Category Archives: Citrus
This may not be the case everywhere, but here we avoided some serious freeze injury on our 3 year old trees. These satsumas are going on 4 years old, so next year is the year we hope to harvest these. Some of these fruit are pulled off the tree this year to allow the tree to focus on vegetative growth.
We haven’t been hit too much with leafminers here, but in other parts of the county and with younger trees, damage is evident. It’s difficult to drench imidacloprid to time killing the initial infestation. Lowndes County Ag Agent Jake Price says this about leafminers and leaf footed bugs:
Leaf miners are starting to emerge. Usually our first flush is safe from leaf miners but they can be a problem at the end of the first flush and every flush thereafter. If you had frost damage and your trees are flushing again, you may want to go ahead and make a treatment. Imidacloprid drenches last about two months. Micromite and Ari-Mek are also labeled to control leaf miners if you are having issues with mites as well. If you do make a foliar application of anything, try to wait until all your blooms are gone as to protect the bees.
A second insect I have been seeing is the leaf footed bug or what many call “stink bugs”. They can damage fruit and cause them to drop from the tree. Now they are feeding on young blooms and shoots. I see these insects on a variety of things from muscadines, cotton, soybeans, peaches, plums, and blueberries, etc. They tend to congregate on certain trees. In general, I do not think these are a major pest of Florida citrus but they look like they will be a problem in satsumas because they damage fruit. Again thoughts are no control is needed at this time unless you just have them throughout your grove. If needed you may want to treat certain trees where they tend to congregate.
Mrs. Lindy Sevell, President of the Georgia Citrus Growers Association, is planning the associations first citrus meeting. If you are interested, here is some information below:
Date: The Georgia Citrus Association is planning its first annual meeting for February 27th.
Tifton, Georgia 31794
Time: 9:00am – 3:00 pm
- Dr. Wayne Hanna – new UGA releases
- Travis Murphy- Diversity of Crops
- Robert Sexton- packing of fruit
- Seald Sweet International – marketing & sales
- Mack Glass – practical experience of growing
- Chris Anglin – possible crop insurance
Tangerine/Lemon/Grapefruit Grove with Perennial Peanut Middles
To register for this meeting use the link below. The cost is $15.00 per person. If you wish to join the citrus association at the same time it will be $65.00. Lunch is included. Registration closes February 20th.
UGA Extension Agent in Lowndes County, Jake Price, has this update on weed control:
The warm weather we have been experiencing is unbelievable. Usually we can depend on Jan and Feb for some cold temperatures. With these temps trees may be waking up early which is not good especially if we have a late hard freeze. Time to apply the first application of fertilizer is approaching as well (late Feb to early March). Also if you plan to use a preemergent herbicide, it will be wise to put that out very soon. Attached is the fertility recommendation for satsumas from Auburn University and a fact sheet on herbicides and leaf miners.
If you have been using the same herbicides/pesticides over and over, it will be smart to rotate other materials that are not in the same class. There are a couple of miticides that will also have efficacy on citrus leaf miners, (Ari-Mek and Micromite). Citrus leaf miners have not been damaging our first flush of new foliage so wait until after bloom to apply any insecticides. This will also be a more “bee friendly time to apply your pesticides”. This is usually around the first of May.
Pre-Emergent Weed Control
These herbicides should be applied to a fairly clean soil surface prior to emergence of weeds. In Georgia/North Florida late winter is a good time for the first application. At least two applications are needed per year. Common practice in Florida groves is to not use pre-emergence herbicides on newly planted trees although several herbicide labels below allow for their use.
Post-Emergent Weed Control
These herbicides are either systemic or contact herbicides. Systemic herbicides are translocated throughout the plant while contact herbicides kill plant parts in which they touch. Drift from systemic herbicides will likely cause more damage to trees.
Mechanical Weed Control
The use of landscape fabrics around trees can help eliminate weeds. Also, the use of BH-10 (both hands, 10 fingers) can be used around trunks of small trees where cultivation or landscape fabrics are not applied. Cultivation or tillage can be used but at the risk of damaging fibrous root which can lead to invasion of pathogens or insects.
