UF/IFAS researchers and others presented on sap analysis for citrus at a virtual seminar for Florida citrus growers.

Florida citrus growers were introduced to monitoring tree nutrient content via sap analysis for citrus at a recent UF/IFAS virtual seminar, hosted by Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi, a UF/IFAS researcher. The technique’s history, background information and more was shared at the seminar, according to a Citrus Industry article. Explore the information below.

Details of Sap Analysis for Citrus

The nutrient detection technique goes back to vegetables in the 1980s as an inexpensive and quick test for nutrients as an alternative to tissue testing. According to the article, the seminar defined sap as “the juice you squeeze out of the petiole of the plant,” with the petiole being the stalk attaching the leaf blade to the stem.

Other takeaways from the event include:

  • “Sap analysis isn’t meant to replace standard lab analysis for nutrient content, but may reduce the amount of standard lab analysis…”
  • The “objectives of sap analysis include determining the nutrient status of plants – and making nutrient corrections – before symptoms of problems occur…”
  • “Sap analysis offers detection of nutrient deficiencies or excesses from four to six weeks earlier than dry tissue analysis.”
  • “Tissue testing looks backward while sap analysis looks forward… it ‘reveals nutritional imbalances before they appear visibly.’”

Sap analysis has been successfully used in the apple industry. Additional research is being undertaken at UF/ IFAS into sap analysis for citrus.

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