Questions Remain on Cover Crops and Compost

Josh McGillSoil 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) …

Effects of Compost and Organic Amendments on Weed Control

Josh McGillResearch, weeds

By Ramdas Kanissery and Mahesh Bashyal Using compost and soil amendments is beneficial to Florida citrus groves. Florida soils are sandy and have a low organic matter and cation exchange capacity. Adding compost and organic amendments (e.g., humic acid) can enhance the soil’s ability to retain water and nutrients. These practices can also boost soil microbial activity and improve soil …

Does Compost Improve Young Tree Growth?

Josh McGillResearch, Root health, Soil Improvement

By Ute Albrecht, Gabriel Pugina, Antonio Castellano-Hinojosa and Sarah Strauss Root health is important for tree growth and directly affects a tree’s ability to cope with adverse biotic and abiotic stresses. Most citrus production in Florida occurs on natural infertile sands with very little organic matter and a low cation exchange capacity (CEC), resulting in minimal amounts of soluble nutrients …

Tackling Weeds After Composting

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, weeds

By Ramdas Kanissery The use of compost in tree rows is receiving increasing attention among citrus growers. The use of weed-free certified products can considerably minimize the weed emergence issues associated with compost use. However, eventually, weeds will start to grow in the composted areas in the grove. As compost and similar soil amendments prove to be very rich in …

Compost Use and Weed Management

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, weeds

By Ramdas Kanissery Application of compost as a soil amendment could be an integral part of citrus production’s best management practices. Compost application can potentially improve soil quality and provide additional nourishment to trees. Citrus-producing soils in Florida are generally sandy and low in soil organic matter. Compost addition tends to enhance the soil’s ability to retain both nutrients and …

soil

Soil, Cover Crops and Compost

Ernie NeffCover Crops, Soil Improvement

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 …

Use of Compost in Citrus

Kelsey FryCitrus

On May 31 in Bushnell, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Life Soils hosted a field day on the use of compost in citrus. Monica Ozores-Hampton was the featured speaker of the event. She is known as Florida’s “Compost Queen” from her UF/IFAS and US Composting Council research and workshops on compost utilization. She …

drought stress

Dealing With Drought Stress

Daniel CooperTip of the Week, Weather

By Amir Rezazadeh Citrus trees are not immune to the challenges posed by drought stress. Drought stress occurs when a tree’s water supply falls below its demand, leading to physiological disruptions that can impair growth, development and fruit production. In the dry season, when water scarcity is a prevalent issue in Florida, understanding and managing drought stress in citrus trees …

Organic Nutrient Sources

Optimizing Organic Nutrient Sources

Daniel CooperNutrition, Tip of the Week

By Davie Kadyampakeni The use of certified organic nutrient sources (manures, composts, biochar, biosolids, etc.) should be considered by Florida commercial citrus growers to improve the soil properties and long-term nutrient availability of the predominantly sandy soils. Use of the organic residues could be incorporated in the soil during tillage to plan a new grove or periodically to an existing …

growing

Growing Citrus With Soil Health in Mind

Daniel CooperCover Crops, Georgia, Soil Health

Herb Young enjoyed a 40-year career in the agricultural chemical industry, starting as a technical service representative and eventually becoming a product manager. During those years, he worked on various specialty crops across the country. About 25 years of his career was spent in field research roles. So, experimentation with crops and growing practices comes naturally to Young. He has …

HLB Tools for Today and Tomorrow

Josh McGillCitrus Expo, HLB Management

By Frank Giles and Tacy Callies The Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo hosted two citrus educational sessions during the Aug. 16–17 event held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The sessions included both long-term research aimed at delivering trees resistant to HLB as well as what growers can do today to help mitigate the effects of the disease in …

Integrating Use of Organic Soil Amendments and Weed Management

Josh McGillSoil 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 McGillCover 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 …

Sneak Peek: June 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGillSneak 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. …

Getting the Most Out of Your Nutrition Program

Josh McGillNutrition

By Brandon White Taking a wholistic, helicopter view of nutrient management programs can be beneficial in reducing high input costs and environmental implications in the continued era of HLB. START WITH THE SOILAn obvious first stop on the considerations list is the soil. It’s the foundation of the system. Almost any economically feasible thing growers can do to improve organic …

Organic Juice Company Reports Earth-Friendly Practices

Josh McGillIndustry News Release, Organic

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, Uncle Matt’s Organic described how it uses numerous environmentally friendly practices. The company said use of cover crops in its groves helps control weeds and promotes healthy soil. The complex root systems from the cover crops nurture robust biodiversity in the soil. This ecosystem provides water retention, nutrient availability and carbon capture. …

How to Liven Up Your Soil

Josh McGillAll 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 …

citrus

All In For Citrus Podcast, February 2023

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast

With spring fast approaching, Michael Rogers, director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, addresses important crop care items that should be on growers’ checklists. He shares his comments in the February episode of the All In For Citrus podcast. After the destruction left behind from last year’s hurricanes, Rogers …

Sneak Peek: February 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGillDiseases, Sneak Peek, weeds

With more growers incorporating compost and organic amendments into their production, weed management is receiving increased attention. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) authors Ramdas Kanissery and Mahesh Bashyal take on this topic in their article in the February 2023 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. While compost and organic amendments can increase soil health and boost …

IMG Citrus Acquires Facility and Farmland

Josh McGillIndustry News Release

IMG Citrus, based in Vero Beach, Florida, has acquired J&J Fresh Produce assets. These assets, also located in Vero Beach, include a new 185,000-square-foot cold storage and packaging facility and 1,000 acres of farmland in the Delta Farms Water Control District. “This is an exciting acquisition and a key component of our growth strategy,” said Melanie Ressler, co-chief executive officer …