How to increase Citrus fruits yield and quality, in organic and conventional farming


Growing oranges, clementines, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits is a fascinating experience, so much so that many of us have at least one plant in the garden to take care of but managing a citrus grove is not a simple thing!

Being plants of tropical origin, their cultivation has spread mainly in the South of Italy where, in recent years, late spring frosts or overly hot and dry summers have now become commonplace.  Bad weather in the delicate phases of flowering and fruit set can compromise the final yield and, if it continues further, can also affect quality. Size and colour are the fundamental parameters, accompanied by the easy detachment of the peel, the content of vitamin C and a vegetation that is still green at the time of harvest. This increases the value of the final production. 

For these reasons, ILSA has developed a complete methodology to nourish and biostimulate the citrus grove from the early stages to ripening with specific formulations of its own production. Solid fertilizers based on AGROGEL® (eg. hydrolyzed gelatin for agricultural use) allows nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium to be absorbed by the soil, accompanied by high levels of organic substance which combine to make these elements easily available for plants, both in terms of absorption efficiency and prolonged availability and without losses due to leaching or gasification

The AGROGEL® protein matrix thus also improves fertility and soil characteristics. Applications at vegetative restart with FERTIL 10 or PROGRESS MICRO and, in post-harvest, with ILSALIFE PLUS FERRO, determine the ideal conditions for a final high yield and additionally rebalance the pH at the level of the rhizosphere; a factor that often leads to phenomena of iron chlorosis.

Furthermore, targeted interventions by foliar application and fertigation allow microelements, amino acids and substances with timely biostimulating actions on various qualitative aspects to be absorbed. The use in fertigation of ILSADRIP FORTE and ILSADRIP FERRO during the vegetative phases, ETIXAMIN DF in post-fruit setting and ETIXAMIN BIO-K in the final fruit enlargement phase allows the supply of nitrogen and organic carbon, iron, potassium and a high content of amino acids, which also have a beneficial effect on plant metabolism.

Amino acids obtained through a process of enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen (FCEH®) results in GELAMIN®. This is a fluid hydrolyzed gelatin for agricultural use - a matrix of the highest quality and efficacy and the basis for all ILSA liquid fertilizers. GELAMIN®. It is also the basic matrix of liquid fertilizers for foliar use which therefore has a double effect on nutrition and stress reduction.

ILSAMIN MULTI and ILSAMIN N90, in the early stages following budding, allow the development and maintenance of green and photosynthetically efficient vegetation which greatly limits the effects of stress derived from temperature decreases, which have now become common in spring. 

The use of ILSAMIN BORO in flowering and ILSAMIN CALCIO and ETIXAMIN BIO-K during fruit enlargement favour both the increase in the fruit setting percentage and the obtaining of a uniform size and colour therefore improving the value of production in all aspects; quantity and qualitative.

Photo 01. Scanzano Jonico (MT), Porreca company. Detail of the results of different applications on Navel Orange variety Newhall. On the right side of the field, the application to the ground at the vegetative restart with Progress Micro and the foliar interventions with Ilsamin N90, Ilsamin Multi, IlsaC-on and Ilsamin Boro have favoured a considerable increase in the fruit set percentage, compared to management with mineral fertilizers .

Finally, to further increase performance in stressful situations, ILSA has a wide range of biostimulants, some of which are particularly suitable for oranges, mandarins, clementines and lemons. Above all, ILSAC-ON, a 100% vegetable biostimulant based on enzymatic hydrolyzate of Fabaceae which, applied by foliar starting from flowering, has a positive effect on fruit set, fruit development and final quality.

What for organic farming?

The citrus fruit areas cultivated in organic farming in Italy increase exponentially every year. We are the largest producers of organic citrus fruits in the world with almost 30% of the entire Italian citrus area under the organic regime. The more advantageous prices and the particular predisposition of these crops to be managed in a much more "natural" way, in fact, is leading more and more producers to choose the organic method.

 What are the solutions that ILSA offers for organic farming?

All the products mentioned above are all allowed in organic farming, thanks to the nature of their matrices and ingredients. The same products are normally used in conventional farming for their high efficacy, stability and the very low salinity of their matrices, making them absolutely miscible with any other commercial formulation, so the application can be done in combination with pesticides. 

Photo 02. Villafranca Sicula (AG), Coop. Agri-Bio L’Arcobaleno. Details of the results on Washington Navel variety obtained about a month before harvesting with the ILSA methodology on the ground in fertigation and foliar applications which determined the largest size and most intense colour of the fruits. 

Visit www.ilsagroup.com website for further information for citrus fertilization. You can find all the tests carried out in recent years.