Planning for 2024 Planting and Nutrient Management

Posted: November 20, 2023

As the weather gets colder many people may be dreaming of sunny beaches and tropical getaways. Growers, however, never stop planning or taking care of the production system, because they know 2024 success starts now. Several steps can be taken in the fall to ensure maximized springtime and harvests productivity. It all starts now with planning for next year.

Fortifying Trees and Fields:

Soil in orchards, vineyards and fields may be our most precious commodity. Mitigating soil nutrient depletion starts at harvest of the prior year. Taking samples and looking at the soil profile gives crucial insights into next year’s challenges. This can lead to looking for strategies to add organic matter, aeration, or balance soil pH. Starting that process early allows for better preparation and flexibility for planting in the spring.

Trees also need fortification since the starch and nutrients in the fall can either be wasted or stored for a better foundation during bloom. Encouraging trees to enter dormancy can be a tricky, but crucial, process. Many growers use a plant modifier or a nutrients that can fortify plants to encourage that storage. Metalosate® Tropical can be used this way to promote trees’ nutritional balance maintenance. Proper pruning, pest management and coverage can also positively contribute to nutrient management.

Nutrient Strategy:

Having a solid nutrient and fertilization strategy ensures plants will have what they need, when they need it most, without stress. Recent years have presented unprecedented weather events such as atmospheric rivers, drought, and unseasonable hot and cold snaps. These challenges not only stress plants, but also make it challenging to spray or put pressure to spray nutrients at inopportune times. By communicating with a crop consultant and pest advisor early on about the best program for your crops, it ensures meeting the crop’s needs.

For example, Calcium, Boron and Zinc support proper development during bloom and should be supplemented to enhance cell elongation. However, if weather conditions unexpectedly encourage early bloom and those sprays are missed, potential can be lost without a way to recover it. Early planning allows for better preparation, so not even the weather can catch you off guard.


The world receives a constant stream of information all year long, but the fall and winter are an ideal time to review concepts that may have been introduced over the year. Many organizations and communities schedule meetings or continuing education opportunities during the fall, making it a great way to get up to date information. Watch Growing Produce’s Webinar about Fortifying Plants in Times of Stress, featuring Balchem’s Jeremy O’Brien.  Another way to gain access to great information is to review research and data from reputable sources, like our research library. This allows for the best strategy to be crafted for a particular organization and crop.

Each year seems to come with different challenges, but by maintaining a solid foundation and planning for 2024, each year can be more successful than the last.


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