A UF/IFAS researcher shared options for reducing fruit drop, with nutrition strategies playing an important part.

Horticulturist and UF/IFAS researcher Tripti Vashisth shared possible options for reducing fruit drop at the Citrus Expo, according to a Citrus Industry article. Vashisth shared that nutrition strategies are an important option. Explore the details below.

Options for Reducing Fruit Drop

According to the article, “Vashisth suggested that growers “look into their irrigation and nutrition strategies” because fruit drop is associated with water deficits.” He maintained it was important to ensure trees get enough water during March to June.

Vashisth also said that “the plant growth regulator gibberellic acid (GA) can also improve fruit growth while reducing fruit drop…If applied in the fall, it can suppress next year’s flowering “which means less competition, so the fruit just grows better.”

GA does come with some cautions for its use. Vashisth added “Be cautious using it later than January…it can cause over-suppression of flowering.” Additionally, “Vashisth also urged fresh fruit growers to use caution with GA, because it will keep fruit green and can even reverse color break. “So, GA is a good option for sweet oranges that are going for juice, but you should be very cautious when using it for the fresh market,”” she said.

Lastly, Vashisth said “Fruit drop is related to fruit size. We are consistently finding that the small fruit are more likely to drop. So anything that we can do to improve size should have an impact.”

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