• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 General outlook for citrus...
 Summary of 305 groves, crop marketed...
 Cost of production and returns
 Price received for fruit
 Summary of costs for 313 groves,...
 Fertilizer used by age of...
 Summary of costs and returns, crop...
 Average grove costs and return...
 Cost of producing oranges
 Cost of producing grapefruit
 Effect of plant food on yield and...
 Effect of pest control on yield...
 Relation of age to costs and...
 Relation of age to yield
 Price received, by years and...






Group Title: Misc. Pub.
Title: Florida citrus costs and returns
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090265/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida citrus costs and returns
Alternate Title: Miscellaneous publication - Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 28
Physical Description: 32p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Howard, R. H.
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: November, 1939
Copyright Date: 1939
 Subjects
Subject: Citrus fruit industry -- Economic aspects -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by R.H. Howard.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "November, 1939."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090265
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 309861198

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    General outlook for citrus fruits
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Summary of 305 groves, crop marketed 1937-38
        Page 6
    Cost of production and returns
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Price received for fruit
        Page 11
    Summary of costs for 313 groves, crop marketed 1938-39
        Page 12
    Fertilizer used by age of trees
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Summary of costs and returns, crop marketed 1931-32
        Page 15
    Average grove costs and returns
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Cost of producing oranges
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Cost of producing grapefruit
        Page 21
    Effect of plant food on yield and net returns
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Effect of pest control on yield and net returns
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Relation of age to costs and returns
        Page 28
    Relation of age to yield
        Page 29
    Price received, by years and varieties
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
Full Text






COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COOPERATING
WILMON NEWELL, Director


EIGHTH ANNUAL SUMMARY


FLORIDA CITRUS COSTS AND RETURNS

By R. H. HOWARD


Cost by
Operations:


1931-32
1932-33
Labor, Power 1933-34
& Equipment 1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39
1931-32
1932-33
Fertilizer 1933-34
1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39
1931-32
1932-33
Spray and 1933-34
Dust 1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39
1931-32
1932-33
Taxes 1933-34
1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39
1931-32
1932-33
Other Costs 1933-34
1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39


Period 0 $4 $8 $12 $16 $20 $24 $28


0 $4 $8 $12 $16 $20 $24
Costs per Acre


$28 $32


Fig. 1.-Costs per acre for 46 groves, crops marketed 1931-32 through 1938-39.

Single copies will be sent free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


11111 II 111111 jill Ij








































11111111111111,1,1111


Misc. Pub. 28


November, 1939

















CONTENTS

PAGE
I.- INTRODUCTION ..............-..-...... ... -----------....-.. ---------- 3
General Outlook for Citrus Fruits ..---........ -------.....------..--. 3

II.-SUMMARY OF 305 GROVES, CROP MARKETED 1937-38 ..........................-- 6
Location of Groves --.................------.... ---- ...------ 6
Cost of Production and Returns ....................... ...... .. ..... .... 7
Price Received for Fruit ............--...... ....................... 11

III.-SUMMARY OF COSTS FOR 313 GROVES, CROP MARKETED 1938-39 ........ 12
Cost of Production ...................----........ ---- .......... ......... 12
Fertilizer Used by Age of Trees .................... ................... 13

IV.-SUMMARY OF COSTS AND RETURNS, CROP MARKETED 1931-32
THROUGH 1937-38 .................................. ....................... 15
Average Grove Costs and Returns ......................................... 16
Costs of Labor, Power, and Equipment by Operations ................ 16
Cost of Producing Oranges ............... ........................--. 18
Cost of Producing Grapefruit ........................... .................... 21
Effect of Plant Food on Yield and Net Returns .....-................... 22
Effect of Pest Control on Yield and Net Returns .......................... 24
Effect of Irrigation on Yield and Net Returns ............................. 25
Relation of Age to Costs and Returns ........... ............................. 28
Relation of A ge to Y field ............................................. ................... 29
Price Received, by Years and Varieties ........---............................. 30








EIGHTH ANNUAL SUMMARY


FLORIDA CITRUS COSTS

AND RETURNS

By R. H. HOWARD'

This is the eighth annual summary concerning the costs of
production and returns on Florida citrus groves. These bulle-
tins have been made possible through the cooperation of citrus
growers, County Agricultural Agents, and the Agricultural Ex-
tension Service of the University of Florida.
Assistance was given more than 100 citrus growers the first
year, and 119 supplied the Economics Department with their
grove accounts. The number of growers requesting the books
has increased each year until more than 400 books were fur-
nished growers upon request for the present year. Records
furnished by growers have been summarized each year and re-
turned to them together with an economic summary of all
grove records, similar to Table 4 in this bulletin, so that they
might compare their operating costs and returns with all grove
records. The economic interpretation of factors affecting pro-
fitable and unprofitable practices, based upon the records and in
keeping with general economic conditions, is available to aid
growers in obtaining greatest returns from their business.
The purpose of this continuous study is to provide growers
and the industry with authentic data on the business of growing
citrus in Florida, and to point out the economic changes in the
production of citrus fruits, in order to help growers and the
industry help themselves.
General Outlook for Citrus Fruits.-Indications are that there
will be significant increases in the production of grapefruit,
oranges, lemons, and limes during the next five years, unless
some catastrophe affects trees now bearing and many others
which soon will be of bearing age. Should citrus prices remain
1The writer acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. C. V. Noble, head of
the Department of Agricultural Economics, for valuable suggestions; to
Zach Savage, Associate Agricultural Economist, Experiment Station, whose
cooperation in obtaining grove records and reading the manuscript was
very helpful; also to E. F. DeBusk, Extension Citriculturist. A great deal
of credit is due the County Agricultural Agents in the principal citrus-
producing counties for assisting growers and collecting their records. Par-
ticular credit is due the cooperating growers who made this study possible.






Florida Cooperative Extension


relatively low as the result of supply and purchasing power of
consumers for several years, many submarginal groves will
likely be neglected; and, if so, the normal expected increased
production may not be so great as the potential bearing acreage
indicates.
Variation in prices received by Florida growers for citrus
fruits has been rather closely associated with variations in the
two factors, United States production and consumers' income.
During the decade prior to 1930 variations in consumers' in-
comes were relatively minor, and most variations in fruit prices
in this period were caused by rather marked changes from year
to year in the supply of citrus fruits and competing non-citrus
fruits. Since 1930, however, great changes in consumers' in-
come have occurred from year to year, and it appears that the
influence of this factor on prices received for Florida citrus
fruits has been more important than in former years.
Of the 37,000,000 bearing orange trees five years old and over,
estimated in the groves of California, Florida, Texas, and Ari-
zona, as of 1938, 44 percent had not reached full production
and 23 percent were in the relatively young group of 5 to 10
years old. With this large proportion of bearing trees at an
age when production per tree will increase rapidly, and with
additional trees to come into bearing each year, it seems prob-
able that production during the next five-year period will average
about 75,000,000 boxes of oranges as compared with 58,487,000
boxes for the previous five years (1933-34 through 1937-38).
During the last season, 1937-38, production reached the record-
high of 73,823,000 boxes, according to the Bureau of Agricul-
tural Economics, USDA.
Bearing acreage of grapefruit has been increasing rapidly
during recent years. The trend of production may continue
sharply upward, as approximately two-thirds of the bearing
trees in the United States have not reached the age of full
production, unless severe damage occurs to trees or many sub-
marginal groves are neglected. If trees do not encounter serious
damage from unfavorable weather conditions and the present
trees planted receive fair care, it is likely that production dur-
ing the five-year period 1938-39 to 1942-43 will average 25
percent larger than it was the previous two seasons.
Movement of citrus trees from the nurseries to groves in
Florida since the 1928-29 season is shown in Table 1. It may
be noted that since 1934-35 plantings have increased each year.







