Explore the questions to ask if you are considering what planting citrus scions /rootstock combinations to plant, and their answers from a Florida citrus grower.
Florida citrus growers are constantly considering planting new citrus due to an array of factors, such as losing trees to citrus greening or storms like Hurricane Irma. Florida citrus grower Nate Jameson, who operates Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida, shared his answers to the questions growers should ask when considering new citrus scions/rootstocks to plant in a CitrusIndustry.net article. See excerpts from it below.
Q&A on Choosing Citrus Scions /Rootstock Combinations
Q: New planting or resetting?
A: “If the block is being reset, is still profitable and will stay in production for several years, then I suggest the grower stay with the existing combination currently planted. If the block is not profitable, then the grower needs to determine why.”
Q: Why is it not profitable?
A: Jameson lists the following possibilities, but maintains it is likely a combination of factors:
- “Is this due to a subpar nutrition program?
- Is this due to a subpar insect management program?
- Is this due to heavy nematode infection?
- Is this due to heavy phytopthora infection?
- Is this due to canker?
- Is this due to HLB?
- Is this because the existing variety has lost value?
- Is the existing rootstock/scion combination a good choice in this location?
- Is the electrical conductivity (a measure of the salt content in the water) of the irrigation increasing due to increased salinity?
- Is the soil pH within acceptable ranges for citrus?
- Are there other factors specific to that grove location?”
Q: Fresh fruit or juice fruit?
A: “Some rootstocks are better for mandarins and others are better for round oranges, so the scion selection becomes part of choosing the right rootstock.”
Q: What soil type is the tree being planted in?
A: “Flatwoods-, Ridge- and calcareous-type soils all have different effects on the decision-making process. Considering all the factors is important because what works for a juice grower on Ridge soils may not work for a fresh fruit grower on Flatwoods soils.”
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.