JOURNAL REPRINT SERIES
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF ALDICARB ON CITRUS IN THE
INDIAN RIVER AREA IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA
Lindsey Blakeley, Richard Weldon, and Gary Fairchild
JRTC 03-3 December 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
sustainability of international trade and natural resource use. Its scope includes not only trade
and related policy issues, but also agricultural, rural, resource, environmental, food, state,
national and international policies, regulations, and issues that influence trade and development.
The Center's objectives are to:
Serve as a university-wide focal point and resource base for research on international
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 Aldicarb on Citrus in the Indian River Area in
Lindsey Blakeley1, Richard Weldon2, and Gary Fairchild3
Abstract. 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 aldicarb 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 aldicarb the resulting increased yields for three-
year-old trees more than cover the additional cost of applying the aldicarb.
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. R-09598.
This article appeared in HortTechnology, 13(4), 694-696.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF ALDICARB 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 (Aventis CropScience, Research Triangle Park, N.C.) 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. 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 aldicarb 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
aldicarb in 1984 with significant modifications for use. The maximum application rate of
Temik was reduced to 33 pounds/acre (37.0 kghha-1). 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. Aldicarb 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.
Aldicarb controls citrus 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 aldicarb 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 d post-treatment when applied
at the 33-lb/acre rate while citrus nematode reduction 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 of Temik [13, 20 and 33 lb/acre (14.6, 22.4, and 37.0 kghha-1)] on 14-year-old
'Hamlin' orange trees in Florida. The 13-lb rate provided control of the citrus rust mite for
110 d in 1993 and had exactly half the infestation present in the control group in 1992. The
20 and 33-lb/acre rates provided significantly greater control well past 130 d post treatment in
1993 and an even greater reduction in infestation relative to the control in 1992.
Stansly and Rouse (1994) also tested yield response to various rates of aldicarb 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-
lb/acre application rate. It is theorized that this might be the result of aldicarb use during the
first year or bloom stage of the second year's crop. Stansly and Rouse (1994) also reported
that increases in fruit size were realized in both 1992 and 1993.
Wheaton et al. (1985) also showed increases in yield per tree for aldicarb-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 'Valencia' variety. This supports the practice
of using aldicarb 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 aldicarb
application placement (bed tops or furrow) to grapefruit groves.
In another study (Bullock and Pelosi, 1992), aldicarb increased root growth in young
trees, provided a shorter interval to productivity and higher production at maturity when
applied to young trees each year after being set. In this study, aldicarb was applied for 3 years
(1988, 1989, and 1990) to 'Hamlin' oranges groves that had been planted in 1987. All
treatments increased growth and production of marketable fruit in the third year was
significantly greater for the aldicarb-treated trees over the non-treated trees.
These experimental results provide strong evidence that aldicarb-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 aldicarb use justify the additional costs associated with
the application of aldicarb.
This study examines the productivity and profitability from aldicarb 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
aldicarb to revitalize production in mature citrus. The second objective is to assess the cost
effectiveness of using aldicarb 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 aldicarb 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 citrus-
rust-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 aldicarb 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 85-lb (38.6-kg) boxes per acre (26,676 to 30,963
kghha-1) 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 aldicarb and the grove that did not use aldicarb.
The only management difference for these groves was that Grove A was not treated with
aldicarb while Grove B had received a treatment of 24 lb/acre (26.9 kgha-1), thus allowing for
the elimination of the spring pesticide spray that Grove A received.
The second scenario examined is the profitability of using aldicarb 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 (15.4
ha) grapefruit grove. Grove D is actually a 15-acre (6.1 ha) block of 2-year-old tree resets
while Grove C is the remaining 23 acres (9.3 ha) of the original grove. Consequently,
identical management practices have been followed in the groves.
Results and Discussion
Groves A & B Mature Citrus. Grove B, the treated grove, produced a yield of 288
boxes/acre (27442.0 kghha-1) while Grove A produced 241 boxes/acre (22,960 kghha-1), for a
nominal difference of 47 boxes/acre. 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/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/acre ($864.83/ha for the aldicarb-treated grove. This 30% greater revenue meant that
the net return (above costs shown) of Grove B exceeded that of Grove A by $546/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 (1995) study
indicate that given a January aldicarb application, there should be a 4-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 0.5 box per tree, with a yield of one 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/acre
(47,064 kgha-1), or this year's yield. Revenues would be $3,067/acre ($7,578.45/ha) with
cash operating costs of $724/acre ($1,788.97/ha) and results in a net return above costs shown
of $2,344/acre ($5,791.94/ha).