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


A part of these new plantings was for replacement of cold-
injured trees resulting from the cold winter of 1934-35. How-
ever, there has been a large acreage of new groves planted each
year since that time.
TABLE 1.-MOVEMENT OF CITRUS TREES FROM NURSERIES TO GROVES IN
FLORIDA, BY SEASONS, 1928-29 TO 1937-38, INCLUSIVE.*

Number of Trees
Season Mandarin
Orange Grape- or All Total
fruit Kid Glove Others

1928-29 .............. 699,343 305,641 271,403 86,151 1,362,538
1929-30 ........... 295,031 330,266 139,877 20,742 785,916
1930-31 .............. 401,023 264,803 91,725 30,719 788,270
1931-32 ............ 430,379 73,401 62,492 37,577 603,849
1932-33 ........... 499,679 144,597 53,391 64,923 762,590
1933-34 .............. 440,429 158,471 74,187 80,973 754,060
1934-35 ........... 351,289 89,468 30,880 56,082 527,719
1935-36 ...........- 530,564 153,986 34,128 103,715 822,393
1936-37 ....... 746,849 106,421 38,427 164,290 1,055,987
1937-38 ............ 799,439 150,557 26,507 107,549 1,084,052

*Florida State Plant Board. Season runs from July 1 to June 30. Seedlings and
budwood not included.

According to figures compiled by the USDA Bureau of Agri-
cultural Economics, the acres planted to oranges in California
diminished each year from 1930 through 1936. In 1937 the
acreage planted increased approximately 72 percent over the
previous year. Grapefruit acreage planted has been diminish-
ing each year since 1931 in California. However, grapefruit
acreage in California is very small compared to that of other
kinds of citrus fruits. Most of the plantings in Texas were
made between 1924 and 1932, which means that the bulk of
trees have not reached full production. Production may be
expected to increase materially for the next 10 years if no seri-
ous damage is encountered to trees from unfavorable weather
conditions.







Florida Cooperative Extension


II.-SUMMARY OF 305 GROVES, CROP MARKETED 1937-38
These records indicate that the crop produced in 1936-37 but
harvested in 1937-38 was the second highest average yield per
acre harvested in Florida since 1930-31. The yield for the crop
harvested and marketed in 1931-32 was 166 standard boxes, and
for the 1937-38 crop it was 158 boxes per acre. Because of
the largest total United States production of citrus fruits, de-
clining purchasing power of consumers, and the second lowest
average price received per box for Florida citrus during the
seven-year period, the average net returns to owners were the
lowest in three years.
The average per-acre cost was 2 percent greater than the
average for the previous six years. However, due to an average
of 24 percent greater yield harvested in 1937-38 than for the
previous six years, the total cost per box, excluding owner's
supervision, was the lowest in the history of the records. Indi-
cations are that the average grower incurs more expense per
acre for grove care following a profitable year. Following the
marketing of the 1936-37 crop, which netted the growers more
money per acre than for several years, the average expense
incurred against the 1937-38 crop was 7 percent greater. There
has been a trend toward less cultivation and use of more efficient
and economical machinery. However, expenses for more irriga-
tion and greater use of soil amendments have more than ex-
ceeded the savings in other operations. The additional expenses
have indicated more profitable operations in grove management.
It should be remembered that the earned soil conservation
payments made by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration
were not credited to the grove accounts for this particular year
or subsequent year. This was omitted from the business analy-
sis because growers did not report this additional income.
Previous summaries have included only the returns from fruit
sales. However, the maximum amount that a grower could
have earned for compliance with the soil conservation program
for the 1938 calendar year was $2.00 per acre.
Location of Groves.-Location of groves from which com-
plete records were obtained, by principal counties and age
groups, is shown in Table 2. Grove records included in this
year's sample are mostly from Lake, Polk, Orange, and High-
lands counties, where the principal citrus acreage is located.
Of the 31 records listed as being from "Miscellaneous Counties"
18 are from the West Coast and 13 from the East Coast areas.







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns 7

TABLE 2.-DISTRIBUTION OF 305 GROVE RECORDS BY COUNTIES AND AGE
GROUPS, CROP MARKETED 1937-38.

Counties Number of Groves by Ages
5-10 Years 11-43 Years All Groves
Lake ..................................... 6 81 87
Polk ............ ............ .............. 2 82 84
Orange ................................. 12 39 51
Highlands ............................... 3 35 38
Pasco ........................................ 5 9 14
Miscellaneous .. ......................... 7 24 31

Total ..................... ................. 35 270 305


Cost of Production and Returns.-A summary of costs and
returns per acre and per box for groves over 10 years of age
is shown in Table 4. Until recent years, when the average grove
reached 11 years of age returns about equalled costs of produc-
tion, and, as groves aged, yield increased more than cost, giving
returns proportionately greater. The cost data throughout the
bulletin, unless otherwise stated, include all cash expenses plus
any unpaid work done by owner or member of family at the
prevailing rate paid for similar work hired, interest and de-
preciation on equipment if owned, and interest on the average
valuation of groves at the beginning and end of the crop year
at 6 percent. Due to the wide variation in the amount of super-
vision given by owners and the difficulty of arriving at this cost
accurately, no charge was made for this expense or service.
However, any hired supervision was included. So, the net re-
turns per acre and per box as shown in this bulletin represent
the amount left to the owner from fruit production for his
personal supervision and profit.
Groves are cared for principally by commercial caretakers,
who include the supervision cost in each operation or a flat per-
acre charge for this service; by cooperative production associa-
tions, whose supervision is usually included in the cost of each
operation; and by the owner-operators. The last mentioned
may be divided into two groups: The large operators who own
all necessary equipment and usually have an account for over-
head supervision; and the small growers who have relatively
small acreages and have to hire necessary equipment, thus
requiring the principal operations to be done by neighbors who
contract for particular jobs. Cost for contract grove work







Florida Cooperative Extension


usually covers overhead expense, of which supervision is a
part. So, in spite of the varied methods of caring for groves
in Florida, the final product of costs and returns is fairly com-
parable.
Then, too, the interest charged on grove valuation was based
upon the grower's estimate of market value of trees and land
in order to eliminate the differences in time of purchasing or
cost of producing the grove. This procedure tended to put all
groves on an equable basis, whether all capital was owned by
the grower or a part was borrowed.
Average costs and returns from 35 groves 4 to 10 years of
age are shown in Table 3. The care given a grove under 11
years of age is largely for developing the trees to profitable
bearing. The age at which the average grove will return a
profit depends upon the extent of good management, natural
adaptability of soil, location as to frost hazards, yield of fruit,
and the price received for fruit produced.
TABLE 3.-SUMMARY OF COSTS AND RETURNS, 35 GROVES 10 YEARS OLD
AND UNDER, CROP MARKETED 1937-38.

Total acres of groves ......................... 1090.3
Average acres per grove ............ 31
Average age ................................. 8
Number trees per acre ......................... 67
Percent trees grapefruit .................. 24.6
Boxes harvested per acre ........-----... 89

Costs: Per Acre Per Box |Your Grove*
Costs:
Labor, power, and equipment .......... $25.34 $ .29...............
Fertilizer and amendments ........... 20.63 .23 .............
Spray and dust materials ................ 3.86 .04 ...
M miscellaneous ......................... -........ 1.23 .01 ..
Taxes (State and County) ...-.......... 2.14 .02 ....- -----

Total cost excluding interest and
owner's supervision ........................ $53.20 $ .59..
Total fruit returns ................................ 60.90 68 ...
Net returns excluding interest and
owner's supervision ..................... $ 7.70 $ .09 ..-- ....
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% 27.20 .31 ............
Total cost excluding owner's
supervision .......... ...................... 80.40 .90 ........... .
Net returns to owner ........................... $-19.50 $ -.22 ...--------------------

*This column is for the specific use of cooperators. Other interested readers may also
find it useful.

