Explore a Q&A with 2021 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Larry Black discusses changes to nutrients and citrus.

Citrus greening has changed what growers are doing when it comes to nutrients and citrus, according to 2021 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Larry Black. Black shared the changes citrus greening has made to nutrients and citrus, and more, in a Growing Produce article Q&A. See excerpts of the article below.

Nutrients and Citrus

Black is the VP and General Manager of Ft. Meade, FL-based Peace River Packing Co. He is also heavily involved in the Polk County Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus Mutual, and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. Excerpts from his Q&A on nutrients and citrus are as follows:

Q: “How has your fertilizer and plant nutrition program changed since HLB come on the scene?”

A: “Maintaining optimum tree nutrition is critical with endemic HLB. Infected trees are inefficient in utilizing available nutrients. We have experimented with controlled-release products and are currently using a hybrid approach utilizing 30% liquid and 70% dry formulations. Liquid applications are a great tool during the dry spring months. We have increased the rates of secondary and micronutrients in our applications. Tripti Vashisth, a Citrus Extension Specialist with UF/IFAS, is doing great work evaluating the use of elevated micronutrients in a long-term study that has been a great guide as our program continues to evolve. Adjusting pH to 5.5 to 6.0 through acidification of irrigation water and soil sulfur applications increases the availability of deficient nutrients. Our groves in this ideal pH range have improved tree health, less fruit drop, and overall higher production.”

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.