Citrus nutrition masterclass

Detailed and advanced citrus nutrition management information and skills are accessible to citrus growers through the NSW DPI Citrus Nutrition Masterclass workshop series. The workshops aim to provide participants with a detailed knowledge of citrus nutrition so they can implement a nutrition management plan suited to their site conditions.

Course developer, Steven Falivene (NSW DPI Citrus Development officer), says ‘citrus growers are often overwhelmed with citrus nutrition research and colourful brochures from other regions and overseas. Although this information can be helpful, variable site conditions such as soil type, climate and variety can often give different responses in local conditions.

The key skill of nutrition management is to understand the main nutrients and combine information from block yields, tree health and tissue/soil analysis to implement a nutrition management program that suits your orchard’.

The masterclass is a series of workshops conducted throughout the season that provide extensive theoretical knowledge, including relevant local and overseas research. Participants put this knowledge into practice by assessing crop load, conducting their own leaf analysis (participants will need to pay for at least one leaf analysis), analysing leaf test results and preparing a nutrition plan suited to the orchard.

Each workshop is a half-day morning session:

  • Session 1: Nutrient deficiencies and the effect of nutrition on fruit quality
  • Session 2: Foliar sprays and soil antagonism
  • Session 3: Nutrient monitoring, fertiliser types and crop load assessment
  • Session 4: Leaf analysis interpretation and sampling (short session on sampling technique)
  • Session 5: Fertiliser rates, timing and developing a nutrition plan (bring laptops if available).

The first two sessions have already been conducted in the Riverina with over 25 participants attending. The next Riverina session is scheduled in October. Peter Ceccato, Manager Super Seasons (pictured right with Steven Falivene centre and Paul Geddes of Yenda Producers left) says ‘the masterclass served to reveal some of the myths surrounding fertiliser practises along with re affirming some of the old practises.

At this stage, our fertiliser programs will not change the way we deliver them, however, they will be adjusted to better deliver the nutrients to the plant to maximise our inputs. Steven has been able to present the workshop in a realistic and meaningful way and I am looking forward to the rest of the program’.

Sessions are scheduled for Sunraysia (1st session 19th Oct). If you are interested in participating please call NSW DPI Dareton for a brochure and/or booking (03 50198400).

The masterclass is a great way to compile and disseminate professional citrus production technology and techniques and NSW DPI Citrus Development officers Steven and Andrew Creek aim to start next year on more masterclasses. The next topic to be developed is “crop regulation and growth regulators”. Other masterclasses targeted for the future include;

  • 1st grade packout: canopy & wind management
  • Redevelopment – rootstocks, varieties, reworking & 20 year production budgeting
  • Pest and disease
  • Fertigation
  • Soil
  • Irrigation
Three participants at the masterclass