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Estimated costs and returns of growing white seedless
grapefruit in the Indian River area of Florida are presented
for the third consecutive year. The format presented may be
used by individual growers to budget costs and returns
utilizing individual data on specific groves.
Key words: citrus, Indian River, budgeting, costs and
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. . . .
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION .
THE GROVE SITUATION . .
Age and Production Per Tree
COSTS OF INPUTS . .
SPRAY PROGRAM . . .
COSTS AND RETURNS . .
BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . .
LIST OF TABLES
Calculation of production per acre . .
Costs of inputs supplied on a custom basis
used in calculating costs. . . .
Costs of chemicals used in calculating costs
Spray program used in budget based on custom
rates and application of two 500-gallon tanks
per acre . . . . .
Estimated annual per acre costs and returns
for a mature white seedless grapefruit on
sour orange rootstock, Indian River area,
Florida . . . . .
Schedule of production practices in Indian
River groves . . . . .
. . . 1
. . . 1
. . . 2
. . . 3
. . . 3
. . . 3
. . . 5
. . . 9
BUDGETING COSTS AND RETURNS:
INDIAN RIVER CITRUS PRODUCTION, 1976-77
R. P. Muraro and Ben Abbitt
Current data on costs and returns are needed by citrus
growers in order to formulate realistic budgets for their
operations. Budget analysis provides the basis for many
grower decisions. For example, budget analysis can be used
to calculate potential profits from an operation, to determine
cash requirements for an operation, and to determine break-even
This paper presents a budget constructed from current
data and will serve as a format for growers to develop costs
and returns from their individual records.
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
The data presented here were developed by surveying
custom operators, input suppliers, growers, and colleagues at
the Agricultural Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
This annual survey is conducted in January.
R. P. MURARO, Farm Management Extension Agent, Polk County,
Bartow, FL 33830. BEN ABBITT, Area Economist, Food and Resource
Economics Department, University of Florida, AREC, Lake Alfred,
THE GROVE SITUATION
It is difficult to define a "typical" grove; therefore,
it is necessary to state the assumptions under which a budget
was constructed. The assumptions made as to a particular
grove situation are thought to be typical of a healthy, mature,
sour-orange-rooted, white seedless grapefruit grove in the
Indian River area of the state.
Specific production practices vary from grove to grove.
Many combinations of practices and various tree combinations
seem to accomplish production of acceptable yields and returns.
The generation of costs and returns procedure is designed to
be applicable to any grove situation. A grower, realtor, or
land appraiser can substitute individual grove costs and expected
returns into the budget format and develop a budget for a
In the following budget, good management and cultural
practices are assumed. Beyond this general assumption, the
following specifics are assumed.
1. A 20-year-old irrigated grove;
2. Variety is white seedless on sour orange
3. Tree loss is 3 percent annually;
4. Trees are pulled and replaced when production
falls below 50 percent of expected yield;
5. Production is for fresh use; and
6. Tree spacing is 70 trees per acre.
Age and Production Per Tree
3% pulled and reset
3% 1 year old
3% 2 years old
3% 3 years old
3% 4 years old
57% 5-19 years old
3% producing 50% of expected yield
25% mature producing
Table 1.--Calculation of production per acre
Trees Percentage age Boxes/tree Total boxes
70 0.03 0.50 1.05
70 0.03 1.10 2.31
70 0.57 4.40 175.56
70 0.03 3.75 7.88
70 0.25 7.50 131.25
Total boxes/acre 318.05
COSTS OF INPUTS
Costs for various production inputs are the average
of the data obtained from the survey. These average costs
are shown in Tables 2 and 3.
The spray program presented here is believed to be of
the type followed by a majority of growers. It is not the
exact program outlined in the 1977 Spray and Dust Schedule,
nor is it necessarily the most economical spray program.
Most growers in the Indian River area produce grapefruit for
the fresh market and their spray program is formulated to
produce a fruit of this quality. Table 4 outlines the spray
program which is used for calculations in the budget which follows.
