31 Oct 2019
Cover Crops

Citrus Grower Sees Success with Cover Crops

Ed James has citrus in his veins. He has been working and thriving in the citrus business since he was a teenager — from hoeing orange trees to owning a caretaking business that serviced thousands of acres. That is, until about eight years ago.

In 2010, James looked around his personal 45-acre citrus grove and realized it was time to throw in the towel. The citrus industry in Florida had gone from over 800,000 acres to less than 400,000 acres. Citrus greening was the main culprit, but there were other factors for the decline. For James, it had just become completely unprofitable. The trees looked stunted and almost dead from foot rot, Diaprepes root weevil and HLB.

READ MORE

28 Aug 2019
Cover crops

Cover crops for citrus

Sarah Strauss, Davie Kadyampakeni, Ramdas Kanissery, Tara Wade, Lauren Diepenbrock and Juanita Popenoe
Citrus Industry

Cover crops are specific crops not intended for sale but for soil improvement and sustainability. They are increasingly common in the agricultural fields of the Midwest and other grain-producing regions because of the wide range of benefits not just for the soil, but also the cash crop. In those systems, cover crops improve water and nutrient retention, promote microbial activity, reduce weed growth and insect pests, and improve plant growth. Similar impacts have been found in tree crops like apples and peaches, where cover crops are planted in row middles.

READ MORE

26 Jun 2019
Soil Surface

Effects of soil surface management practices on soil and tree parameters in a ‘Cripps Pink’/M7 apple orchard 2. Tree performance and root distribution

John Wooldridge, Johan Fourie & Marlise E Joubert
https://www.tandfonline.com

There are around 22 000 ha of commercial apple orchards in South Africa. Of these, 70% are located in the upland areas of the Western Cape. The apple industry exports c. 40% of its production and supports an on-farm labour force of 27 800 (Hortgro 2012. Apple producers are currently adjusting their production techniques to meet increasing consumer demands for organic over conventionally produced fruit.

READ MORE