Cover Crops in Citrus - Part 1
Science continues to reveal the importance of soil microbes to our agricultural crops. Dr. Sarah Strauss at the University of Florida is analyzing the impact of cover crops in citrus to see if they increase the presence of these microbes.
Strauss… “Most of the research that's been done over the years with cover crops and their potential benefits to plant production, soil health. soil organic matter, have been done in row crops. In corn, cotton soybean, and things like that, which obviously have a very different growing strategy than citrus trees or any other tree crop for that matter. I started talking to some folks and some growers and found that there were a couple that were doing it, and then a couple that were very interested. And so in conjunction with some grower conversations, realized that we didn't have a lot of information on some of the changes that could occur in soils, both nutrient-wise, root growth-wise, microbially and potentially changes to the trees, and that that hadn't been quantified for citrus. And so we wanted to try and start to get an idea of what are those actual changes. What are the measurable changes that we might see or might not see by using cover crops in citrus?”
Dr. Strauss says the research team also includes an economist to see if these practices are not only feasible, but economical for growers.