Table 2.--Costs of inputs supplied on a custom basis used in
Item Unit Low High Avg. Your cost
- Dollars- - -
Labor Hr. 2.97 4.00 3.60
Mowing (9' 10' rotary) Hr. 8.75 12.50 10.19
Mowing (sickle) Hr. 8.75 11.50 10.58
Herbiciding Hr. 9.00 13.50 10.35
Topping Hr. 135.00
Hedging (2-side) Hr. 36.00 135.00 85.50
Chipping Hr. 11.30
Removing trees (plus driver)
(front end loader) Hr. 18.00
Power saw w/o operator Hr. 4.00 5.00 4.75
Tractor and driver Hr. 8.00 11.50 9.75
Truck and driver Hr. 7.50 10.00 8.75
Water truck Hr. 8.25 11.50 9.92
Mound builder Hr. 9.00 10.50 13.45
Rotary ditcher Hr. 9.63
Irrigation, flood In. 1.76
Fertilize, bulk Acre 2.75
Spray, dilute Tank 8.00 11.87 9.96
Dust, Aerial Lb. 3.54
Table 3.--Costs of chemicals used in calculating costs
Item Unit Cost Your cost
Copper, tri-basic Lb. .70
Zinc, 36% zn Lb. .33
Manganese-sulfate Lb. .09
Chlorobenzilate Gal. 15.64
Ethion Gal. 12.86
Kelthane Gal. 14.72
Benlate Lb. 7.39
Oil, 97% Gal. .86
Sticker Gal. 5.74
Sulphur dust Ton 107.60
Krovar II Lb. 5.33
16-0-16 fertilizer Ton 101.35
16-0-16-4 MgO fertilizer Ton 107.87
8-2-8 fertilizer Ton 72.87
Table 4.--Spray program used in budget based on custom rates and
application of two 500-gallon tanks per acre
Item Amount/acre Cost Your cost
Post bloom application
Summer oil application
COSTS AND RETURNS
Table 5 shows the estimated costs and returns based on
data presented earlier and with a custom-caretaker providing
grove management. This table, as do the others, has a column
reserved for the individual grower to insert data from a
particular grove. This will allow a comparison of the
grower's costs and returns with those of the hypothetical
Table 5.--Estimated annual per acre costs and returns for a mature white seedless
on sour orange rootstock, Indian River area, Florida
Item Description Amount Your cost
I. Revenue 318 boxes @ $2.00 $636.00 $
Spray Program From Table 3 111.12
Material 16-0-16, 625 Ibs. $31.69
Application 2 @ $2.50 5.50 37.19
Mow Middles 5 times per year $25.48
Mow Under Trees 4 times per year 20.38
Pull Vines By hand 5.51
Herbicide 2 Ibs. Krovar II, incl. appl. .15.18 66.55
Removing Brush 13.56 40.24
Irrigation (Flood) 6 appl., total 18 in./year 31.68
Tree Replacement and Care
Remove Trees 2.1 trees per acre $20.96
Prepare Site Use of mound builders 6.73
Plant Resets Including 2.1 trees per acre 8.92
Fertilizer Including application 5.94 45.53
Management 5% of gross sale 31.80
III. Total Specified Costs $364.11
IV. Return to Land and Trees $271.89
Two items of cost which are not included in the budget
are ad valorem taxes and interest on grove investment. These
costs vary from grove to grove depending on age, location,
soil, and time of purchase or establishment. They should
both be considered in arriving at a net return to land and
trees (total return minus costs).
Shown in Table 6 are production practices for Indian
River citrus and a range of times during the year when they
would likely be performed.
There are two benefits to developing such a table for
an individual grove. First, it shows what work is needed
and when, so that operations can be planned well in advance.
Second, it can be helpful if an annual cash flow analysis is
developed to plan financing. The individual grower can
achieve benefits by developing a plan for a particular grove.
Table 6.--Schedule of production practices in Indian River groves
Grove practice Date performed Comments
Mowing middles Five times each year One-way mowing
Mowing under trees Four times each year One-way mowing
Pull vines and
general grove work Throughout year Primarily winter months
Herbicide (vine control) After pulling vines
Topping February thru June After fruit is harvested
Hedging & remove brush February thru June After fruit is harvested
Remove trees Winter months When other grove practices
are not being performed
Average six irrigation applica-
tions per year (18.0 inches/yr.)
Clean ditches Twice each year Fall and summer
Young trees Throughout year As needed
Fertilize Twice each year At least 130 pounds of nitrogen
(February & August) applied per acre each year
Dust (sulphur) September or October As needed
Spray (dilute) Dormant, Post bloom
Summer oil, and Fall Two tanks per acre;
miticide 500 gallons per tank
a This is a suggested schedule of practices. Actual practices would not necessarily
be carried out on the exact schedule shown here.
 DuCharme, E. P. "Tree Loss in Relation to Young Tree
Decline and Sand Hill Decline of Citrus in Florida."
Proceedings of the Fla. State Hort. Soc. 84:48-52
 1977 Florida Spray and Dust Schedule. Univ. of Fla.
Coop. Ext. Serv. Cir. 393C, Jan. 1977.
 Muraro, Ronald P. "Comparative Citrus Budgets."
Polk County Ext. Serv., Mar. 1976.
 Muraro, Ronald P. "Summary Custom Rate Survey for Nine
Indian River Citrus Caretakers." Bartow: Polk
County Ext. Serv., Mar. 1976.
 Muraro, Ronald P. "Cost of Resetting a Citrus Grove."
Bartow: Polk County Ext. Serv., Sept. 1976.
 Reitz, H. J., C. D. Leonard, et al. Recommended
Fertilizers and Nutritional Sprays for Citrus. Univ.
of Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 536C, Dec. 1972.
This public document was promulgated at an annual
cost of $372 or $.34 per copy to furnish the
citrus industry with current data on cost of
production for the Food and Resource Economics
Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, and the University of Florida.