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Tissue Sampling Offers Insight into Nutrient Supply


With the summer months in full swing, now is the best time to collect leaves for leaf tissue sampling in order to gauge how healthy your trees are, and potentially, how large the fruit will be. This will give you time to make adjustments accordingly.

Considerable research by UF/IFAS and others has established leaf testing as a reliable crop management tool, particularly to detect problems and adjust fertilizer programs. Leaf nutrient concentrations are the most accurate indicator of fruit crop nutritional status.

Tissue sampling is a key way to indicate whether a tree has a sufficient supply of essential nutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It can also indicate whether a tree has nutritional deficiencies, toxicities or imbalances. In addition, a major goal in tissue analysis is to indicate the effectiveness of fertilizer programs and can even provide a way to compare several fertilizer treatments.

For example, in a study comparing a fertilizer mix supplemented with Coron 10-0-10 versus a fertilizer mix with potassium nitrate, the Coron-supplemented fertilizer yielded higher amounts of the macro elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) as early as 10 days after transplanting. Those amounts remained consistent through the 55 days of the study. There were similar growth and consistency in tested micro elements as well.

Coron 10-0-10 is a liquid, controlled-release, water-soluble concentrate designed to provide consistent nitrogen and plant-available potassium. The steady release formula results in optimal growth and yield without the growth spike found in other fertilizers.

On immature fruit, the Coron supplement yielded an average fruit diameter of 41.7 mm, compared to the potassium-nitrate mix, which yielded an average of 39.2 mm.

In the marketplace, that difference can be sizable, and it certainly looms large during the summer months when the practice of tissue sampling translates directly to crop yield.

If you have any questions about Coron, Helena’s knowledgeable representatives are always happy to help.

This column is sponsored by Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

BIO: John Baxter is the Florida Division Manager of Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC. He has proudly served Florida growers at Helena for 25 years, and he also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association. For more information about Helena products or services, or to contact a member of the Florida team, call (813) 626-5121.