See research findings concerning fertilizers and HLB-infected citrus from the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center.

It has long been known that HLB, also known as citrus greening, affects citrus tree root health and fruit yield. A recent study from UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center looked at the affects of fertilizers and HLB-infect citrus, according to a Citrus Industry article. The article shared that “The study, spanning multiple years and sites, had several goals. It aimed to assess changes in root density, understand HLB dynamics concerning root growth, and evaluate the impact of varied fertilization on fruit yield and juice quality.” See the details of the research findings below.

Studying Fertilizers and HLB-Infected Citrus

Associate Professor Davie Kadyampakeni, who led the research at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, said in the article “We wanted to test whether enhanced macro and micronutrient levels would restore root health and improve overall tree performance. Roots play a pivotal role in nutrient absorption and overall tree vitality, so would the different nutrient inputs, in the face of HLB, rehabilitate the root health?”

The research used Valencia orange trees planted in 2012 and 2013 and applied the macronutrients potassium, magnesium, and calcium, plus micronutrients zinc, manganese, iron, and boron, using soil or foliar application methods. They tested the effects on roots using soil core samplers, minirhizotrons for root sampling, and monthly root growth, according to the article.

The study on fertilizers and HLB-infected citrus had the following findings:

  • “Root growth patterns revealed fluctuations linked to citrus tree physiological processes. Growth peaked during seasons when the trees showed new shoot growth, flower formation and fruit formation.”
  • There was “a significant negative correlation between root growth and fruit yield. This suggests a trade-off influenced by the HLB-affected environment.”
  • “Fruit yields were optimized with elevated micronutrients, particularly through soil application, emphasizing the role of nutrient availability in promoting root growth and fruit yield,”
  • There were “site-specific responses, indicating the need for customized fertilization approaches.”

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.