The subsequent overall profit for the entire grove will be a function of how quickly the
15 acres of resets become productive. Without an aldicarb application and assuming (Muraro
et al., 2000) a tree density of 91 trees/acre (or 224.9 trees/ha) and a third-year yield of 0.5 box
(19.3 kg) per tree (the average yield from Savage, 1960), the expected yield would be 45.5
boxes/acre (4,335 kghha-1). With cash operating expenditures of $689/acre (1702.50/ha), the
reset acreage would have a net loss of $-358/acre ($-884.61/ha), situation Dv in Table 3. The
net return to the total grove (C+D') with no aldicarb is estimated to be $48,538.
The impact of aldicarb on grove returns is determined by the level of yields
experienced above the 45.5 boxes/acre. If average grove conditions were experienced, then
the work of Bullock and Pelosi (1995) would mean that the application of 12 lb/acre (13.4
kghha-1) of Temik to the reset tree would improve the yield to 182 boxes/acre (17,339 kghha-1),
Du in Table 3. The net return above operating costs would be $441/acre ($1,089.70/ha) and
the resulting profit earned by the entire grove would be $60,524 or about 25% above that
expected for the no-aldicarb 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/acre (34,678 kghha-1) with the application of aldicarb generating total grove returns of
$77,478. This analysis would indicate that the use of aldicarb on a 3-year-old tree would
result in yield and profit levels similar to that of about a 5-year-old nonaldicarb-treated tree.
Aldicarb is a pesticide with efficacy on citrus rust mite, citrus nematode, and other
pests. 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 aldicarb 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 (15% aldicarb by weight) application rates
for four grapefruit groves in the Indian River area of southeastern Florida, 2000.
Grove Age Cropz Grove Size Yield in 2000 Temik
(years) (Acres)y (boxes/acre)x (lb/Acre)"
A White Grapefruit 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
z All grapefruit are seedless.
Y 1.0 acre = 0.405 ha.
x 1 box/acre = 95.3 kgha-1
w 1 lb/acre =1.12 kgha-1
Table 2: Net returns to land, trees, ownership, and management of white grapefruit grove A (Temik-
treated) and B (no Temik) in the Indian River area of southeastern Florida, 2000; Temik = 15%
aldicarb by weight.
Temik Yield Price Revenue Temik cost Total Costz Net Return
(lb/acre)y (boxes/acre)x ($/acre)w ($/acre) ($/acre) ($/acre) ($/acre)
A 0 241 4.81 1159 0.00 589 353
B 24 288 5.24 1509 83.20 610 899
z Includes the cost of Temik for Grove A.
Y 1 lb/acre =1.12 kgha-1
x 1 box/acre = 95.3 kgha-1
w $1.00/acre = $2.47/ha
Table 3: Estimated net returns to land, trees, ownership, and management from Temik (15%
aldicarb by weight) application to reset trees in colored grapefruit grove, in 2000.
Temik Total Net return
Area Temik Yield Price Revenue cost cost Net return to C and D
(acres)z (lb/acre)Y(boxes/acre)x ($) ($/acre)"($/acre) ($/acre) ($/acre) ($)
C 23 24 494 6.21 3068 83.20 724 2344
Dv 15 0 45.5 6.21 283 0 640 -358 48,538
Du 12 182 6.21 1130 48.56 689 441 60,524
Dt 12 364 6.21 2260 48.56 689 1571 77,477
z 1.0 acre = 0.4 ha
Y 1 lb/acre =1.12 kgha-1
x 1 box/acre =93.5 kgha-1
w $1.00/acre = $2.47/ha
v If Temik has no effect on yield (assumes average yield of 0.5 box/tree)
If Temik increase average yield by 4x.
t If a high yield (1 box/tree) and Temik has 4x effect on yield average.