A Look at Important Factors in Citrus Irrigation Scheduling
See the features and factors of irrigation scheduling that will improve nutrition and fertilizer management
Water is an important topic in agriculture in Florida, no matter what part of the state you’re in. Citrus irrigation scheduling is a near must-do for Florida citrus growers to walk that fine line between adequately irrigating their citrus groves and reducing water use and maintaining conservation efforts. There are many different considerations when it comes to irrigation scheduling for citrus, and those factors also affect nutrition and fertilizer management as well, so citrus producers will want to ensure they are checking off the below features factors to optimize irrigation scheduling, fertilizer management, and more.
Factors to Remember for Irrigation Scheduling and More
Irrigation scheduling for citrus may have several objectives—such as maximizing yield per acre and nutrient uptake while minimizing nutrient leeching, just to name a few—but no matter the desired end result, the following factors come into play, according to a UF/IFAS Extension publication:
- Root Distribution: Shallow or deep root patterns and root development affect irrigation, nutrient management, etc. Root distribution changes with different soils, so soil type affects root distribution, as does the age of the citrus trees. Soil type and the age of citrus trees must be taken into account when factoring irrigation schedules, fertilizer management, and nutrients.
- Water Table: The depth of a water table in the ground sets the lowest point in the soil where citrus roots can grow. A water table several feet down allows for a greater volume of citrus tree roots than a grove located over a shallow water table. Thus, water table monitoring should be conducted.
- Drainage: Some soils hold water better than others, so it should factor into irrigation.
- Irrigation Depth and Duration: The length of time irrigation occurs and how far down the water penetrates should be monitored, and irrigation should be adjusted to avoid both too wet and too dry conditions. This will affect fertilization schedules and other nutrient add-ons.
With careful monitoring and adjustment, hitting the sweet spot of citrus irrigation is possible.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.