For more information, UF has a publication on 2015 Citrus Pest Management – Weeds.
We are learning a lot this season as we experience abnormally dry weather this fall. It’s normal to be dry in October, but going into October dry is not normal. Once daylight shortens and temperatures drop, these plants move into a cold acclimation period as they prepare for dormancy. The water demand is lower. With 80 degree temperatures and no rain through October, you feel like you gotta run irrigation to get plants through the fall. When should we cut it off?
Last winter was not good for the southern peach crop, but good for citrus production. The satsumas had a great winter last year, with only a few nights getting into the mid 20s. The trees looked much better this season. These trees are between 3 and 4 years old now. They are producing satsumas but the taste is not ready.
This week, we noticed lots of suckers growing from limbs. It being November, this is really the time when these trees need to be shutting down, sending more sugars to the roots to prepare for the winter. We believe our watering through October has kept these trees producing shoots. UGA Extension Pecan Specialist Dr. Lenny Wells reminds us not to run too much irrigation on young pecans trees as they need to go dormant.
When we looked at the soil around these satsumas, we found plenty of moisture. This was inside the row between the trees. It’s actually safe to turn off irrigation when moisture is present between the trees 6 inches down. These roots still have plenty of moisture.
Mitchell County Citrus Grower Mrs. Lindy Savelle has put together a field day October 13th from 11:30am to 1:30pm for anyone interested. They will look at rootstock, recently planted trees and discuss young tree production practices. RSVP by calling/texting 850-830-2644 with a headcount for a sponsored meal.
Lowndes County Agent Jake Price coordinates our Satsuma production updates and manages a rootstock variety trial below Valdosta. He has come across some sunburned fruit I want to share.
Portions of the fruit, (blossom end mostly) are turning yellowish orange. This is from intense sunlight causing a burn on exposed fruit. This can cause the cells underneath the burn to dry up and reduce fruit quality. The fruit I have dissected do not seem to be dry underneath the burn at this time but that could change. There is really nothing that can be done about this. There has been some work done using kaolin clay to cover the fruit but it is washed away with rain so it doesn’t seem practical.
Thanks to Lowndes County Agent Jake Price who did a good job coordinating Monday’s Satsuma Meeting. We talked about citrus greening, fungal disease, and fertility programs.
We’re actually a few weeks past beginning bloom here, and with a warmer winter, we are seeing lots of terminal growth this year already. These trees are in their 2nd and 3rd year, and the fruit will not quite be tasty yet. Many of these blooms will actually be removed. Limbs of Owari grow outward, and many of the fruit can touch the ground with a younger tree. All of the varieties are self-fruitful, so no pollinizer trees are required. Bees may also help, but are not required.
Our pH needs to around 6.0. A wider range is between 5.5 and 7.0. We need to lime if we are 5.5 or lower. In this range, nutrients are most available for uptake for Satsuma.
When we fertilize, much of our rates are based on N, since they are considered ‘heavy feeders.’ We start fertilizing at
- First sign of budbreak in the Spring (late Feb/early March)
- Fruit swell (May)
- Fruit are 1 inch in diameter (June)
We don’t want to use fertilizer with N from September to mid-February since this could comprismise cold hardiness.
We can use either a complete fertilizer (8-8-8) or a straight N fertilizer (34-0-0), or a combination. We only use a straight fertilizer if soil tests and leaf analysis show other elements are not necessary. Here is a general baseline N recommendation for Satsumas of different ages from research in Alabama:
Some planting this year will use poultry litter. The fertilizer value of poultry litter depends on many factors like moisture, temperature, feed rations, storage, and handling. It is best to check analysis of poultry litter. Poultry liter has an approximate analysis of 3-3-2 (60lbN – 60lb p2O5 – 40lbK2O). Here is some poultry liter rates from UGA Extension Fruit Scientist Dr. Erick Smith: