Feeding Frenzy

Feeding Frenzy

Foliar feeding is not intended to completely replace soil-applied fertilization of the macronutrients (nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous). However, macronutrients can be foliarly applied in sufficient quantities to influence both fruit yield and quality. Some crops, such as citrus, can have a large part of the nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous requirements met through foliar applications.

Foliar applications of other plant nutrients (calcium, magnesium, and sulfur) and micronutrients (zinc, manganese, copper, boron, and molybdenum) have proven for many crops to be an excellent means for supplying the plants’ requirements.

Feeding Supplement

Foliar feeding should be used as an integral part of the annual nutritional program. It can be used in other situations to help plants through short, but critical periods of nutrient demand, such as fruit set and bud differentiation. Foliar nutrition may also prove to be useful at times of soil- or environmentally induced nutritional shortages. Foliar application of nutrients is of significant importance when the root system is unable to keep up with crop demand or when the soil has a history of problems that inhibit normal growth.

Foliar feeding is proven to be useful under prolonged spells of wet soil conditions, dry soil conditions, calcareous soil, cold weather, or any other condition that decreases the tree’s ability to take up nutrients when there is a demand. Foliar feeding may be utilized effectively when a nutritional deficiency is diagnosed. A foliar application is the quickest method of getting the most nutrients into plants. However, if the deficiency can be seen, the crop might have already lost some potential yield.

Foliar fertilization is also efficient since it increases the accuracy of fertilizer application. Applications made to the soil can be subject to leaching and volatilization losses and/or being tied up by soil particles in unavailable forms to citrus trees.

Be Careful Of Burns

While foliar feeding has many advantages, it can burn plants at certain rates under certain environmental conditions. It is important, therefore, to foliar feed within the established guidelines. There are a number of conditions that can increase the chances of causing foliar burn. A plant under stress is more susceptible to damage. Stressful conditions include drying winds, disease infestations, and poor soil conditions. The environmental conditions at the time of application are also important factors. Applications when the weather is warm (above 80ºF) should be avoided. This means that during warm seasons, applications should be made in the morning or evening. Additionally, applications should not be at less than two-week intervals to give the plant sufficient time to metabolize the nutrients and deal with the added osmotic stress.

Another important factor when applying a nutrient foliarly is to ensure that the pH of the material is in the proper range. The pH range of the spray solution should be between 6 and 7. Attention should be paid to the pH of the final spray solution. This is significant in areas where water quality is poor.

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Marty McKenna presented with the 2016 Citrus Achievement Award
Citrus Achievement Award
July 25, 2016
Citrus Achievement Award Winner: Adapting To Challenges Has Its Rewards
Marty McKenna says hurdles like HLB forces growers to step up their game, which is a good thing. Read More
Marco Rubio tours a Central Florida citrus grove with industry dignitaries
Insect & Disease Update
July 22, 2016
Marco Rubio Backs Bill To Save Florida Citrus
Senator co-sponsors measure that would provide growers with incentives to plant more trees. Read More
farm labor pic for web
Citrus
July 21, 2016
Farm Labor Delays Taking Toll On Crops [Opinion]
When it comes down to it, we have a choice to make. We either have to import our labor, or we'll have to import our food. Read More
Urban vegetable farm in rural Cuba
Citrus
July 20, 2016
My First Trip To Cuba Proves Fruitful
The five-day journey was enlightening, providing participants with a better perspective of the state of agriculture in this country 90 miles off Florida’s coast. Read More
vineyard grapes winter snow
Citrus
July 19, 2016
Funds Allocated To Address Impact Of Climate Change On Agriculture
NIFA announces $8.4 for study and development of new approaches to mitigate effects of climate change. Read More
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Citrus
July 18, 2016
USDA Awards More Than $26 Million For Affordable Farmworker Housing
The funding is to support more than 400 rental units in four states. Read More
Basic tractor on the horizon
Business Planning
July 18, 2016
Financial Fortitude Key For Small Farm Success
Local threats like citrus greening create additional challenges for many of Florida's more modest enterprises. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
July 28, 2016
Florida’s Medicinal Cannabis Venture Off…
The state’s first dispensary of product comes online in Tallahassee, others waiting for the green light. Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Ha…
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Citrus
July 21, 2016
Farm Labor Delays Taking Toll On Crops […
When it comes down to it, we have a choice to make. We either have to import our labor, or we'll have to import our food. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2016
My First Trip To Cuba Proves Fruitful
The five-day journey was enlightening, providing participants with a better perspective of the state of agriculture in this country 90 miles off Florida’s coast. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2016
Funds Allocated To Address Impact Of Cli…
NIFA announces $8.4 for study and development of new approaches to mitigate effects of climate change. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
USDA Awards More Than $26 Million For Af…
The funding is to support more than 400 rental units in four states. Read More
Business Planning
July 18, 2016
Financial Fortitude Key For Small Farm S…
Local threats like citrus greening create additional challenges for many of Florida's more modest enterprises. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
Bayer Ups Bid To Buy Monsanto
Reports indicate new offer at nearly $65 billion. Read More
Citrus
July 17, 2016
Millennial Moms, Florida Orange Juice A …
Learn what new marketing strategies are being employed by the Florida Department of Citrus to reach this vital consumer segment. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2016
Look Up! Farming’s Future Is Comin…
FAA's recent ruling regarding unmanned aircraft systems is good news for business. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2016
Farm Credit Celebrates 100 Years Of Serv…
Lending institution plays a critical role in sustaining Florida agriculture. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2016
Florida Citrus Season Ends On Up Note
Challenging campaign typified by forecasts influenced by the negative impacts of HLB. Read More
Citrus
July 8, 2016
Yara Seeking To Make Splash With New Wat…
Unique plant-based sensor technology is being tested in California and Florida citrus groves. Read More
Citrus
July 6, 2016
Algal Bloom Crisis Forcing Florida Farme…
With state of emergency actions underway, growers and industry stakeholders are having to face, respond to critics. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2016
At Least $4.1 Million Lost In South Flor…
UF/IFAS researchers take optimistic route, say damage from last summer’s invasive pest onslaught could have been much worse. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2016
Citrus, Pistachio Researchers Named Firs…
Extension advisors named University of California Cooperative Extension Presidential Chairs to study pistachio production systems. Read More
Citrus
July 4, 2016
Politicians Often Seek To Leave Legacy […
Keep a close eye on what is happening at all levels of government; it’s time for all hands on deck to protect the value of agriculture in society. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]