BMPs) at the recent Citrus Nutrition Day at the UF/IFAS Citrus …

Making Sense of Biologicals: Seaweed for Citrus Stress Management

Tacy CalliesMSOB

Florida provides an environment conducive to producing a variety of crops 365 days a year. It has beautiful sunshine, an ideal climate and ample rainfall for most of the year. These conditions allow Florida growers to produce some of the best citrus in the world. But Florida citrus is not immune to the harsh realities that can come with growing …

What CRAFT Wants for Cycle III

Ernie NeffCRAFT

Five Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Technical Working Group leaders on Aug. 31 discussed the types of projects they’d like to see CRAFT Cycle III growers pursue. The types of projects the leaders expressed interest in will, to some extent, fill gaps in knowledge expected to be gained from previous cycles. CRAFT pays Florida growers to plant trees on …

U.S. Grapefruit Exports to France Threatened

Tacy CalliesExport, Grapefruit

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service, a new French ban on the sale of fruits and vegetables with identifying stickers could threaten future exports of U.S. grapefruit. The ban is slated to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2022. The USDA report states that most U.S. grapefruit and some sweet potatoes shipped overseas have stickers that …

Growers Discuss CRAFT Projects

Ernie NeffResearch

Four Florida growers recently discussed efforts they’ll take to cope with HLB in plantings subsidized by the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. Their comments were part of a virtual educational session sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) and Florida Citrus Mutual. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler said the projects discussed were among 103 funded …

Change in Grove Practices Leads to Award

Ernie NeffAwards

Brad Turner has worked in Florida citrus more than 40 years as a grower, production manager, caretaker and nursery owner. For most of that time, he focused on using synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides as the necessary inputs for citrus management. But a change in the way he thought citrus should be grown led to him being named a …

Florida Citrus Grower Discusses Issues

Ashley RobinsonCover Crops, Herbicides

Florida and California specialty crop growers recently gathered for a virtual discussion presented by J.L. Farmakis, Inc. to talk about issues unique to their crops and regions. Citrus grower Lee Jones with Cross Covered Caretaking represented the Sunshine State. He shared some of the struggles and successes of growing citrus in Florida. Jones says one of the biggest challenges he …

podcast

Research ‘of Use to Growers Right Now’

Ernie NeffResearch

“We’ve come a long way in the time that we’ve had HLB here in Florida,” says Michael Rogers. The director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center says early HLB research “covered a wide range of topics.” Now, however, “We’re really narrowing down things that are of use to growers …

Grower Sees Steady Production Without Chemical Fertilizer

Tacy CalliesHLB Management

By Owen “Sonny” Conner The two greatest challenges of the last 20 years, for me as a citrus grower, have been HLB and foreign competition depressing prices. Citrus growers had never faced a disease threat even approaching the devastating effects HLB has had on the industry. It was the industry killer we all feared would one day raise its ugly …

Making Sense of Biologicals: Crop Optimization With Seaweed

Tacy CalliesBiostimulants, MSOB

Sometimes growers must think outside the box to remain sustainable amid high input costs and devastating diseases. That is the situation facing citrus growers who are struggling to remain viable in the era of citrus greening. What if seaweed could be used to aid in the quality of citrus production? Seaweed is a biostimulant that is part of the biological …

Experimenting With Cover Crops in Citrus

Ashley RobinsonCover 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 …