POLICY BRIEF SERIES
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF TEMIK ON CITRUS IN THE
INDIAN RIVER AREA IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA
Lindsey Blakeley, Richard Weldon, and Gary Fairchild
PBTC 03-6 June 2003
INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURAL TRADE AND POLICY CENTER
MISSION AND SCOPE: The International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center (IATPC) was
established in 1990 in the Food and Resource Economics Department (FRED) of the Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida. Its mission is to provide
information, education, and research directed to immediate and long-term enhancement and
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and related policy issues, but also agricultural, rural, resource, environmental, food, state,
national and international policies, regulations, and issues that influence trade and development.
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agricultural trade and trade policy issues
Facilitate dissemination of agricultural trade related research results and publications
Encourage interaction between researchers, business and industry groups, state and
federal agencies, and policymakers in the examination and discussion of agricultural
trade policy questions
Provide support to initiatives that enable a better understanding of trade and policy
issues that impact the competitiveness of Florida and southeastern agriculture
specialty crops and livestock in the U.S. and international markets
Economic Analysis of Temik on Citrus in the Indian River Area in
Lindsey Blakeley1, Richard Weldon2, and Gary Fairchild3
Abstract. Temik (aldicarb) is a pesticide labeled for use on several citrus crops to control rust
mite, whitefly, nematode and brown citrus aphid pests. Analysis of previous research
experiments indicates that this pesticide is beneficial to both orange and grapefruit production
and that both cost savings and higher yields can be experienced in many types of groves. Actual
grove data shows that net returns for mature grapefruit that receive Temik can be $500 per acre
greater than net returns for identical acreage that uses other pest control options. Also, based on
grove reset data it is shown that with an application of Temik the resulting increased yields for
three-year-old trees more than cover the additional cost of applying the Temik.
Key words. Mature citrus, resets, revenue-cost, net return, grapefruit.
1Graduate Student, University of Florida, Department of Food and Resource Economics, P.O.
Box 110240, Gainesville, FL 32611-0240
2Associate Professor; to whom reprint request should be addressed (email:
3Professor, University of Florida, Department of Food and Resource Economics, P.O. Box
110240, Gainesville, FL 32611-0240
This research was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and approved for
publication as Journal Series No. xxxxx.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF TEMIK ON CITRUS IN THE INDIAN RIVER AREA
IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA
Citrus grove managers face many key issues that influence their decisions over a
growing cycle. Production, marketing and financial management are all vital to successful
long-term management strategies. Pest control is a critical factor in the profitability of citrus
production. In recent years, various chemical methods of controlling pests have come under
scrutiny in terms of their influence on both profitability and the environment. Consequently,
managers desire pest control products that will satisfy production needs but that are also
Temik is labeled for pesticide use on several citrus crops including oranges,
grapefruit, and lemons, as well as cotton and potatoes. Aldicarb, the active ingredient in
Temik, has a very high efficacy on target insects, but it can also be extremely toxic to non-
target organisms, including humans. Direct skin contact, dust inhalation, and consumption of
contaminated drinking water are potential methods of aldicarb poisoning. Each pound of
formulated Temik contains 15% active aldicarb ingredient by weight. The other 85% of
Temik is inactive ingredients that carry the aldicarb to maintain the granular form and
reduce dust during handling. The inactive ingredients also moderate the high water solubility
of aldicarb to maximize root uptake and minimize leaching. Aldicarb is a restricted use
pesticide in Florida and may be purchased only by persons with a pesticide license. Further
regulations mandate that applicators of Temik be approved and registered.
Before 1984, the maximum allowable rate for applying Temik was 66 pounds per
acre. The high water solubility of aldicarb led to regulatory issues within the state of Florida.
