Hacks and Suggestions for Georgia Citrus Growers

Dan CooperGeorgia, Production

Citrus meetings are vital to a grower’s plan for the upcoming season. What they learn and take back to the grove can provide major benefits heading into the upcoming harvest season.

Before planting, make sure your nursery trees are healthy.

The recent Georgia Citrus Association annual meeting provided a venue for growers to share management tips with their peers. Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association, compiled a list of “hacks and suggestions” that should benefit growers this season and years to come. Here are some of the suggestions:

  • First-time and veteran citrus growers should plan well in advance before planting any new groves. A nursery tree is the most important consideration of any planting. Quality trees will pay off in the long run, while those of poor quality will struggle from the moment they are planted.
  • Fungicide applications are necessary for South Georgia producers in a climate that is usually hot and humid. Copper and 435 horticultural spray oil are effective fungicides. 435 oil can be used as a tank mix partner to add to the efficacy of other fungicides.
  • While certain pests and diseases have yet to impact Georgia citrus, one common pest in Florida that Georgia growers should be wary of is the citrus root weevil. Damage can appear in the form of tunneling on medium-sized roots and chewed leaves. If root systems are damaged, the foliage will appear thin and less productive. Citrus growers should monitor for the presence of the root weevil year-round.
  • The popular saying, “You get what you pay for,” is certainly applicable in the citrus industry. Growers should not spare any expense when it comes to managing their crop. Producers should use quality fertilizers and implement soil-sensing technology.
  • Growers should not hesitate to prune, which needs to be finished before the spring bud break.

By Clint Thompson