Find recommendations for citrus irrigation system maintenance to ensure your citrus irrigation system is in top shape.

Irrigation is an important part of any citrus operation, especially with the stress citrus greening puts on citrus trees through the reduction of a tree’s roots. In order for citrus trees to produce at top levels, they must have adequate irrigation, so a grove’s irrigation system must be in top shape at all times. A Citrus Industry article, written by Davie Kadyampakeni, an assistant professor and Arnold Schumann, a professor at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, on citrus irrigation system maintenance. See a summary of the tips below.

Tips for Citrus Irrigation System Maintenance

The article maintained that “common problems in irrigation systems include irrigation emitter plugging, scaling in irrigation lines and other problems caused by living organisms.” Solutions to these issues include:

  1. Filtration Systems. Filtration systems prevent sediments from entering and building up in an irrigation system, which would clog the system and reduce water pressure and adequate water delivery to citrus trees. Screen filters, disk filters, and sand media filters are all options. Most filtration systems need to be cleaned to remove caught sediment, though there are filtration systems that have an auto-cleaning function. Pressure gauges on both sides of the filtration system are a good way to know if the filter needs to be cleaned.
  2. Acidification. Bicarbonates in Florida’s ground water will lead to the formation of calcium carbonate scale without proper acidification. Adding chemicals to lower the pH to around 6.5 will prevent scale.
  3. Chlorination. Living organisms such as algae can grow in the irrigation system, clogging the system. Adding liquid sodium hypochlorite to the system at about 1 part per million (ppm) residual-free chlorine at the end of the system should control living organisms without harming citrus trees.
  4. Flushing. Irrigation tanks should be cleaned through flushing when new chemicals are to be added to the system.

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.