Of the 35 groves 10 years old and under, 11 showed an average
net return to the owner of $50.20 per acre. The relatively high







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


net returns were mostly due to exceptionally good yields for
trees between 8 and 10 years old, which was the result of good
grove management from the time the trees were set. Then,
too, practically all trees were early varieties of oranges that
sold for about twice the average price of mid-season varieties
and for considerably more than late varieties. Less than 5 per-
cent of the trees in these 11 groves were grapefruit and tanger-
ines, for which the average price was less than one-half that
received for early oranges. The grove that netted its owner
and operator the largest per-acre figure was 100 percent Hamlin
oranges which sold for $1.75 per box, on the tree.
The 24 groves 10 years old and under which lacked an aver-
age of $32.94 of paying all costs yielded only 82 boxes as com-
pared to an average of 122 boxes per acre for the 11 groves
that showed net returns to the owners. Approximately 29
percent of the trees in the 24 groves were grapefruit, and the
orange trees were principally mid-season varieties.
It may be noted that the fruit returns were greater than the
total cultural costs and taxes by $7.70 per acre, or $0.09 per
box. However, the total cost, excluding owner's supervision,
was $19.50 per acre, or $0.22 per box greater than the fruit
returns.
Average costs per acre and per box for 270 groves over 10
years old for the crop marketed in 1937-38, is shown in Table 4.
The total cost per acre, excluding owner's supervision, was the
highest since the 1932-33 crop and yield harvested per acre was
the greatest. All varieties and kinds of fruit brought the second
lowest average price per box since the 1930-31 crop. Due to
the comparatively high yield per acre and per tree, the total
cost per box excluding owner's supervision, was the lowest since
the Agricultural Extension Service began summarizing growers'
records.
Of the 270 groves over 10 years old, fruit receipts from 124,
or only 46 percent, paid all costs except owner's supervision.
There were 146 groves on which the fruit receipts lacked an
average of 835.50 per acre of paying all costs. Comparatively
low yields per acre and per tree were principally responsible
for the minus returns from these groves.
The financial success as measured by net returns to owners
for the 124 groves was due mostly to cultural care given as
revealed by 16 percent greater cost, principally for more plant
food and irrigation. These groves averaged 51 percent greater








Florida Cooperative Extension


yield per acre as a result of better care as measured by greater
expense incurred for care. The total cost, excluding owner's
supervision, for this group of groves was $109.09 per acre.
The average yield was 239 boxes as compared with 158 for all
groves over 10 years old. However, the grove from which the
most fruit was harvested and on which the greatest amount of
cash expense was incurred did not show the greatest net returns
because of the comparatively low price for all citrus fruits. The
indications are that those grove operators who show the greatest
net returns had the lowest cost and highest profit combination
of factors affecting successful operation under conditions for
this particular crop marketed. The average net returns exclud-
ing owner's supervision for the 124 groves was $56.64, but
ranged from a plus return of $0.91 to $285.76 per acre. There
were 70 of this group that showed a plus return to owners of
less than $51.00, 34 between $51.00 and $100.00, 16 that ranged
from $101.00 to $200.00, and 4 that showed a net return of
more than $200.00 per acre.

TABLE 4.-SUMMARY OF COSTS AND RETURNS, 270 GROVES OVER 10 YEARS
OLD, CROP MARKETED 1937-38.


Total acres of groves .....
Average acres per grove
Average age ....................
Number trees per acre ...
Percent trees grapefruit
Boxes harvested per acre


Costs:
Labor, power, and equipment .........
Fertilizer and amendments .............
Spray and dust materials ...............
M miscellaneous .......................................
Taxes (State and County) .............


Total cost excluding interest and
owner's supervision .........................
Total fruit returns ............................
Returns to owner (excluding interest
and owner's supervision) ..............
Interest on grove valuation @ 6%
Total cost excluding owner's
supervision ...................... ............
Net returns to owner ........................


8868.6
33
19
59
29.4
158


Per Acre

$23.08
26.95
4.85
1.71
5.04



$61.63
87.77

$26.14
32.30

93.93
$-6.16


Per Box Your Grove*

$ .15 .. ......
.17
.03
.01
.03



$ 3 9 .. - . . .



.21 ..

.60
$ -.04 ......................


*This column is for the specific use of cooperators. Other interested readers may also
find it useful.


...............
. .............
......................
......................
......................
--------------------







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


The indications, based upon the grove records summarized,
are that with good management and with comparatively better
natural advantages as to climate, soil, and economical means
of obtaining water for irrigation groves will produce a fair re-
turn to their owners with fruit prices as low as existed during
the 1937-38 marketing season.
The cultural cost, excluding interest on grove valuation,
owner's supervision, and taxes, was $56.59 per acre, or $0.36
per box. This cost represents 60 percent of the total cost of
production excluding owner's supervision. There were 195
groves, or approximately three-fourths of all groves over 10
years old, from which the fruit returns were greater than the
total of cultural cost.
Based upon the average appraised valuation of land and trees
amounting to $538.25 and returns to owner (excluding interest
and owner's supervision) of $26.14 per acre for groves over
10 years old, there was a return on that valuation of 4.9 per-
cent. This percent return was 2.2 percent less than the seven-
year average (1931-32 through 1937-38) and 11.5 percent less
than for the previous year. However, the crop marketed during
1936-37 showed the greatest net return to owners, as well as
percent return on average valuation, since the record work
began.
Price Received for Fruit.-The average price received per box
on the tree for the most common varieties sold, according to
all 1937-38 grove records, is shown in Table 18. These average
prices received for the major varieties of oranges covered the
sale of 36,281 boxes of Parson Brown, 106,064 boxes of Pine-
apple, and 379,431 boxes of Valencia oranges. King and Temple
orange prices were based upon relatively small samples. "Mis-
cellaneous oranges" included varieties not listed, principally
seedlings. Oranges sold for a lump sum on the tree irrespective
of varieties amounted to 207,516 boxes.
Grapefruit price was based upon all varieties and covered the
sale of 343,064 boxes.
The average price received for tangerines was based on the
sale of 53,509 boxes and was $0.68 per box. This price was
exceeded only in 1935-36, according to the records.
The average weighted price per box received for all varieties
and kinds was $0.56, which covered the sale of 1,497,417 boxes,
or approximately 5 percent of all fruit marketed outside of the
state during the 1937-38 marketing year.








Florida Cooperative Extension


III.-SUMMARY OF COSTS FOR 313 GROVES, CROP
MARKETED DURING 1938-39
This brief summary covers only costs incurred in the produc-
tion of the crop of fruit marketed during the 1938-39 season,
and the amount of the three principal plant foods used. It is
hoped that these data will enable cooperators and others to
compare their items of expenditure with the averages for similar
groves and possibly suggest profitable changes in the operation
and management of a grove. All fruit returns will not be
available until the close of the 1938-39 marketing year. At
the close of the marketing season, when the records are checked,
a more complete analysis of costs and returns will be made.
These data are based upon records from the same areas and
counties as shown in Table 2.
Cost of Production.-The preliminary summary of costs per
acre is shown in Table 5. Cultural costs incurred for groves
over 10 years old declined only slightly from the previous year
but were 15 percent greater than for the average since 1930-31.
There was a much greater decline in total cost, excluding owner's
supervision, as a result of lower valuation of groves which was
reflected in the amount of interest charged against the crop.


TABLE 5.-SUMMARY OF COSTS PER ACRE FOR


Item

Number of groves ...................~...........
Total acres of groves ...........................
Average acres per grove .....................
Average age .............................
Number trees per acre ......................
Percent trees grapefruit .....................


Costs per acre:
Labor, power, and equipment ..........
Fertilizer and amendments ............
Spray and dust material ................
Miscellaneous ...................--.........
Taxes (State and County) ..............


Total cost excluding interest and
owner's supervision ......................--
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% ....
Total cost excluding owner's
supervision ............................-...-..


4-10
Years

32
648.4
20.3
8
69
22.2


$19.01
18.23
3.02
2.72
2.62


$45.60
27.21

$72.81


CROP MARKETED 1938-39.*
11-43 Your
Years Grove**

281 .......................
9848 -................
35 ..................
19 ......... .........
60 -....- ....- .....
31.8 ........................