In 1983, Temik and other products with an aldicarb base were banned in Florida due to the
discovery of traces of aldicarb in drinking wells around treated areas. Florida reinstated
Temik in 1984 with significant modifications for use. The maximum application rate of
Temik was reduced to 33 pounds per acre. A program was instituted to monitor the
application sites throughout the state and ensure adherence to new regulations and
management practices. A new department was formed within the Florida Department of
Agricultural and Consumer Services that would be strictly devoted to monitoring the
application of aldicarb. Temik application sites must be approved and water wells must have
setbacks appropriate for the type of soil present. The application window was decreased from
year-round to January 1 through April 30 of each year, the typical dry season in the state, to
also decrease potential contamination.
Temik controls rust mite, whitefly, and brown citrus aphid pests for citrus trees
through uptake of the product to the leaves from the application site in the root zone of the
tree. The root zone application provides a direct control for the nematodes.
Research indicates that proper Temik application and timing eliminates the need for
a spring foliar pesticide application for both oranges and grapefruit. Citrus rust mites,
Phyllocoptruta oleivors, were virtually eliminated for up to 137 days post-treatment when
applied at the 33 pounds per acre rate while reduction of citrus nematode, Tylenchulus
semipenetrans, has been shown to be very dependent upon rate usage (Childers et al.). In
1992 and 1993 Stansly and Rouse tested pest response for various rates (13, 20 and 33-pounds
per acre) of Temik on 14-year-old Hamlin orange trees in Florida. The 13-pound rate
provided control of the citrus rust mite for 110 days in 1993 and had exactly half the
infestation present in the control group in 1992. The 20 and 33-pound rates provided
significantly greater control well past 130 days post treatment in 1993 and an even greater
reduction in infestation relative to the control in 1992.
Stansly and Rouse also tested yield response to various rates of Temik in the same
study. Year One (1992) of the study showed no statistical differences in yield of treated over
untreated blocks, but yields in Year Two (1993) were significantly higher for the 13-pound
application rate. It is theorized that this might be the result of Temik use during the first
year or bloom stage of the second year's crop. Stansly and Rouse also reported that increases
in fruit size were realized in both 1992 and 1993.
Wheaton et al. also showed increases in yield per tree for Temik-treated blocks over
untreated blocks in Year Two of their study of trees that were 15 to 22 years of age.
Percentage yield increases were greatest in the Valencia variety. This supports the practice of
using Temik in older and under-performing groves to increase production. Similar yield
increases were found in a study (Bullock and Pelosi, 1995) of the influence of Temik
application placement (bed tops or furrow) on grapefruit groves.
In another study (Bullock and Pelosi, 1992), Temik increased root growth in young
trees and provided a shorter interval to productivity and higher production at maturity when
applied to young trees each year after being set. In this study, Temik was applied for three
years 1988, 1989, and 1990 to Hamlin oranges groves that had been planted in 1987. Growth
and production of marketable fruit in the third year were significantly greater for the Temik-
treated trees over the non-treated trees.
These experimental results provide strong evidence that Temik treated citrus will
experience both reduced pest populations and increased yields at the lower application rates
associated with government regulations. However, it is not clear from these studies whether
any additional monetary benefits from Temik use justify the additional costs associated with
the application of Temik.
This study examines the productivity and profitability from Temik use under the
conditions of lower application rates and reduced application in the Indian River area of
Florida. The first study objective is to evaluate the economic return associated with using
Temik to revitalize production in mature citrus. The second objective is to assess the cost
effectiveness of using Temik to stimulate growth in new citrus. Actual production results
from several groves in the Indian River County area are used to analyze the monetary benefits
of incorporating Temik in these distinctive production practices.
The levels of revenue realized and expenses incurred by the grove determine the
profitability of a citrus enterprise. For this study, revenue and expenses are calculated on a
per acre basis for each grove to allow comparisons for different size groves. Revenue is the
average yield per acre times the price received per box for that grove and assumes that mite-
scarred culls have zero value. The expenses are the cash operating expenditures for grove
care and cultural practices and include tree maintenance, weed control, fertilization, herbicides
and pesticides. No management or ownership costs are included; therefore, the net returns per
acre in this study represent the returns to land, trees, ownership and management.
