Citrus Greening’s Girth Causing Orange Crush

As the 2013-2014 harvest season nears completion, here are a few thoughts on the current economic situation of the industry. It now appears that the season average delivered-in price for early-mid oranges used for processing will be about $1.80 per pound solid and the delivered-in price for Valencia oranges will average in the neighborhood of $2.20 per pound solid. These prices translate to on-tree prices of roughly $8.00 per box for early-mids and close to $12.00 per box for Valencia oranges. Historically, these are very good prices and would indicate a highly profitable year for the industry.

With grove maintenance costs in the range $1,700 to $2,000 per acre and the impact of greening on per acre yields, however, these prices begin to look less favorable. Using $1,800 per acre as an average for grove maintenance, the break-even yield for early-mid oranges is 225 boxes per acre (assuming a juice yield of six pound solids per box). The break-even yield for Valencia oranges is approximately 152 boxes per acre (assuming 6.5 pound solids per box).

Crunching The Numbers

The FASS/USDA crop forecast for the 2013-2014 season released in April predicted that 53 million boxes of early-mid oranges will be produced along with 57 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The preliminary 2013 Florida tree inventory also released by FASS indicates there are 200,509 acres of early-mid oranges and 251,770 acres of Valencia oranges. Calculating average per acre fruit yields for the 2013-2014 crop gives approximately 264 boxes for early mids and 226 boxes for Valencias. Comparing these figures to the break-even numbers suggest that those blocks strongly affected by greening will not cover grove-maintenance costs let alone contribute to other costs such as depreciation and property taxes.

Thinking Outside Of The Box

The industry is approaching the point where a significant number of processed orange blocks are no longer profitable. This is the reality that many of us feared would arrive when greening was first discovered in the state in 2005. This also might explain why growers have been reluctant to plant new trees. In 2013, there were just more than four million non-bearing trees in a total inventory of just more than 61.1 million trees. With tree mortality in excess of 3%, the industry would need close to two million trees to enter the bearing tree inventory in 2014, but there are only 1.5 million that were planted in 2010 and will become bearing in 2014. Even fewer trees were planted in 2011 and 2012. So the trajectory of the bearing tree inventory will continue on a downward path for the next few years.

I have never enjoyed being the bearer of negative news, and maybe these observations are obvious to growers and processors, but the time has come for bold action. New ways to deal with greening need to found and implemented. New incentives for growers to encourage new tree plantings are now a dire necessity.