31.8 .....................

$22.89
2 6 .3 9 .......................
26.39 ......................
4.91 ...
2.13 --. ... ......
4.55 ........................


$60.87 .............
29.71

$90.58 -- --------


*Preliminary. Fruit returns not yet available.
**This column is for the specific use of cooperators. Other interested readers may also
find it useful.







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


Fertilizer Used by Age of Trees.-The average number of
pounds of the three principal plant foods used has not changed
materially since 1932-33, although the ratio of nitrogen to phos-
phoric acid and potash has increased slightly. The indications
are that nitrogen plant food influences yield most.
The average amount of plant food applied per 100 trees by
age groups is shown in Table 6. Groves in Florida are usually
fertilized according to number of trees, and for this reason a
unit of 100 trees was used as a basis for measuring the amount
of the three principal plant foods applied: nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, and potash. The use of soil amendments other than cal-
cium (used in form of rock phosphate) and copper sulfate,
commonly called bluestone, is comparatively a new field of citrus
fertilization. However, these materials and many others have
definitely become an important economic factor in the fertiliza-
tion program in recent years. Due to the relatively low prices
of citrus fruits and the unprofitableness of groves in recent
years, less organic sources of nitrogen material and commercial
mixtures have been used. This probably accounts for the need
and use of more of the so-called amendments.

TABLE 6.-AVERAGE AMOUNT OF PLANT FOOD APPLIED PER 100 TREES BY
AGE GROUPS, CROP MARKETED 1938-39.

Age of Groves
Item 4-10 11-14 15-19 20-43
Years Years Years Years
Number of groves ......................... 33 61 109 103
Total Acreage .................. ............ 786.2 3223 4311.2 2092.9
Percent trees grapefruit ....... 24.6 26.1 37.0 31.7
Average age ..........................-.... 8 13 17 25

Principal Plant Food Elements Pounds of Plant Food Per 100 Trees

Nitrogen (N) ........................ 106 131 161 196
Phosphoric acid (P= 0..,) ......... ..... 101 138 150 199
Potash (K ) ............................... 140 174 208 266

Average cost per 100 trees ........... $28.01 $35.77 $45.97 $53.71


There was a slight reduction in the amount of the three prin-
cipal plant foods applied for the 1938-39 crop, as compared to
the previous year. The ratio of nitrogen to phosphoric acid
and potash applied to groves under 15 years of age has not
changed materially. However, there has been a very decided







14 Florida Cooperative Extension

increase in recent years in the amount of nitrogen applied in
relation to phosphoric acid and potash on groves 15 years of
age and older.
Cost of fertilizer per 100 trees, including soil amendments,
steadily increased from 1932-33 through the production of the
1937-38 crop. Cost of fertilizer for the crop to be marketed
during the 1938-39 season was approximately 2 percent less
than the previous year for groves over 10 years old. The slight
reduction in cost incurred for plant food, including soil amend-
ments, may be accounted for in part by a slight reduction of
total pounds of fertilizer used and an increased amount of high
analysis materials, which cost less per pound of plant food.






Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


IV.-SUMMARY OF COSTS AND RETURNS, CROPS
MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38
The data shown in the remainder of this report are based
upon costs and returns records since this work began in the
fall of 1930. There were 119 records summarized for cooperat-
ing growers the first year, of which 46 have been summarized
each year. The high mortality rate of continuous grove records
is principally due to sales of groves and death of owner or
operator. Very few cooperators in recent years have discon-
tinued supplying their grove accounts.
The kind of management given a citrus grove has more to
do with the cost of producing fruit and net returns than any
other factor. Good and efficient grove management is a science
which has to do with the business side of organization, opera-
tion, and management, in order that the owner or operator
may obtain the greatest continuous profit. Every grove has
its own peculiarities and no one program can be followed for
all groves for the most economical and profitable practices over
a period of years.
There are many factors beyond the control of operators, e.g.,
rainfall, temperature, and chemical and biological changes that
take place in the soil, all of which contribute to the problems
of management. Many groves in Florida may be classified as
marginal because of the multiplicity of factors which economi-
cally cannot be overcome by their owners or operators at fruit
prices as low as for the past two marketing seasons.
On the other hand the best and most efficient management
of a submarginal grove during a relatively low price period,
and with comparatively high costs of materials and labor as
has been the case for the past two seasons, may not earn a net
return to its owner. In some cases the returns from fruit may
not be as great as the cultural costs incurred, if too many
limiting factors exist. Among the limiting factors for many
groves are: Frost hazards, drouths-expense of irrigation too
great for economical and profitable practice-and the variety
and kind of fruit, all of which are vital factors. Other factors
such as rootstock, insects and diseases more common in some
areas than others, and type of soil, make individual groves
unprofitable. The more and the higher degree of these and
other limiting factors existing against an individual grove, the
greater the cost of production and smaller the returns will be.







Florida Cooperative Extension


Average Grove Costs and Returns.-Average costs and re-
turns covering a seven-year period for groves over 10 years
of age are shown in Table 7. On the whole, the average citrus
grove in Florida has been fairly profitable, based upon the ap-
praised valuations, as indicated by 7.1 percent return on a $590
per acre valuation. This return is slightly greater than the
commercial interest rate for this period. However, for an aver-
age size grove of 32.4 acres, the income would be less than
$1,400 per grower. Of this amount interest must be paid on
mortgages and borrowed money used for production purposes,
if any, and living expenses must be provided for the owner,
unless the average owner has some other source of income.

TABLE 7.-AVERAGE COSTS AND RETURNS, GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD,
CROPS MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.

Number of records ........---.......-- --. - -....-...--.....--..... 1331
Average acres per grove ...----.......... ..... ............ ...... 332.4
A average age .......... . ...--- -- ------ ............... ..... ......-- 18
Number of trees per acre ........................ .......... 59
Percent trees grapefruit ..-.....---.....-.... ...-- ..- ....I 31
Boxes harvested per acre -....--......-- ..- ......- ....-- --..- 132
IPer Acre Per Box
Costs:
Labor, power, and equipment .. $22.34 $ .17
Fertilizer and amendments --....................... ..... 23.51 .18
Spray and dust material .... ................ ........... 3.61 .03
M miscellaneous ..........---........ ------- ......------ ------- 1.48 .01
Taxes (State and County) -.. --.................. ... .. ...... 6.16 .04
Total cost excluding interest and owner's
supervision .-..--------......... ----- ---........... ..---- $57.10 $ .43
Fruit returns ----------------------------------. 99.23 .75
Net returns excluding interest and owner's
supervision ...---------------------------- ---- $42.13 $ .32
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% ............................. 35.40 .27
Total cost excluding owner's supervision .................... 92.50 .70
Net returns to owner ....-..............-.......... .........- $ 6.73 $ .05

Return on valuation of $590 per acre ..........--....... 7.1%


Cost of Labor, Power, and Equipment by Operations.-The
total cost of labor, power, and equipment for groves 10 years
of age and under and for groves over 10 years of age is shown
in Table 8. These data are based upon groves cared for by com-
mercial caretakers and cooperative production associations. All
owner-operators' records were omitted, as cost of power and
equipment could not be separated by operations.








Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


TABLE 8.-LABOR, POWER AND EQUIPMENT BY OPERATIONS: AVERAGE COST
PER ACRE AND PER BOX, CROPS MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.

Im Age of Groves
Item
S10 Years and Under Over 10 Years
Number of groves ................ 193 868
Average acres per grove .... 19 15
Average age ......... ............. 8 18
Percent trees grapefruit ...... 20 25
Boxes harvested per acre .... 85 153

Per Acre Per Box Per Acre Per Box
Labor, power, and equip-
ment:
Cultivation ........................ $ 5.70 $ .067 $ 5.54 $ .036
Fertilization ..................... 2.44 .029 2.55 .017
Spraying and dusting ...... 3.56 .042 5.86 .038
Pruning ............................ 2.13 .025 4.83 .032
M owing* ........................... 1.20 .014 .70 .005
Miscellaneous ................... 1.83 .022 2.51 .016

Total ...................... $16.86 $ .199 $21.99 S .144

*Including rotary cutter.

