The wind in the citrus and what trees told us
Updated: Apr 26, 2021
One of the great benefits of being connected to the trees and covering many types of crops is that unusual phenomena can be explained by listening to what the trees are telling us.
Take for example what happened recently in the Riverina region, Australia. Territory Manager, Sam Daniel, noticed that across many crop types such as almonds and citrus, which Phytech help our customers monitor, many trees have failed to recover from a hot April day, regardless of whether they had been irrigated or not.
Usually, when a certain observation is seen across multiple crops and irrigation tactics, its source is external, such as extreme climate conditions.
As seen on Phytech's app, during the late noon, there was an increase in temperatures and wind speed. This was a hot and dry wind which caused the tree to lose more water by dramatically increasing the VPD (Vapor Pressure Deficit).
Because fruits do not play a significant role in transportation, this event did not affect the fruit size, but had a significant effect on trees' growth rates the following day. Many trees showed reduction in growth rate and some even experienced negative growth.
"Such events can eventually be very bad for the trees," explains Dr. Ido Gardi from Phytech's Agronomic Research team, "In Israel, during the fall, there are extremely dry winds (coming from the desert), and citrus growers report real damage, even leaf shades. In some sensitive varieties, the damage can be reduced by different irrigation practices".
Once again, being connected to their trees in real-time help growers quickly understand their trees' status, and adapt their irrigation delivery to help with recovery.