See how Florida’s soils stack up to the definition of healthy soils, and how it impacts Florida citrus in light of citrus greening.
Healthy soils are the basis of every crop, but it hasn’t been an important topic for Florida citrus until the onslaught of citrus greening. Most of Florida’s sandy soils are far from the definition of healthy soils, according to an article on CitrusIndustry.net, due to their minimal water- and nutrient-holding capacity.” Explore a summary of what the article has to say about healthy soils and Florida citrus.
What Makes for Healthy Soil
According to the article, “In general, a healthy soil is one that is able to sustain plants and other organisms.” It maintains the keys to maintaining health soil are:
- Biological Diversity: There are over I billion organisms, “bacteria, fungi and archaea (prokaryotes phylogenetically separate from bacteria) [that] are closely coupled with soil nutrient cycling and many of the traits critical for a healthy soil.”
- Soil Organic Matter (SOM): “is one of the main determinants of soil microbial diversity and is critical for overall soil health. Organic matter is generated through the decomposition of plant material and microorganisms, provides energy (carbon) to soil microorganisms, and can improve soil stability and water-holding capacity.”
The article maintains that a recent greenhouse study in collaboration with UF/IFAS showed that “additional organic matter improved water retention and uptake in Florida sandy soil. In citrus, this may lower irrigation water needs due to reduced percolation or drainage losses.”
Citrus greening has been shown to “decreases the abundance of many soil microbes involved in nitrogen (N) cycling,” meaning that, not only does citrus greening affect water and nutrient uptake and reduces root size, it also affects biological diversity.
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.