The tendency is for costs to increase with age, with the ex-
ception of mowing cover crops and cultivation. As the tree
spread increases the percent of area covered with grasses and
legumes is less and, as a result, fewer trips are necessary to
dispose of the standing cover crops. The cost of pruning and
spraying and dusting increases with tree age more than that
of any other operation.
For groves averaging about eight years of age the cost of
pruning annually was $2.13 per acre, while the cost per acre
for the same operation for groves over 20 years old was $6.26.
The labor, power, and equipment cost for pest control in-
creased from $3.56 for groves 10 years old and under, to $6.69
per acre for groves 20 years of age and older.
The manager of a citrus grove or groves has to decide whether
his acreage is large enough to make it economical and profitable
to own part or all necessary grove equipment, or whether he
should hire part or all of the grove operations done by a com-
mercial caretaker or cooperative production association. This
question cannot be answered definitely on the basis of the grove
records. However, the grove owner, when comparing costs for
cultural care, should consider the interest on the investment,
repairs, and depreciation plus all labor for operating the equip-
ment. Since the beginning of the cooperative grove record work







Florida Cooperative Extension


in 1930 there has been a trend of groves under 50 to 60 acres
toward hiring most of the operations requiring machinery,
because of a greater specialization by production units of co-
operative associations and by commercial caretakers. These
organizations with large acreages, efficient and modern equip-
ment, can care for relatively small groves more economically
than the owners.
Costs and Returns from Orange Groves.-Average costs of
producing oranges and net returns per acre and per box are
shown in Table 9. These groves were all over 10 years old and
had not less than 95 percent orange trees.

TABLE 9.-AVERAGE COSTS AND RETURNS FOR 319 ORANGE GROVE RECORDS,
GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD, CROPS MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.


Item


Total acres of groves ....................-....... 5
Average acres per grove ....................
Average age ...................... ................
Number trees per acre ......................
Percent trees grapefruit ....................
Boxes harvested per acre .................... 1

Per Acr
Costs:
Labor, power, and equipment .........j $24.66
Fertilizer and amendments .............. 26.94
Spray and dust material .................. 3.87
Taxes (State and County) .............. 6.92
M miscellaneous ........................................ 2.95
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% 36.82
Total cost excluding owner's
supervision ....................................... $102.16
Total returns ......................................... 144.50
Net returns to owner ............................ 42.34


!47.6
17
18
63
1.9
52


e Per Box

$ .16
.18
.03
.04
.02
.24

$ .67
.95
.28


Your Grove*


*This column is for the specific use of cooperators. Other interested readers may also
find it useful.

Of the 319 orange grove records, 4 were furnished on the
same groves for the seven-year period; 14 for six years; 7 for
five years; 10 for four years; 16 for three years; 21 for two
years; and 42 for one of the seven crops marketed.
Total costs excluding owner's supervision on 64 of these
groves were below $70 per acre; on 133, between $70 and $100;
on 70, between $101 and $130; and on 52, above $130 per acre.
The wide variation in cost incurred for production purposes was
due to difference in extent of cultural care, and to relative effi-
ciency in management. However, the groups of groves with


............. ..........
........................
........................
........................
........................
.... I ...................







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns 19

high costs also had greater yields, and net returns were like-
wise greater per acre.
There were 195 of the 319 crops marketed for which the net
returns to the owner were greater than total costs. Orange
groves in this study have paid greater returns per acre and
per box than either grapefruit or tangerines since 1930-31.
The average valuation for all orange groves, covering the
seven-year period, was $614 per acre. The average cost of pro-
duction, excluding interest on valuation of groves and owner's
supervision, was $65.34 per acre. Returns from fruit produced
amounted to $144.50, giving a net return of $79.16 per acre to
owner. Based upon the above valuation, the return rate of
interest was 12.9 percent to the owner over the seven-year
period. The return rate of interest on valuation for the crop
marketed in 1932-33 was the lowest of the seven-year period,
amounting to only 3.4 percent. For the 1936-37 crop the rate
earned was 26.2 percent and this was the most profitable crop
of oranges marketed since 1931-32.

TABLE 10.-RELATION OF YIELD PER TREE TO COST OF PRODUCING ORANGES
PER BOX, AND OTHER FACTORS, 319 ORANGE GROVE RECORDS, CROPS
MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.
Net Re-
Yield Per Tree Number Average Average Cost turns Per
(Boxes) of Groves Age Cost Per Acre Acre to
Range Average Per Box Owner
Under 1 .5 36 16 $1.94 $ 63.91 $-35.35
1 1.9 1.4 75 15 .96 87.95 8.05
2 2.9 2.4 93 18 .69 103.94 38.46
3 3.9 3.4 56 17 .59 119.53 59.87
4 and Over 5.2 59 25 .42 134.50 153.73


The importance of obtaining profitable yields of oranges per
tree, as affecting cost per box and net returns per acre, is shown
in Table 10. It may be noted that there is a direct relationship
between yield per tree, cost per box and net returns to owner.
The indications are that the operators who produced the most
fruit per tree or per acre spent the greatest amount of money
for cultural care. The large increase in yield as compared to
a smaller increase in cost resulted in a decrease in cost of $1.52
per box, which greatly increased the net returns to owner.
Additional pounds of fertilizer, more irrigation during drouth







20 Florida Cooperative Extension

periods, firing for frost protection, and more money spent for
pest control measures, account principally for the increase in
cost per acre for the heavier yielding groups of groves.
TABLE 11.-RELATION OF COSTS AND RETURNS PER ACRE FOR SEASONAL
VARIETIES OF ORANGES, CROPS MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.
(All Trees Over 10 Years of Age)

Item Early Mid- Late
SSeason
Number of acres ................ ........................ 270.4 1161.6 1890.4
Average age ............ .....- .... .. .......... 15 22 18
Boxes harvested per acre ...................... ....... 199 205 146

Total costs per acre excluding interest
and owner's supervision ......................... $ 64.68 $ 68.60 $ 75.00
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% .............. 37.67 37.87 39.36
Total cost excluding owner's supervision .. $102.35 $106.47 $114.36
Total returns per acre .................................... 204.52 174.92 161.83
Net returns per acre to owner ...................... 102.17 68.45 47.47

Total cost per box excluding owner's
supervision ........................................... $ .51 $ .52 $ .78
Average returns per box ................................ 1.03 .85 1.11
Net returns per box to owner ..................... .52 .33 .33


The relationship of costs and returns for the three seasonal
varieties of oranges is shown in Table 11. Indications are that
there is little difference in the total cost per acre between the
early and the mid-season varieties of oranges. The late vari-
eties of oranges, the principal portion being Valencias, cost more
per acre than the early or mid-season fruit. On a per-box basis,
the late varieties cost approximately 50 percent more than the
earlier varieties. The difference in cost per box is principally
due to the comparatively low yield of late fruit havested per
tree or per acre. Valencia oranges and other late varieties have
to go through all hazards before the principal part of the crop
is mature and marketable. Quite often a frost occurs in Feb-
ruary, at which time little, if any, of the late fruit has been
harvested. The rainy season is usually over by the middle of
October, and quite frequently partially mature late varieties,
and earlier fruit still on the trees, may become soft and a
portion may drop from the trees by April unless irrigated.
It may be noted that the age of the trees is not entirely
comparable for the different classes of fruit. However, if the
differences in age as affecting costs and yield of fruit for the







