Explore the technology that is helping to improve the important practice of nutrient analysis for Florida citrus growers.

Nutrient analysis is an important practice for every Florida citrus grower. According to a Citrus Industry article authored by UF/IFAS assistant professors Yiannis Ampatzidis and Ute Albrecht, nutrient management is necessary to “optimize nutrient balance and prevent deficiencies or over-fertilization… for tree health and can improve tolerance to stresses and diseases…” and to “identify problems and examine crop responses.” However, constant analysis can be time-consuming and costly, and it’s prone to human error. The article maintains that “Faster and cheaper alternatives to conventional analysis methods are being developed at a rapid pace.” Explore those tech-driven alternatives below.

Tech for Nutrient Analysis of Citrus

The article outlined the following tech-driven alternatives for nutrient analysis in citrus:

Drones and Artificial Intelligence. “New technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) and artificial intelligence (AI) can be utilized to develop a more efficient methodology to determine leaf nutrient concentrations and improve the speed of data collection and consistency. Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) developed a non-destructive method that can be quickly and efficiently used to determine citrus leaf nutrients and create fertility maps that are compatible with variable-rate fertilizer applicators.”

Fertility Maps. “The developed AI model provides nutrient concentrations for individual trees. A novel cloud-based application, Agroview (also developed at the UF/IFAS SWFREC), was used to create fertility maps with discrete management zones to help visualize the data (plant nutrient concentrations).”

Practical Information. “Agroview (www.agroview.ai) converts data collected by UAV and from the ground into practical information…This information includes the total number of trees and gaps, the UAV flight date, the total size of the area, average tree size and density and average plant nutrient concentrations.”

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.