See the recommended changes in Florida citrus production practices by UF/IFAS due to challenges created by citrus greening.

The challenges created by citrus greening have resulted in UF/IFAS making changes in their recommendations for Florida citrus production practices, according to Kelly Morgan, a UF/IFAS soil and water science professor. Morgan shared the changes in recommendations at the Citrus Nutrition Day at UF/IFAS CREC in Lake Alfred, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the changes below.

Changes in Recommended Florida Citrus Production Practices

UF/IFAS has updated these recommendations for Florida citrus production practices in both the Nutrition of Florida Citrus Trees and the Florida Citrus Production Guide, according to the article. The changes are as follows:

  • “Soil and water quality should be managed by a frequent application of water and nutrients to the root system.
  • Because of its benefits to soil fertility and its increased availability since the mid-1990s, organic matter addition has become more practical. This is especially true in the case of HLB-affected trees. In poor and depleted soils that are low in organic matter, addition of compost has clear benefits.
  • Liquid fertilizers applied weekly, biweekly or monthly appear to improve the performance of HLB-affected trees. Repeated applications of small amounts of nutrients improve canopy size, trunk growth, root development and fruit yield by synchronizing nutrient applications with tree seasonal nutrient demand.
  • The benefits of eliminating HLB through the use of citrus under protective screen (CUPS) production systems include rapid tree growth, little fruit drop and higher yields with premium-quality fruit. One of the main advantages of CUPS is the reduced frequency of insecticide sprays to control the psyllids that spread HLB.”

Morgan added that UF/IFAS is considering changes in changes in micronutrient recommendations, is studying changes to improve nitrogen and potassium recommendations, and is attempting to secure funding for soil phosphorus test evaluation and rate studies.

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