Embracing Innovations for a Juicy Future—Top Trends in Citrus Growing

In an era where change is the only constant, the citrus industry is embracing cutting-edge trends to ensure a fruitful future. From high-density growing techniques to innovative protective measures against diseases like citrus greening, farmers are revolutionizing the way we grow citrus trees. Whether you’re a citrus enthusiast or simply curious about the future of farming, you’re in for an exciting journey through the groves of innovation.

High Density Growing

Groves are getting smaller, but the yields are getting bigger. That’s the concept behind high-density growing, a trend shaking up commercial citrus farming. Instead of giving trees wide personal space, growers are planting them closer together. Sometimes even in pots, on a trellis. This approach boosts fruit production per acre, generates fruit earlier, optimizes resource usage, and streamlines orchard management. By keeping a watchful eye on tree health, using clever pruning techniques, and applying fertigation techniques, growers can ensure vibrant and fruitful groves that make the most of every inch of land.

Individual Protective Coverings and CUPS

Citrus greening disease has been a notorious troublemaker for citrus farmers worldwide, but especially in Florida. That’s where IPC’s come in. These nifty covers, made of fine mesh or netting, act as bodyguards for young citrus trees. They create a physical barrier, keeping disease-carrying pests, like psyllids, at bay. On a larger scale, growers are planting citrus under protective screen (CUPS). Imagine a whole grove planted in a protective shadehouse. By adopting this approach, farmers not only protect their precious citrus from greening but also reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides. They choose citrus varieties that are parthenocarpic, meaning they self-fertilize. An added bonus of self-fertilization is seedless fruit.

Seaweed Extract

Who knew seaweed could be a citrus tree’s best friend? Plant growth regulators like seaweed extract have become all the rage in commercial citrus growing. Packed with essential nutrients, natural hormones, and biostimulants, this magical elixir works wonders. When applied to citrus trees, it supercharges their root growth, boosts nutrient absorption, and enhances overall vitality. And that’s not all! Seaweed extract also helps citrus trees brave tough times, such as drought and disease. It’s like nature’s energy drink for our beloved citrus groves.

Super Roots Means Super Trees

Rootstock selection is key to successful citrus growing. With rootstock selection, growers carefully match different root systems with desired citrus traits. This pairing creates super trees with improved disease resistance, adaptability to different soils, and even better-tasting fruits. In Florida, rootstocks are being chosen for greening (HLB) resistance, fruit yield, and fruit quality. With innovations like CRSPR, scientists are experimenting with gene expression, target genes that will effect citrus trees ability to fight disease, all while maintaining non-gmo status. When those super roots are paired with scions from productive trees, watch out. We’re talking healthy trees, delicious fruit, and a lot of it.

The world of commercial citrus growing is undergoing a juicy transformation with exciting trends that make groves more productive, resilient, and sustainable. At Yarden, we’re hard at work developing new products and growing trees that bring commercial citrus science and growing success to your doorstep. We can’t wait to help you grow your own food!

Ready to embark on your citrus-growing journey or upgrade your existing grove with these innovative techniques?