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


early and late varieties were corrected to the age of the mid-
season varieties, the relationship of total costs as well as net
returns per box would be approximately the same. In spite of
the comparatively low yield per acre for late oranges, the dif-
ference in price received for fruit gave a net return per box
equal to that of the mid-season oranges. The indications are
that early varieties since 1930-31 averaged selling for less per
box than the late varieties of oranges, but, because of com-
paratively higher yields harvested, the cost was less and net
returns per box were greater. Parson Brown and Hamlin are
the most common early varieties of oranges and are the only
two fruits for which the price trend has been definitely upward
since the 1933-34 season. This may account for a compara-
tively large number of new plantings in recent years being
made to early varieties.
Costs and Returns from Grapefruit Groves.-Costs of labor,
power and equipment, fertilizer, and pest control for producing
grapefruit are higher per acre than those for producing oranges.
On the other hand the costs for principal items, and the total
cost, are less per box for grapefruit than for oranges, principally
because of greater yield per acre or per tree for trees of similar
ages. However, because of generally lower prices for grape-
fruit, average net returns, excluding owner's supervision, for
grapefruit since 1930 have been less than for oranges.
These records, covering a seven-year period, have shown aver-
age returns from grapefruit groves to be less than the total
cost, excluding owner's supervision (Table 12). Of the 71 rec-
ords, 20 had fruit receipts which exceeded the total cost of
production. Net returns to the owners amounted to $51.95
per acre, or $0.22 per box, while the average of all grapefruit
grove accounts showed a minus of $11.30 per acre and a minus
of $0.05 per box. The yield for groves on which returns were
greater than total costs was 20 boxes per acre greater than
for all grapefruit groves, and the fruit averaged $0.15 per box
more than the average price received for all fruit.
Of the 71 grove records summarized, 23 groves produced less
than 150 boxes of fruit per acre, 30 between 150 and 275, and
18 above 275 boxes per acre. The per-acre yield increased as
cost incurred for care increased. On a percentage basis, yield
increased greater than total expenses for care, which decreased
the cost of production per box and resulted in a net return to
owners of -$0.42, -$0.02, and $0.11 per box, respectively.








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 12.-AVERAGE COSTS AND RETURNS FOR 71 GRAPEFRUIT GROVE REC-
ORDS, GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD, CROPS MARKETED 1931-32 THROUGH
1937-38.

Item Your Grove*

Total acres of groves ............................ 1257.3 ............
Average acres per grove ...................... 16 .. ...
Average age .................-... ............. 18 -... ....
Number trees per acre .......................... 60 ............ -
Percent trees oranges ................ .... 8.6 ............
Boxes harvested per acre ..................... 214 ............

Per Acre Per Box
Costs:
Labor, power, and equipment ......... $28.26 $ .13 ..........
Fertilizer and amendments .............. 37.07 .17 .....................
Spray and dust material ................. 6.50 .03 ........................
Taxes (State and County) .............. 6.77 .03 .....--...
M miscellaneous ...................................... 1.41 .01 ...........
Interest on grove valuation @ 6%1 31.44 .15 -- --
Total cost excluding owner's
supervision ........................................ $111.45 .52 ..... .........
Total returns ........................................ 100.15 .47 ....
Net returns to owner .--...............---....... -11.30 -.05 .......... .--

*This column is for the specific use of cooperators. Other interested readers may also
find it useful.

According to the records, plant food or fertilizer applied, in-
cluding soil amendments, affects yield more and pays greater
dividends than any other single cultural care factor whether it
is for grapefruit or for any other citrus fruit produced. How-
ever, with prices of grapefruit being less than $0.50 per box,
a continual increase in the amount of fertilizer used will not
increase yield sufficiently to warrant the expenditure.
According to the owners or operators, the average appraised
valuation of the 71 groves was $524 per acre. Based upon this
valuation, grapefruit groves gave a 3.8 percent return to owners
as compared with 12.9 percent return on orange groves for the
seven-year period.
It should be noted that the grapefruit grove records are few
as compared to those obtained and used as a basis of deter-
mining costs and returns from orange groves, therefore may
not be so representative.
Effect of Plant Food Upon Yield and Net Returns.-The larg-
est single item of cost in the production of citrus on sandy soils
is fertilizer, and the amount of fertilizer affects yield of fruit
more than any other item of cultural care over a period of years.
The relationship of different quantities of available plant food







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


per 100 trees to yield and net returns is shown in Table 13.
The cost for fertilizer includes soil amendments as well as the
three principal plant foods.
TABLE 13.-RELATION OF AVAILABLE PLANT FOOD APPLIED PER 100 TREES
TO YIELD AND RETURNS, GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD, CROPS MARKETED
1934-35 THROUGH 1937-38.


Item

Number of groves ...............................-
Total acres of groves ..........................
Average age .................................. ....
Percent trees grapefruit ...................
Average pounds plant food applied
per 100 trees ........... ...--
Boxes harvested per 100 trees ........

Total cost per 100 trees excluding
owner's supervision .............
Total returns per 100 trees ................
Net returns per 100 trees for
owner's supervision ..--.-.........


Total cost per box excluding
owner's supervision ......................
Average returns per box ....................
Net returns per box for owner's
supervision ...................-.. -----... ..._


Average fertilizer cost per 100 trees


Under
400 Pounds

270
14293.2
16
37
288
146


$108.11
113.27
5.16


$ .74
.77
.03

$23.94


400-600 Over
Pounds 1600 Pounds

297 410
9452.5 7893.2
17 21
28 26
439 784
212 341


$144.53 $204.55
168.45 276.74
23.92 72.19


$ .68 $ .60
.80 .81
.12 .21


$38.18 $58.51


Indications are that the amount of money spent for fertilizer
paid greater dividends for every dollar invested than any other
item of expenditure. Based upon the average price of citrus
fruits of crops marketed from 1930-31 through 1937-38, more
groves were under-fertilized than over-fertilized for economical
and profitable production. When fruit returns are greater than
costs, fertilized groves bring highest returns; when they are
less than costs the better fertilized groves show smallest losses.
A reduction in fertilizer may be poor economy unless the effi-
ciency in its use can be materially increased.
Total cost excluding fertilizer also increased with additional
quantities of fertilizer used. This would indicate that there
is a joint relationship between profitable grove practices, and
that no single operation makes for the most successful manage-
ment. If one thing is neglected or not done efficiently, part of
the value of other things done well is lost.








Florida Cooperative Extension


Effect of Pest Control Upon Costs and Net Returns.-Since
quantitative data concerning spray and dust materials were
somewhat limited; also, since it is not possible to average pounds
of dust and gallons of spray material, the cost incurred for
these materials used for pest control was used as a measure of
their profitableness. Apparently the amount of these materials
used, as reflected by cost, influenced yield and net returns, as
shown in Table 14. However, the difference in cost of pest
control alone apparently could not have made such great dif-
ferences in yield and net returns.

TABLE 14.-RELATION OF AMOUNT SPENT FOR SPRAY AND DUST MATERIALS
TO YIELD AND OTHER FACTORS, GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD, CROPS
MARKETED 1934-35 THROUGH 1937-38.


Item


From
$ .00 to $2.99
Per Acre


Number of groves -....-.............................
Total acres of groves ........ .............
Average age ............. --. -- .....
Percent trees grapefruit .......................
Boxes harvested per acre .................-.....


Total cost per acre excluding owner's
supervision ---.............-.. .......- ----.
Total returns per acre ---.................
Net returns per acre for owner's
supervision ....................... .. ..