The economic net return is for two different scenarios based on production data from
four groves in the Indian River area. Table 1 shows the age, size, production levels and
Temik application rates for these groves. All groves had been managed with standard citrus
management practices for herbicides and fertilization, except as noted.
The first scenario reflects the impact of Temik on the profitability of 'revitalizing'
mature groves. Groves A and B are very mature (30+ years old) White Grapefruit. These
groves are under-producing by 280-325 boxes relative to standard production in the area.
Both groves are located on extremely acidic soils in adjacent locations, managed by the same
company using identical management schedules, and are of old rootstock. Net returns to land,
trees, ownership, and management were compared between the grove that used Temik and the
grove that did not use Temik. The only management difference for these groves was that
Grove A was not treated with Temik while Grove B had received a treatment of 24 pounds
per acre, thus allowing for the elimination of the spring pesticide spray that Grove A received.
The second scenario examined is the profitability of using Temik to stimulate
growth in young citrus, in this case for the reset of citrus in established groves. For this
scenario, two groves (C and D) of Colored Grapefruit are compared for net returns to land,
trees, ownership, and management. These groves are two components of an original 38-acre
grapefruit grove. Grove D is actually a fifteen-acre block of two-year-old tree resets while
Grove C is the remaining 23 acres of the original grove. Consequently, identical management
practices have been followed in the groves.
Results and Discussion
Grove A & B Mature Citrus. Grove B, the treated grove, produced a yield of 288
boxes per acre while Grove A produced 241 boxes per acre, for a nominal difference of 47
boxes. Grove B also produced fruit with a higher internal quality that resulted in a higher
price per box. Table 2 compares the cost structures, yield per acre, price received per box,
and resulting revenues and profits for the two groves.
The greater yield and quality of fruit in Grove B resulted in increased revenues of
$350 per acre for the Temik-treated grove. This 30% greater revenue meant that the net
return (above costs shown) of Grove B exceeded that of Grove A by $546 per acre.
Grove C & D -Resets in Mature Citrus Grove. Actual Year Three yields are not
available for Groves C and D, however, the results from the Bullock and Pelosi study indicate
that given a January Temik application, there should be a four-fold increase in yield for the
reset trees in their third year. Results from Savage (1960) indicate that the expected yield for
seedless grapefruit should average 1/2 box per tree, with a yield of 1 box per tree being
expected under ideal growing conditions.
Table 3 shows the yield, revenues, expenses, and net return expected for Grove C (the
23 acres of remaining 30+ years-old grapefruit), which is expected to yield 494 boxes per acre
(this year's yield). Revenues would be $3,067 with cash operating costs of $724 and results
in a net return above costs shown of $2,344 per acre.
The subsequent overall profit for the entire grove will be a function of how quickly the
15 acres of resets become productive. Without a Temik application and assuming a tree
density of 91 trees per acre (Muraro et al., 2000) and a third-year yield of 12 box per tree (the
average yield from Savage, 1960), the expected yield would be 45.5 boxes per acre. With
cash operating expenditures of $689, the reset acreage would have a net loss of $-358 per acre,
situation Da in Table 3. The net return to the total grove (C+Da) with no Temik is estimated
to be $48,538.
The impact of Temik on grove returns is determined by the level of yields
experienced above the 45.5 boxes per acre. If average grove conditions were experienced,
then the work of Bullock and Pelosi would mean that the application of 12 pounds per acre of
Temik to the reset tree would improve the yield to 182 boxes per acre (Db in Table 3). The
net return above operating costs would be $441 per acre and the resulting profit earned by the
entire grove would be $60,524 or about 25% above that expected for the no-Temik
situation. If the grove experiences ideal growing conditions (Savage, 1960), it would be
expected that yields in the reset acreage could be as much as 364 boxes per acre with the
application of Temik, generating total grove returns of $77,478. This analysis would
indicate that the use of Temik on a three-year-old tree would result in yield and profit levels
similar to that of about a five-year-old non-Temik-treated tree.
