Measuring California’s Citrus Environmental Benefits and Impacts

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Survey

Major retailers have been asking questions about the citrus industry’s sustainability efforts. In response, a California citrus industry life cycle analysis project will quantify the net environmental benefits and impacts of citrus production in a typical year. The information will be gathered from a survey developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), with support from the Citrus Research Board (CRB).


No identifying information about respondents will be made public in any way. Results will be aggregated and presented on a countywide or statewide basis only. The survey information collected will be available only to UC Davis researchers and CRB staff directly involved in the project.

The researchers are urging growers to complete the survey for a single orchard site. It can be completed multiple times for different orchards.

The survey has two parts. The first is an overall summary of the whole orchard. This part should take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It seeks answers to questions about the location, acreage and varieties in the orchard; yield; tree loss; fertilizer and irrigation applications; and amount of fuel used.  

The optional second part is a more detailed block-by-block survey, where specific inputs and orchard details can be reported. This part may take up to 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It will allow researchers to provide a grower with a detailed case-study report for his or her particular orchard’s environmental performance and greenhouse gas/water/energy footprints. This report will show growers where their orchards stand compared to industry and regional averages. It will also indicate which specific practices and factors are most impactful to reveal “hotspots” that can be targeted to improve environmental performance and sustainability.

Growers willing to complete the more detailed part 2 of the survey can click here.  

UC Davis is happy to walk growers through the survey and help with filling it out. Email scientist Elias Marvinney ( for assistance. It may be helpful to have records like utility bills, etc. readily available for reference.

Source: UC Davis

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