349
18,208.68
16
34.6
88


$66.32
71.14
4.82


Total cost per box excluding owner's
supervision ................... ............. .... $ .76
Average returns per box ......................... .81
Net returns per box for owner's
supervision ............................................ .05


Average cost per acre of spray and
dust m materials -..................................... $ 1.71
Average cost per acre of fertilizer
and amendments ......................-. ....-- 16.14


From
$3.00 to $34.42
Per Acre

642
14,209.02
19
28
184


$109.15
145.22
36.07


$ .59
.79
.20


$ 6.61
28.84


It should be noted that total cost excluding owner's super-
vision was far greater than the additional cost of materials
used for pest control. This again brings out the joint relation-
ship that exists between profitable grove practices, and that
it is the combination of factors which makes for the greatest
net returns. The groves for which an average of $6.61 per
acre was spent for spray and dust materials also received ap-







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


proximately 40 percent more total pounds of plant food, more
of them were irrigated and had other profitable practices fol-
lowed, all of which contributed to more successful management.
Effect of Irrigation Upon Costs, Yields, and Net Returns.-
With declining prices of citrus fruits in recent years, growers
have been forced to produce and market more fruit at less cost
per box in order to maintain a net income from their groves.
According to growers' records, yield has been materially in-
creased through the use of irrigation during drouth periods at
an additional average cost of $5.68 per acre or approximately
$0.03 per box. Irrigation during drouth periods not only saves
a large percent of fruit on the trees, but also prevents serious
setback in the condition of trees, thereby assuring better future
crop yields.
All Florida groves do not necessarily need to be irrigated for
economical and profitable citrus production, although irrigation
is a limiting factor in many groves. At present prices of citrus
fruits it would not be profitable to equip many groves with irri-
gation systems due to their small size or to the high cost of
obtaining water. If the grove is located on or near a lake, a
portable plant, if it can be used in connection with several small
groves, will enable the average grower to produce more fruit
at less cost per box.
A comparison of yields, costs, and returns for irrigated and
non-irrigated groves is shown in Table 15. It should be noted
that the age and percent of grapefruit trees are not entirely com-
parable. The differences in these two factors may be com-
pensated for by use of yield data by ages for grapefruit and
orange trees as shown in Table 17. Assuming the age and per-
cent of grapefruit trees were the same for non-irrigated as for
irrigated groves, an average yield of 146 boxes per acre would
have been shown instead of the 119 as shown in Table 15. After
making this correction the irrigated groves still averaged 34
boxes more fruit per acre over the six-year period covered by
the data. Based upon the six-year average price of $0.87 per
box received for fruit, the additional fruit produced had a value
of $29.58 per acre. The average cost for irrigation was $5.68
per acre. The net return for this operation, then, was $23.90
per acre. The average cost of $5.68 per acre, which includes
labor, power, and equipment, represents the amount incurred
and not the amount that might be spent profitably.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 15.-RELATION OF YIELDS, COSTS, AND RETURNS ON IRRIGATED AND
NON-IRRIGATED GROVES OVER 10 YEARS OLD, CROPS MARKETED 1932-33
TO 1937-38.
I Non-
Item Irrigated Irrigated
Groves I Groves

Number of grove records ...............-- ................... 171 1116
Average acres per grove ................ ......... ............ 36 32
Average age ......................---................ 23 17
Percent trees grapefruit ...........-- .................... 17.4 34
Boxes harvested per acre ......................... ....... 180 119

Costs per acre:
Labor, power, and equipment ............................ $28.98* $18.61
Fertilizer and amendments ............................... 26.07 20.62
Spray and dust materials ................................. 5.11 3.37
Taxes (State and County) ..........-...................... 6.15 5.15
Irrigation (labor, power, and equipment) ..... 5.68 -
Miscellaneous .......................-... ........--........... 2.56 1.42
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% .................... 37.19 33.14
Total cost excluding owner's supervision ........... 111.74 82.31
Total returns ...... ................................................ 157.22 85.16
Net returns to owner ............................................ 45.48 2.85

Total cost per box excluding owner's
supervision .......... .....---- ............................. $ .62 $ .69
Average returns per box ........................................ .87 .72
Net returns per box to owner .........................-....--.25 .03
*Excludes labor, power, and equipment for irrigation.

Most groves in Florida need to be irrigated only a few months
out of the year. Drouth usually occurs from November to April.
Even during this period many groves equipped with irrigation
systems do not suffer seriously and often are not irrigated.
According to the growers' records, the average number of irriga-
tions was one and one-half times per year for the six-year period.
Some groves were irrigated as many as six times a year while
others apparently did not suffer seriously for several years, as
no irrigation cost other than for depreciation and interest on
equipment was charged against the groves. Then, too, many
.of the irrigation systems used are portable plants which provide
an economical system for small groves near the numerous clear
water lakes in the interior of the citrus producing area. The
cost for irrigation ranged from less than $1.00 to $30.65 per
acre. Several of the irrigated groves have averaged better than
a 350-box yield per acre for a number of years.
The variation in expenses incurred for care between the irri-
gated and non-irrigated groves should not be overlooked. This
variation was due in part to the difference in the average age






Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


of the two groups. According to the records, the cultural cost
for grove care increases approximately $3.50 per acre for every
additional year in age. When this difference is compensated
for, the approximate total cost for non-irrigated groves, assum-
ing they were about the same age as the irrigated groves, would
be $20.00 greater or about $102.31 per acre. Additional interest
charged against groves equipped for irrigation was $4.05 per
acre. With this amount added to $102.31 for cultural cost, the
total cost excluding owner's supervision would be $106.36 per
acre for non-irrigated groves of similar age as irrigated groves.
This computed total cost should be fairly comparable to that
for irrigated groves except for cost of irrigation. However,
after making all these adjustments for difference in age and
percent grapefruit trees, the total cost and net returns per box
still remain in about the same relationship as shown in Table
15, for irrigated as compared to non-irrigated groves.
It is quite evident that irrigation for many groves pays hand-
some dividends. On 41, or 24 percent, of these irrigated groves
fruit returns failed to equal total cost, excluding owner's super-
vision. Fruit receipts from irrigated groves that failed to
amount to as much as the total cost incurred were largely
from groves with a much higher percent of grapefruit and
tangerines. The average price received for grapefruit and
tangerines for the six-year period was about 40 percent less
than for oranges. The unprofitable irrigated groves apparently
did not receive the best of care, including efficient irrigation,
as the expenses incurred for care were below the average of
all irrigated groves.
Irrigation on the average grove increased the total cost per
acre by the amount of expenses incurred for the operation.
However, a more detailed study of practices and operations for
some of the more profitable groves indicates that irrigation
might enable growers to reduce the number of cultural opera-
tions and materials, which would offset the additional expense.
The expense for cultivation of these more profitable groves, on
some of which no expense was incurred, was considerably less
than for all irrigated groves. Costs of both pruning and pest
control were less. Cost of the three principal plant foods ap-
plied per 100 trees was less, but the yield of fruit was greater
than average. It would probably be reasonable to assume that
the more nearly adequate moisture conditions provided enabled
the trees to use the plant food more efficiently.







Florida Cooperative Extension


Relation of Age to Costs and Returns.-The expense of caring
for groves is directly associated with the age of the trees. A
study of the relationship of age to costs revealed that for every
additional year in age, cost, excluding owner's supervision, in-
creased from $3.00 to $4.00 per acre until the trees reach an
age of 18 to 20 years. The principal items of increasing cost
are fertilization, pest control, pruning, and irrigation. After a
grove reaches 18 to 20 years of age the expense for its care
may still increase, but to a less extent. Indications are that
the costs would normally increase much faster for a solid grape-
fruit grove than for a solid orange grove.

TABLE 16.-RELATION OF AGE TO COSTS AND RETURNS, CROPS MARKETED
1931-32 THROUGH 1937-38.