Temik is a pesticide with efficacy on citrus rust mite, citrus nematode, white fly and
aphids. This control lasts beyond the traditional control times for normal spring foliar pest-
control applications, and eliminates the need to use the spring foliar control in a management
schedule. The evidence (from prior field studies, but not from this field study) indicates that
the economic benefits come from not only these cost savings but also from increased revenues
from higher yields, both in terms of boxes per tree and improved internal fruit quality. Field
trials and the analysis of actual groves show that these benefits translate into higher returns for
older, under-producing groves, as well as improved returns for new/reset groves. Grove
managers seeking tools to enhance profitability should examine Temik and determine if it
fits their management schedule's needs.
Bullock, R. C. and R. R. Pelosi. 1992. Influence of Temik aldicarb soil treatments on growth
of newly-planted 'Hamlin' orange trees. Proc. Int. Soc. Citriculture. 991-994.
Bullock, R. C. and R. R. Pelosi. 1995. Influence of Temik aldicarb placement for production
of'Marsh' grapefruit in a bedded grove. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 108:122-125.
Childers, C.C., L. W. Duncan, T. A. Wheaton, and T. W. Timmer. 1987. Arthropod and
nematode control with aldicarb on Florida citrus. J. ofEcon. Entomology. 80:(5)
Muraro, R. P., J.W. Hebb, and E.W. Stover. 2000. Budgeting costs and returns for Indian
River citrus production, 1999-2000. Economic information report, Univ. of Fla.
Gainesville, December 2000.
Savage, Z. 1960. Citrus yields per tree by age. Fla. Agricultural Extension Service
Economic Series 60-8.
Stansly, P. A. and R. E. Rouse. 1994. Pest yield and response of citrus to aldicarb in a
Flatwoods grove. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 107:69-72.
Wheaton T. A., C.C. Childers, L. W. Timmer, L. W. Duncan, and S. Nikdel. 1985. Effects of
aldicarb on yield, fruit quality and tree conditions of Florida citrus. Proc. Fla. State
Hort. Soc. 98:6-10.
Table 1. Tree Age, Grove Size and Production, and Temik Application Rates for Four Grapefruit
Groves in the Indian River Area of Southeastern Florida, 2000.
Grove Crop Age Grove Size Boxes/Acre Temik
(yr.) (Acres) (in 2000) (lb/Acre)
A White Grapefruita 30+ 38.5 241 0
B White Grapefruit 30+ 38.5 288 24
C Colored Grapefruit 30 23 494 24
D Colored Grapefruit 2 15 0 12
a All Grapefruit are seedless.
Table 2: Net Returns To Land, Trees, Ownership, and Management of White Grapefruit Grove A
(Non-Temik) and B (Temik) in the Indian River Area of Southeastern Florida, 2000.
Temik Yield Price Revenue
lb/Acre Box/Ac. $/Acre
A 0 241 4.81 1159
B 24 288 5.24 1509
a Includes the cost of Temik for Grove A.
Table 3: Estimated Net Returns to Land, Trees, Ownership, and Management from Temik
Application to Reset Trees in Colored Grapefruit Grove, 2000.
Temik Yield Price Revenue Cost Cost Return To C and D
Acres lb/Acre Box/Ac $ $/Acre $/Acre $/Acre $/Acre $
C 23 24 494 6.21 3068 83.20 724 2344
Da 15 0 45.5 6.21 283 0 640 -358 48,538
Db 12 182 6.21 1130 48.56 689 441 60,524
Dc 12 364 6.21 2260 48.56 689 1571 77,477
a If Temik has no effect on yield (assumes average yield of 0.5 box/tree)
b If Temik increase average yield by 4x.
c If a high yield (1 box/tree) and Temik has 4x effect on yield average.