Citrus Cost Study Outlines Production in the San Joaquin Valley

Brian GermanFruits & Vegetables, Industry

Citrus Cost Study

A new citrus cost study has been released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Cooperative Extension and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The document outlines the costs of production and potential returns related to citrus production in the San Joaquin Valley. Examples are provided in the document, with information highlighting the production of navel oranges using low-volume irrigation. Production cost studies serve as an important tool for industry members.

“If you’re a new grower you kind of want to know what it’s going to cost to grow the oranges and it really does do a pretty good job of that. We really look into the cost in some detail. It’s not only to produce oranges, but also to plant them. It covers a whole range,” said co-author Craig Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Kern County. “For new growers, it gives them an idea of what they need to do. It’s almost like a production manual because it tells them when to do it as well because the costs are associated with doing various things at various times during the year.”

The new citrus cost study is offered as an update to the previous study and provides information based on a 65-acre hypothetical farm. Figures are provided related to orchard planting and establishment, pest control, water needs and costs, and harvest. The study can be a useful tool for growers, as well as bankers and real estate agents.

“It’s really great for a farm advisor like me too. You get a call from somebody that wants to grow oranges and they’ve never grown them before. It’s so easy to have them read this first to give the background,” Kallsen noted. “Growing anything is a complicated thing and these cost studies are so helpful, and they exist for a wide range of crops. We try to update them every five years or so as well, so we try to keep them current.”

The citrus cost study can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West