Irrigation Management for Oranges
Saving water while improving citrus fruit yields seems near impossible, but with SupPlant’s autonomous irrigation systems, this seeming impossibility becomes a reality. Using information gathered from sensors, the system accounts for soil texture, weather changes, and more to ensure crops receive the appropriate amount of irrigation.
The system has been tested on a large variety of citrus trees and has proven to be a highly effective way of growing hardy, resilient trees that produce high-quality fruit. The system has been successfully applied to clementines, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Data gathered from a study carried out on an Orange Late Navel plot in Australia revealed that with SupPlant’s solution, the trees continued to grow to a larger diameter than the control group. Additionally, the fruit produced was of a higher quality.
Together with overall yield, fruit size is the most important factor in determining final selling prices, being capable of changing the end-of-season balance from negative to positive. In general, there is a preference for large fruit (>72mm), while smaller fruit (<65mm) are often hard to sell. Given conditions such as variety, budline and rootstock have a strong effect but cannot be easily modified. Variable factors such as tree health, nutrition, irrigation, and orchard management also strongly influence the final fruit size and the grower must be constantly in control and promptly responding to the changing environmental conditions. Among them, irrigation is one of the main factors as it has been widely demonstrated that the first sign of water stress is a reduction of fruit size. Therefore, the adoption of tools that help growers in irrigation management is crucial for reaching expected yields and qualities, in this case, fruit size.
Following several seasons in a large number of crops, SupPlant’s GBI has demonstrated to provide an efficient and effective autonomous irrigation management solution for ensuring optimum plant health condition, yield, and fruit size.
In citrus, GBI has been successfully applied to clementines, lemons, oranges and grapefruits. Specifically, the data shown in this document correspond to an Orange Late Navel plot being autonomously controlled by GBI in Australia.
Find out more on how SupPlant solutions can improve citrus crops