Mike Roberts

Mineral Nutrition More ImportantThan Ever in Citrus

Mineral nutrition is an essential part of a citrus grower’s management plan, but citrus greening has made it more important than ever. Citrus greening attacks a citrus tree’s ability to uptake and transport water and nutrients, causing poor harvests, fruit of lower quality, and the eventual death of the tree.

Scientists and researchers all over the Sunshine State and beyond are looking for a cure or viable treatment for citrus greening. Many studies and field testing point back to adequate mineral nutrition. We’ve shared many research study results and science-backed expert advice that make it clear how important mineral nutrition is in the fight against greening. Here are a couple.

  • Results of a recent UF/IFAS study on preharvest fruit drop show a direct relationship between citrus greening severity, fruit size, and preharvest fruit drop. It also establishes that tree health is key to limiting preharvest fruit drop. Researchers with the study recommended an adequate nutritional program, optimal irrigation, and avoidance of stress conditions for citrus trees.
  • Researchers fear the Citrus Tristeza Virus, which causes Tristeza decline, may rear its ugly head because many growers use Tristeza-susceptible sour orange rootstock due to citrus greening. The disease causes phloem necrosis and kills feeder roots, resulting in the improper uptake of water and nutrients. The disease eventually kills the tree. Again, in addition to avoiding sour orange rootstock, researchers recommended adequate nutrients through fertilizers.
This column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.
BIO: Mike Roberts is the Vice President of Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.

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