Implementing advanced citrus production systems in Florida—early results

Arnold W. Schumann, James P. Syvertsen, Kelly T. Morgan


The advanced citrus production system (ACPS) is a short- to medium-term approach to citrus water and nutrient management now being evaluated in Florida citrus groves for sustainable, profi table citrus production in the presence of greening and canker diseases. The goal of ACPS is to compress and enhance the citrus production cycle so economic payback can be reached in fewer years to offset some of the disease losses. Early economic fruit production (producing annual net profi ts) should be reached in as little as 3 years, thus achieving early return on investment with its associated economic advantages. The early high yields will be achieved primarily with high-density planting and optimum nutrition and water management using computerized daily fertigation, commonly referred to as “open hydroponics.” Additionally, the production of an ACPS grove could be sustained by higher tree density (built-in redundancy) since removed diseased trees will simply be compensated for by additional growth of adjacent trees in the high density planting. Two field experiments evaluating ACPS using newly planted and mature trees are described. Descriptions include field plot layouts, automated fertigation system design, equipment selection, irrigation scheduling, monitoring, remote control, fertilizer formulations, and preliminary results from tree measurement and fruit yield. The information will be useful for growers wanting to convert citrus blocks to ACPS, and will update the research and grower community on the latest Florida-specifi c research results for this intensively managed production system.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283