See recommendations on fruit drop in Florida groves from a UF/IFAS horticulturalist studying the issue.
Fruit drop has developed into a significant issue in the last few years, and Assistant Professor of Horticultural Science and Citrus Extension Specialist Tripti Vashisth has been studying the problem, according to a Growing Produce article. Vashisth offers considerations for the issue for Florida citrus growers. See them below.
Considerations for Fruit Drop
The process that leads to fruit dropping starts quite early, with internal signals that growers can observe, according to Vashisth in the article. “We found that these signals can be detected in February in the case of Valencia. This all basically means that the fate of the fruit is already decided by harvest time. So, when growers actually see fruit drop, it’s too late to do anything,” she said.
Considerations for the issue include:
- “A good canopy equals less fruit drop.”
- “Shoot dieback is highly correlated with the severity of HLB infection in a tree. Thus, fruit drop severity follows along with the level of HLB infection.”
- “Oxidative stress leads to more dieback. Exposure to a variety of environmental factors such as salinity, drought, metal toxicity, extreme temperature, air pollutants, pesticides, and pathogen infection lead to oxidative stress in plants.”
- Spoon-feeding water and nutrients is important.
- “Small-sized fruit is more apt to drop. Fruit size is driven by water availability.”
Vashith is currently researching the use of gibberellic acid (GA) to combat dropping fruit.
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.