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Agritainment
Citrus
August 15, 2017
New Conference to Shine Spotlight on Central Florida Agritourism
Education and interaction part of UF/IFAS-led agenda. Read More
Citrus
August 11, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Common Lambsquarters
Take a look at these tips for identifying and treating this pervasive weed. Read More
Jose Dubeux and Mack Glass talk farming in a Florida forage field
Citrus
August 9, 2017
Florida Farming and University Extension Grow Hand in Hand [Opinion]
Learning is a two-way street to success in the field and the lab. Read More
Citrus
August 9, 2017
Traceability Products to Help You Track Produce
One way to ease the process of a food safety recall is by having detailed records of where each crop has been and who has touched it. Look over these traceability products using the latest technology to help you stay on top of your records. Read More
Flooded farm field in Florida
Citrus
August 8, 2017
Drought-Busted Sunshine State Still on the Dry Side
Despite prolific periods of precipitation, parts of Florida remain under water shortage warning order. Read More
Citrus
August 7, 2017
New Funding Available for Agricultural Technology
USDA announces $400,000 to support ag science entrepreneurs. Read More
Florida Citrus Hall of Fame logo
Citrus
August 4, 2017
Next Class of Florida Citrus Hall of Famers Being Sought
Longtime industry honor now entering its 56th year. Read More
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Recalls Happen. Here’s What You Can Do If It Happens to You
Follow this 10-Step plan to protect the public — and your farm. As a bonus, see how Duda Farms runs its mock recalls. Read More
Therapeutic cannabis closeup in the greenhouse
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Florida Farm Set to Bring Organic Medical Cannabis to the Table
3 Boys Farm finally gets its medical marijuana treatment center license; gearing to offer unique product in a budding market. Read More
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Perdue Appoints Key Food Safety Leaders
Carmen Rottenberg has been appointed Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Paul Kiecker has been named Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read More
Citrus
August 1, 2017
HLB Detected in California’s Historic Home of Citrus
Riverside County has a storied history of citrus production and is home to California Citrus State Historic Park, which preserves the cultural landscape of the citrus industry. Read More
Tropical Storm Emily graphic
Citrus
July 31, 2017
Surprise! Emily Storms Ashore in the Sunshine State
State of emergency declared for fast-forming tropical system. Read More
Citrus
July 28, 2017
Popular Herbicide Registered for California Bearing Citrus and Caneberries
The supplemental label for Valent’s Chateau herbicide is particularly welcome for California growers of bearing citrus fruit, as it’s a new use. Read More
Citrus
July 26, 2017
Despite Controversy, Most Major Ag Groups Support Sam Clovis’ USDA Nomination
Most of the major agricultural associations are coming out in support of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Sam Clovis to Read More
Citrus
July 26, 2017
If We Want American Farm Workers, We Have to Offer Even More [Opinion]
Now is the time to lobby for ways to attract American labor. One idea? Offer college tuition and student loan forgiveness in exchange for farm work. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
August 18, 2017
Bayer Aims Research Prowess at Defeating…
Company enters collaboration with Citrus Research and Development Foundation to uncover antibacterial and plant defense tools against the disease. Read More
Citrus
August 18, 2017
How Florida Growers are Fine-Tuning Citr…
Some are tweaking nutrition programs to focus on root health along with foliar applications. Read More
Citrus
August 17, 2017
How Wicked Will Winter 2018 Be in the U.…
The 200th edition of the Farmers’ Almanac reveals wide-ranging weather patterns and events that would require everything from shovels to shorts. Read More
Citrus
August 15, 2017
New Conference to Shine Spotlight on Cen…
Education and interaction part of UF/IFAS-led agenda. Read More
Citrus
August 11, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Common Lambsquarte…
Take a look at these tips for identifying and treating this pervasive weed. Read More
Citrus
August 9, 2017
Florida Farming and University Extension…
Learning is a two-way street to success in the field and the lab. Read More
Citrus
August 9, 2017
Traceability Products to Help You Track …
One way to ease the process of a food safety recall is by having detailed records of where each crop has been and who has touched it. Look over these traceability products using the latest technology to help you stay on top of your records. Read More
Citrus
August 8, 2017
Drought-Busted Sunshine State Still on t…
Despite prolific periods of precipitation, parts of Florida remain under water shortage warning order. Read More
Citrus
August 7, 2017
New Funding Available for Agricultural T…
USDA announces $400,000 to support ag science entrepreneurs. Read More
Citrus
August 4, 2017
Next Class of Florida Citrus Hall of Fam…
Longtime industry honor now entering its 56th year. Read More
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Recalls Happen. Here’s What You Ca…
Follow this 10-Step plan to protect the public — and your farm. As a bonus, see how Duda Farms runs its mock recalls. Read More
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Florida Farm Set to Bring Organic Medica…
3 Boys Farm finally gets its medical marijuana treatment center license; gearing to offer unique product in a budding market. Read More
Citrus
August 2, 2017
Perdue Appoints Key Food Safety Leaders
Carmen Rottenberg has been appointed Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Paul Kiecker has been named Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read More
Citrus
August 1, 2017
HLB Detected in California’s Historic Ho…
Riverside County has a storied history of citrus production and is home to California Citrus State Historic Park, which preserves the cultural landscape of the citrus industry. Read More
Citrus
July 31, 2017
Surprise! Emily Storms Ashore in the Sun…
State of emergency declared for fast-forming tropical system. Read More
Citrus
July 28, 2017
Popular Herbicide Registered for Califor…
The supplemental label for Valent’s Chateau herbicide is particularly welcome for California growers of bearing citrus fruit, as it’s a new use. Read More
Citrus
July 26, 2017
Despite Controversy, Most Major Ag Group…
Most of the major agricultural associations are coming out in support of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Sam Clovis to Read More
Citrus
July 26, 2017
If We Want American Farm Workers, We Hav…
Now is the time to lobby for ways to attract American labor. One idea? Offer college tuition and student loan forgiveness in exchange for farm work. Read More