Group Title: Journal reprint - International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center. University of Florida ; JRTC 03-3
Title: Economic analysis of aldicarb on citrus in the Indian River area in southeastern Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Economic analysis of aldicarb on citrus in the Indian River area in southeastern Florida
Series Title: Journal reprint - International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center. University of Florida ; JRTC 03-3
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Blakeley, Lindsey
Weldon, Richard
Fairchild, Gary
Publisher: International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center. University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: December 2003
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089814
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.


This item has the following downloads:

JRTC_03-03 ( PDF )

Full Text

JRTC 03-3




Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Lindsey Blakeley, Richard Weldon, and Gary Fairchild

JRTC 03-3 December 2003


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
Southeastern Florida

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.


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

environmentally safe.

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.

Literature Cited

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.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs