See the continued advice for a comprehensive grove management program from CREC Director Michael Rogers.

A recent Griffin Fertilizer blog shared recommendations concerning irrigation and fertilization as part of a comprehensive grove management program from CREC Director Michael Rogers. Rogers’ recommendations were aimed at helping Florida citrus growers to combat citrus greening and hurricane damage to remain productive. See the rest of Rogers’ advice concerning plant growth regulators (RGRs), trunk injections, and other pests and diseases below.

Further Advice for Comprehensive Grove Management

Rogers’ advice for a comprehensive grove management program was as follows:

PGRs: Several PGRs are available and can be used now to improve overall tree health and reduce fruit drop. Properly timed sprays of gibberellic acid will promote canopy growth and help reduce fruit drop. While these applications can cause the external fruit peel to be slow to degreen, no effects on internal fruit quality have been observed.

The use of another PGR, 2,4-D, prior to harvest can help prevent fruit drop in the weeks leading up to harvest. More recent work with cytokinin-based PGRs has also shown a boost in spring and summer growth following use of these products”.

Trunk-Injections: “While there is less experience to date with oxytetracycline (OTC) trunk injection than there is with PGRs, studies conducted by UF/IFAS researchers have demonstrated that OTC increased yield, including pounds solids, following injections.

Growers using OTC injections have reported minor phytotoxic effects resulting in yellowing of leaves, which eventually green back up weeks later. When making injections, consider the following points to help minimize the potential for phytotoxicity and to facilitate the best uptake of materials:

  • Avoid injecting doses higher than the label rate (based on tree size).
  • Injecting when trees are actively flushing may result in leaf deformations resembling herbicide damage.
  • Be sure trees are well irrigated when injecting materials to ensure proper uptake.
  • Uptake will be fastest during mid- to late morning and on sunny days.
  • See here for additional information on trunk injections.”

Other Pests and Diseases: “While there is no longer a concern about psyllids spreading HLB to new areas, there is benefit to maintaining psyllid populations at low levels. UF/IFAS recommendations for the current situation in Florida are to apply one dormant spray just prior to budbreak in the spring, followed by sprays when populations exceed 0.2 psyllids per tap sample.

There are also many additional pests and diseases besides HLB that shouldn’t be overlooked. Rust mites, canker, greasy spot and phytophthora are examples of problems that can add up to significant yield loss if ignored. Be sure to stay vigilant against other non-HLB related pests that can further reduce tree health and yield.”

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.