UF/IFAS Researcher Recommends Continuous Fertilizing for HLB-Infected Citrus

A UF/IFAS Assistant Professor maintains continuous fertilizing for HLB-infected citrus trees.

 

HLB-infected citrus trees have a smaller root ball, according to research and an article in a Citrus Industry article. Accordingly, that smaller root ball leads to concerns about nutritional uptake for citrus trees with the deadly disease. Read what an Assistant Professor and Extension agent recommends, below.

Recommendations for HLB-Infected Citrus

 

The article quotes the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Extension website in describing the root systems of HLB-infected trees (HLB is also called citrus greening): “Root systems of infected trees are often poorly developed, and new root growth may be suppressed.”

This smaller root mass is a concern when it comes to nutrients. Tripti Vashisth, an assistant professor and citrus Extension specialist with the University of Florida, shared that another researcher documented the smaller root ball size in HLB-infected citrus trees, and that many wonder if the smaller root ball equates to fewer nutrients getting to the tree. Vashisth also shared that a recent study she and other researchers conducted showed that trees infected by HLB actually moved nutrients more efficiently than trees not infected by HLB, so nutrient deficiencies in HLB-infected trees is likely due to the smaller root balls.

HLB has dealt a lethal blow to Florida’s citrus industry since it was detected in a south Florida grove in 2005. The industry’s citrus harvests have dropped from average harvests of around 150 million boxes of citrus to a mere 67.7 million boxes for the 2016-17 season. The industry is in need of a cure or effective treatment in order to recover.

The solution? Vashisth maintained that a “continuous supply of fertilizer in any form is working best.”

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.