Challenges in citrus production

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29 July 2022, Austria: Take a peek at the solutions that METOS® DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM can bring to citrus production.

Citrus production is known to be complex and there are many exogenous and endogenous factors influencing quantity and quality of the production. Especially climatic conditions and production practices play an important role.

Growers have to make large scale decisions (for example irrigation management, balanced nutrition, proper pruning etc.) influencing also disease and pest pressure. Therefore decision support system practices in citrus groves have to be adapted to minimize plant stresses, improve their health and enhance citrus trees to produce not only quality fruit, but also high yield.

Decision support systems

Combine monitored and forecasted data to get a powerful tool, which will help you optimize your production and produce more with less.

Properly adapted citrus management practices should always include irrigation systems and management, nutrients and pest management as well as disease control.

  • WEATHER MONITORING: Be prepared for frost protection. Set an SMS alarm to notify you, when frost conditions are approaching. Temperatures below – 0,8 °C can be lethal for your citrus trees. The exact temperature depends on the variety and for how long frost conditions occur.
  • FERTILIZING MANAGEMENT: Optimize fertilization time. The best is if the spreading of the fertilizer is followed by rainfall.
  • NUTRITION MANAGEMENT: Quick soil analysis helps you apply the appropriate amount of nutrients.
  • PLANT PROTECTION MANAGEMENT: With the help of disease models and spraying window forecasts you can optimize your plant protection activities in a way to reduce disease pressure under the threshold for citrus trees. For example: If spraying is followed by a rainfall of 30 mm, there is a good chance that it will wash away the treatment and you will have to repeat the spraying to keep your citrus trees protected.
  • IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT: Monitor your soil moisture to know when your crop is suffering water stress and start your irrigation system on time to have homogenous fruit size and good quality.
Recommended equipment
Recommended equipment in citrus production | METOS by Pessl

Basis sensor set, needed for pest and disease monitoring of citruses includes a rain gauge and sensors for air temperature and leaf wetness. These sensors are available with iMETOS IMT280-USW, iMETOS IMT300, iMETOS IMT300-USW and µMETOS NBIoT weather stations.

For soil moisture control we recommend soil moisture add-ons:

  • Soil Moisture & Soil Temperature Sensor PI54-D
  • Watermark Soil Moisture
  • Sentek Drill & Drop TriScan Probe (60, 90,120 cm) or Pessl AC Probe (60, 120 cm)

For frost control we recommend frost control add-on: 1x Dry and wet Bulb.

To offer full support for plant protection management Pessl Instruments disease models have been developed to provide the best information possible to enable conscious decision making and use the best tools to produce more, both in terms of quantity and quality. Plant disease models are thus based on highly precise weather forecasts which are localized and calibrated on the monitoring site.

Citrus disease models

On FieldClimate we offer models for two Citrus diseases.

Alternaria brown spot, caused by the fungus Alternaria alternata, affects a wide range of orange and mandarin varieties specially Murcott tangors. Where severe, the disease results in extensive fruit drop and must be controlled on processing and fresh market fruit.

Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum. It affects all species and cultivars of citrus. It must be controlled on processing and fresh market fruit. In the graph we can see that after a leaf wetness period disease severity increases.

You can see on the graph that the conditions for infection were fulfilled, when the relative humidity was high and leaf wetness was present for a longer period of time.

For a more detailed description (biology, symptoms, modeling) about Citrus diseases, click here.

Watch your citrus trees blossom

With our CropVIEW® camera device you can have a remote view of your citrus trees, directly from your computer or phone, and see at any time how your citrus trees are growing and developing.

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