S4-10
Item Years

Total acres of groves .................... 14389.5
Average acres per grove ................... 41
Average age ........ ........... ............ 8
Percent trees grapefruit .................... 25.6
Boxes harvested per acre .................. 67


Costs per acre:
Labor, power, and equipment ........ $19.38
Fertilizer and amendments ............ 15.89
Spray and dust materials ............. 2.45
Taxes (State and County) ........... 3.52
Miscellaneous .............- ....-----. 1.30
Interest on grove valuation @ 6% 25.56
Total cost per acre excluding
owner's supervision .............. $68.10
Total returns per acre ........ ......... 56.96
'Net returns per acre to owner ...... -11.14


Total cost per box excluding
owner's supervision .... ............ $1.01
Average returns per box .................. .84
Net returns per box to owner ........... .17


11-14
Years

23188.9
47
13
28.7
102


$18.86
19.90
3.03
5.32
1.22
29.58

$77.91
77.71
- .20


$ .766
.764
.002


15-19 20-43
Years Years

12718.3 6897.2
24 16
17 26
40.2 24.3
150 201


$25.11
27.96
4.14
6.37
1.20
37.63


$29.74
31.02
4.62
9.27
2.45
43.23


$102.41 $120.33
102.57 163.81
.16 43.48


$ .683 $ .60
.684 .82
.001 .22


Costs and returns by age groups are shown in Table 16. It
may be noted that in spite of the increase in cost of production
per acre, the yield was proportionately greater and resulted in
a decrease in cost per box from the average of $1.01 for the
youngest group to $0.60 for the oldest group of groves.
Based upon costs of production, yields, and prices of fruit
covering the seven crops marketed during 1931-32 through 1937-
38, the average grove failed to earn its owner anything until







Florida Citrus Costs and Returns


it reached 12 or 13 years of age. However, many groves, even
18 to 20 years of age, have failed to return anything for owner's
supervision for several years, principally because of low yields
and high cost of production per box. The age at which a grove
will show a net return to the owner will depend upon its loca-
tion as to soil and climate, price received for fruit, and degree
of efficient management. No doubt there is an age point at
which grove costs and returns per acre reach a maximum.
This could not be determined at this time, as there is an in-
adequate number of grove records for different age groups
above 20 years.

TABLE 17.-RELATION OF AGE TO YIELD HARVESTED PER TREE FOR GRAPE-
FRUIT AND ORANGES, MARKETING YEARS 1930-31 TO 1937-38.

Age Yield Harvested Per Tree
Age
Grapefruit I Oranges
(Boxes) (Boxes)
5 to 8 years ............................ 1.1 .4
8 ...................... .................... .... .. 1.7 .6
9 ........ ........-... 1.7 1.0
10 ............. .............. 1.8 1.0
11 ...-.......-- .... ..-....- ..- ....-:-.............. 2.2 1.1
12 ........................... ............ ... ... 2.6 1.3
13 ..... -.... ..-..... .....- ..........- 2.8 1.2
14 .- ........- .... ...- ...- ....... 2.6 1.6
15 ................. ... ........................ 3.2 1.9
16 3.8 2.2
17 ..... .. .................................-.. ..... 3.7 2.3
18 ....... ... ........ ... ...... 3.7 2.3
19 ............................................... .... 3.5 2.0
20 .................................. ..... ..... 3.5 2.3
21 .................... .................... 4.6 2.7
22 .. ... .............. . ... 4.8 2.6
23 -.. ..... ... .... ................. ...... 5.5 3.0
24 ......... ......... ............ I 4.8 3.5
25 to 28 years -..-........... .............. | 5.8 3.1
28 and over ....................................... 5.6 4.0


Relation of Age to Yield.-The relation of age to yield har-
vested per tree covering the eight crops harvested from 1930-31
through 1937-38 is shown in Table 17. It may be noted that
yield per tree and rate of increased productiveness for grape-
fruit was approximately double that of orange trees. The in-
crease in yield of grapefruit on the average was approximately
0.2 of a box per tree, while orange trees increased about 0.1
of a box for each additional year of age up to 23 years.
Tree spread would probably be a better measure of yield since
trees vary in size for the same ages in different sections of the
state. Then, too, some sections of groves have been less affected







Florida Cooperative Extension


by freezes than others. On the other hand, tree spread is more
difficult to determine and more variable from year to year due
to natural causes, although there is a very definite relationship
between tree spread and age of trees under normal conditions
and care.
Factors affecting fruit production of citrus trees are: Loca-
tion of grove as affected by frost, drouth, and wind hazards;
natural adaptability of soil; and extent of continuous cultural
care. The extent to which cultural care influences yield depends
largely upon the manager, or operator, the use of adequate and
balanced plant food, including soil amendments if needed, irri-
gation during drouth periods, efficient pest control, and proper
tillage practices. No set rule could be followed for all groups
to obtain the greatest possible yield at the least cost and highest
profit combination of all factors, as each grove has its pecu-
liarities. These peculiarities may be due to natural conditions
of soil, climate, or other things that an operator is unable to
control.

Prioe
P.r Bo.
1.80 /--
1.6o A.
1.60 \
-" \ \
1Pi.0 Receive Valenlaraa /Varieti
\ / I\

.8 --\ -----x--







Inaverage grower can influence price received to some extent by
1.00the quality of fruit grown and time of marketing. Naturally,-
-N-
.- / ,- 7


Parson Brorm



1930-31 1931-52 1932-33 1933-34 1934-35 1935-36 19356-37 1937-38
Fig. 2.--Variation in prices received, three principal varieties of oranges.
seasons 1930-31 through 1937-38.

Price Received, by Years and Varieties.-On the whole, the
price of citrus fruits is determined by supply and demand. The
average grower can influence price received to some extent by
the quality of fruit grown and time of marketing. Naturally,










TABLE 18.-AVERAGE PRICES RECEIVED BY YEARS AND MAJOR VARIETIES FOR FLORIDA, MARKETING YEARS 1930-31 TO 1937-38.


Varieties


Number of groves .........................

Price per 'box:
Oranges-
Parson Browns ....................
Pineapples .........................
Valencias ..
Valen cias ...............................
K in g s .. ---- ---------------------- ..........
Temples ...............................
Miscellaneous ..-- .......
Weighted average price all
oranges ....................... ..........

Grapefruit .. ..................
Tangerines .............................
Miscellaneous fruit ................


Weighted average price all fruit


1930-31 1931-32

119 161


$ .88 $ .79
.76 .99
1.49 1.62
1.92 1.00
.38 1.38
.67 1.16

.88 1.26

.42 .56
.39 .50
.66 .75


$ .68 $ .97


Marketing Years


1932-33

268


$ .82
.72
.55
.52
.71
.59


.61

.23
.42
.71


$ .43


1933-34

264


$ .63
.64
1.05
.87
.23
.66

.83

.68
.48
.68


$ .76


1934-35

263


$ .91
.87
.88
1.34
.94
.75

.85

.43
.68
.42


$ .59


Eight-Year
m.-- l


1935-36

325


$1.10
1.15
1.34
1.48
1.08
1.17

1.23

.71
.87
.92


$1.01


1936-37

326


$1.07
1.18
1.89
1.04
1.17
1.25

1.53

.58
.41
.86


$1.05


1937-38

305


$1.36
.69
.52
1.13
.70
.70

.64

.56
.68
.41


$ .56


oil
Ave


$


nple
rage

--



.94 3
.88 o
1.17
1.16
.82
.87

.98

.52
.55
.68


$ .76







Florida Cooperative Extension


over a period of years the supply, demand, and quality of fruit
vary considerably, as reflected in prices received (Table 18).
The weighted average price of oranges as well as of all fruits
for the crop marketed in 1937-38 was the second lowest since
the record work began in 1930. However, all early varieties,
including Parson Brown and Hamlin oranges, sold for the
highest average price in eight years. The trend of prices
received for the principal varieties of oranges is shown in
Fig. 2. Price of Valencia oranges varied more from year to
year than that of any other variety of oranges. The price
received for Parson Brown oranges shows an upward trend
since the 1933-34 marketing year.
All prices are net on the tree, including any refunds for pick-
ing, hauling, grading, or marketing made during or at the close
of the marketing year. They do not include retains for packing-
house operating expenses or liquidation of indebtedness, even
though this deduction from fruit sales may be rebated to grower
members from two to five years later. Refunds and rebates are
made only by cooperative marketing associations, and less than
30 percent of the fruit on the records was marketed coopera-
tively.




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