2014/15 Picking, Roadsiding, and Hauling Charges for Florida Citrus

Continuous canopy shake and catch citrus mechanical harvesting system.
As Florida’s citrus industry confronts the impacts of Huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening)–decreasing crop yields and production, lower quality fruit, and increasing cost of production–many growers are facing declining returns. A 2015 survey of twelve Florida citrus harvesters to collect data on harvesting charges during the 2014/15 season revealed that average picking and roadsiding charges for fresh fruit are in most cases lower than those for processed fruit, likely because of the impact of HLB. This 3-page fact sheet written by Ariel Singerman of UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department presents the results of the survey and provides a table summarizing the harvesting charges for citrus during the 2014/15 season with the average and the range of picking and roadsiding charges by variety and type of fruit (fresh versus processed), as well as the average hauling charges for all varieties by distance. The fact sheet will assist growers in the effort to compute the changes to their economic returns as the industry adapts to remain profitable.

What Is the Economic Benefit of a Citrus Health Management Area? A Case Study

oranges on the tree with orchard in background
A Citrus Health Management Area (CHMA) is a group of growers who work cooperatively to coordinate insecticide application timing and mode of action in order control the insect vector of citrus greening disease. CHMAs help prevent insect vectors from moving between groves and reduce the likelihood that insects will develop pesticide resistance. This 3-page fact sheet written by Ariel Singerman and Brandon Page and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department analyzes the case-study data on yields of Valencia oranges from blocks located in two different categories of CHMAs to find the impact of citrus greening disease on citrus yields and provide evidence on the effectiveness of best class CHMAs as a way to deal with the disease. The analysis provides evidence that CHMAs can enhance an individual grower’s profitability at a time when margins are becoming increasingly narrow.

Cost of Production for Processed Oranges in Southwest Florida, 2014/15

oranges on the tree with orchard in background
UF/IFAS researchers collected data from twelve growers to estimate the cost of production per acre for processed oranges in southwest Florida during 2014/15. The cost estimates in this 4-page fact sheet written by Ariel Singerman and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department do not represent any individual operation. Instead, their purpose is to serve as a benchmark for the Florida citrus industry. Typical users of these estimates include growers, consultants, property appraisers, and researchers.

Summary of 2013/14 Production Costs for Indian River Fresh Market Grapefruit and Southwest Florida Juice Oranges

Extension agent checks an orange grove near Lake Alfred, FL. photo: Tara Piasio
This 10-page report, developed through interviews with growers who managed their own citrus groves, outlines the cost of production budgets for fresh grapefruit and juice oranges grown during the 2013/14 season. The Florida citrus industry is on a steep learning curve as it collectively tries to maintain economically sustainable fruit yields from HLB-infected trees. Growers are experimenting with new materials and management strategies to reduce psyllid populations and improve a tree’s overall nutritional health. As a result, production costs have increased threefold since 2004. Between the 2012/13 and the 2013/14 seasons, production costs increased 30% and 34% for fresh grapefruit and juice oranges, respectively. Since 2004, production costs for fresh grapefruit have increased 182%, while costs to grow juice oranges have increased 211%.

Written by Fritz Roka, Ariel Singerman, and Ronald Muraro, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, July 2015.