In the last decade Florida citrus has been devastated by the Asian citrus psyllid. Since 2005, this nonnative insect has spread a bacterial disease (citrus greening) throughout the citrus industry in all Florida and now to Alabama, Texas and California. The economic loss has been estimated by the University of Florida to be well over 1 billion dollars and is compounded by the loss of 30 thousand jobs! Growers have spent millions of dollars battling this pest and they are losing the war. So obviously we have a psyllid problem, right?
Well if I could take you back to your 8th grade science class, I would teach you that it only takes sunlight, soil, air and water to grow a healthy crop. In Florida, we are blessed with plenty of sunshine, fresh water and fresh air. The one thing we have forgotten about in the last 65 years is the soil.
Soil health, according to Dr. William A. Albrecht, is about balancing the chemical, mineral, biological and physical properties of soil. Our soil’s biology has been decimated almost to the point of extinction. We have essentially killed our own soils!
Florida soils have not been blessed with a high percentage of organic matter to hold the nutrients we apply. Most importantly, organic matter (humus) is the home for all soil biology. Without this home, it is impossible to achieve biological balance, mineral balance and citrus health. Insects in nature always attack the weakest or most unbalanced link.
Biodiversity, balance and respect WILL make the difference in the health of Florida citrus. We would like to invite all of you to attend the Guardian Soil Solutions Field Day at our research grove to demonstrates the difference this relationship can make in a truly remarkable way. This IS the future of Florida citrus.
Blog article featured in the Central Florida Ag News Magazine July 2017
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