Orange Establishment and Production Costs

Len Wilcox California Corner, Economics


The costs of establishing and producing oranges in the San Joaquin Valley and the potential returns are the subjects of a new study by University of California (UC) specialists. 

Conducted by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Cooperative Extension and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the study includes information on the production of navel oranges using low-volume irrigation. 

“If you’re a new grower, you want to know what it’s going to cost to grow the oranges, and it really does do a pretty good job of that,” said study co-author Craig Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Kern County. “We really look into the costs in some detail. It’s not only to produce oranges, but also to plant them. It covers a whole range. 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,” said Kallsen. “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. Growing anything is a complicated thing, and these cost studies are so helpful.”

Kallsen noted that the cost studies are available for a wide range of crops and are updated approximately every five years.

Source: AgNet West

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