Frost Protection Irrigation for Florida Peaches: Economic Considerations

Peach production in Florida is increasing in importance, and the peach industry is growing rapidly in the state, where the early harvest and early market window allow the prices for Florida peaches to be high compared to those received by producers in the other southeastern states. Reduction in peach production costs would allow Florida peach producers to increase their net revenues. This 7-page fact sheet describes a strategy for limiting water use for frost protection of peach trees in the winter to reduce producers’ costs, protect lakes and streams, and reinforce the public image of farmers as innovators and environmental stewards. Written by Tori Bradley, Tatiana Borisova, and Mercy Olmstead and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department.

Improving the Precision of Blueberry Frost Protection Irrigation

Private blueberry farm in Alachua County, frozen, frost, crops.
In Florida, early-ripening southern highbush blueberry cultivars allow growers to take advantage of high prices in the early market before other states can compete with higher volumes of berries sold at lower prices. That advantage comes with a vulnerability, however, because frosts can reduce gains. Florida growers rely on strategies like cold protection irrigation to reduce their risk of loss due to cold damage. This 9-page article by Tatiana Borisova, Tori Bradley, Mercy Olmstead, and Jeffrey Williamson describes a UF/IFAS study comparing precision cold protection irrigation to uniform cold protection irrigation to estimate the potential savings in diesel costs and water withdrawal volumes associated with the two practices and help protect Florida’s valuable and vulnerable blueberry harvest. Published by the Food and Resource Economics Department in November 2015.