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BioAg program improves citrus crop yield

A Riverina citrus grower has been convinced that a biological approach to soil improvement is a safer, cost-efficient, and sustainable method of horticultural production.

In an established orchard that Russell Vardanega acquired several years ago, yields were reduced with; inhibited crop growth, insignificant canopy coverage, small leaves with evident nutrient deficiencies and a low rate of new growth and poor numbers of generative organs. These factors resulted in a dramatic yield reduction achieving only 10-15 t/ha, compared to a potential yield for planted varieties (Navels and Valencias) of 50 t/ha.

Citrus orchard in the Riverina

For several seasons, despite high levels of available potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) in the soil, the grower followed standard nutrition programs and had tried different soil ameliorants, e.g., gypsum, but with no positive impact on his crop.

BioAg suggested a nutrition program aimed at:

  • Improving soil health and stimulating root growth
  • Addressing micro nutrient deficiencies (mainly Zn, Mn), and
  • Addressing soil properties including salinity, high sodium, high pH, and low soil carbon.

The nutrition program focused on addressing only those nutrients that were needed and included. BioAg biostimulants to improve soil function, nutrient use efficiency and support plant growth and tolerance to stresses (Soil & Seed and HydraHume and foliar treatments, HydraSea 50, Balance & Grow and Fruit & Balance).

At the end of the season, the grower noticed a significant improvement in crop growth. Tree canopies turned out to be thicker, with bigger leaves supplying a larger photosynthesis area. In addition, the soil conditions were improved, nutrient deficiencies addressed, with improvements evident in soil properties. In two years, the production has been dramatically increased (see table 1).

Table 1. Change in soil parameters and the crop yield.

Contact your BioAg representative to discuss any crop issues you’re experiencing.