Calcium carbonate may reduce root health and exacerbate HLB expression

Calcium carbonate may reduce root health and exacerbate HLB expression

Report Date: 02/01/2016
Project: 731   Year: 2015
Category: Horticultural & Management
Author: James Graham
Sponsor: Citrus Research and Development Foundation

Leaf and soil nutrient analysis from a survey of 20-22 blocks in two flatwoods locations in Hendry and Collier County were compared for changes from the 2014 to 2015 season. The blocks were treated with 150 lb Tiger sulfur & 3.0 gal N-phuric acid/ton liquid fertilizer per acre (50% dry and 50% liquid) for three seasons following our recommendations for acidification since 2013. Acidification reduced soil pH by 0.6 units to 6.4 in the Hendry Co. location and by 0.3 units to 6.7 in the Collier Co. location. Soil Ca was increased in both locations; soil Mg as well as leaf Mg was unaffected by the pH drop. The increase in Ca availability and uptake was due to release of soil Ca as no fertilizer Ca was supplied. These results confirm the major benefit of soil acidification is to increase availability of Ca. Also following our recommendation increase in leaf Ca was achieved in flatwoods groves in Hardee Co. with low pH (<6.0) and soil Ca (< 500 lb/acre) by applying Ca sulfate (gypsum) at 1000 lb/acre as a soil amendment. Program on ´┐ŻManagement of soil and water bicarbonates, pH and nutrient availability´┐Ż was presented on December 2, 2015 as part of Indian River Citrus School at UF-Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Ft. Pierce. A recent analysis of groves management costs for acidification treatments reported a range from $50-75/acre (Singerman, A. and Muraro, R. 2015. Summary of 2014/15 Production Costs for Indian River Fresh Market Grapefruit and Southwest Florida Juice Oranges. UF-IFAS EDIS FE968, 10 pp)


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