Growers Sustain Losses

Ernie NeffEconomics

Not many watching a recent virtual Citrus Expo presentation were surprised by Ariel Singerman’s declaration that “taking into account total cost, on average, growers sustained a loss” in the 2019-20 Florida citrus season. Singerman, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist, pegged the average per-acre losses at $1,606 for early-midseason oranges and $1,254 for Valencias. Singerman … Read More

Stefanou to Lead USDA Economic Research Service

Ernie NeffEconomics

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist Spiro Stefanou has been appointed as U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) administrator. Stefanou was a professor in the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department. The mission of USDA/ERS is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America and to conduct high-quality, … Read More

New Economic Reports for Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesEconomics

citrus crop forecast

By Ariel Singerman Four reports summarizing Florida citrus industry survey-collected data during the 2019–2020 season are available at The reports include the average cost of production for processed oranges, harvesting charges, custom rate (or caretaking) charges and packing charges. The estimates presented in those reports, as well as those available for previous seasons, document the changes in the industry … Read More

Florida Citrus Value Takes a Hit

Tacy CalliesEconomics

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report shows the value of the Florida citrus crop has substantially shrunk in the past year. The 2019–2020 Citrus Summary report was released by USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service on Aug. 26. It shows the $729 million preliminary on-tree value of the 2019–2020 citrus crop is 19 percent less than the $902 million … Read More

New University of Florida Economist in Immokalee

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Industry News Release

Morgan graduated from the University of Florida three times. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and then master’s and doctoral degrees in food and resource economics, all from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Mostly recently, she began her position as associate professor of food and resource … Read More

Juice Imports, Fruit Prices and Production Costs

Ernie NeffEconomics

In a recent presentation titled “Juice Imports, Fruit Prices and Cost of Production,” Ariel Singerman provided the price and yield required to break even growing oranges in Southwest Florida. “Average cultural cost of $1,847 requires prices for E&M (early and mid) and Valencias to be $2.31 and $2.01 per pound solids, respectively, just to break even,” the University of Florida … Read More

Florida Citrus Grower Profitability to Decline

Ernie NeffEconomics

Although orange juice sales have surged in recent months, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) director of economic and market research expects growers to have reduced profitability this season. Marisa Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission on May 20 that demand for Florida citrus is expected to be tempered with higher production costs and suppressed grower prices for uncommitted early/mid … Read More

Alico: Citrus Price Improvement Could Be Coming

Ernie NeffEconomics, Industry News Release

Alico, Inc., one of Florida’s largest citrus producers, announced financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 and the six-month period ending March 31. Some highlights regarding the company’s citrus operation follow. For the six-months ending March 31, Alico Citrus harvested approximately 5.61 million boxes of fruit, an increase of 23.3 percent from the same period a year … Read More

The Economics of Mesh Bags for Protecting Young Citrus Trees

Tacy CalliesEconomics

By Ariel Singerman The use of mesh bags has been proposed as a strategy for excluding Asian citrus psyllids to protect young citrus trees. The expected benefit of using mesh bags is increased yield by delaying HLB infection. A scientific experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of mesh bags started in February 2018. There are still many unknowns regarding yield, use … Read More

U.S. Citrus Supply and Prices

Tacy CalliesCrop Forecast, Economics


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released a Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook report on March 31. The report shows that the forecast for the U.S. citrus crop is down 4 percent from last season and how this is affecting imports, exports and pricing. LOWER PRODUCTIONU.S. all-orange production is expected to decrease by 1.6 percent, largely due … Read More

Managing Orange Production Costs

Ernie NeffEconomics, Production

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension economist Ariel Singerman discusses a recent article he wrote titled “How Much Can Florida Growers Afford to Spend on Caretaking Processed Orange Groves?” The article addresses the grove management decisions growers must make in the face of recent orange price declines. It points out that an average grower would … Read More

Citrus Shipping Costs and Concerns

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Regulation

By Tara Wade On Dec. 16, 2019, all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are mandated to carry electronic logging devices (ELDs). These ELDs will replace paper logs and attach to trucks’ engines. They easily record idle time, driving time, miles driven, vehicle movement, and on- and off-duty time — making it easier for law enforcement to check if drivers are compliant … Read More

How Much Can Florida Growers Afford to Spend on Caretaking Processed Orange Groves?

Tacy CalliesEconomics

By Ariel Singerman The decrease in prices for processed oranges this season presents growers with challenging management decisions. Last October, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) projected an average 2019–20 price for early and mid-season oranges of $1.62 per pound solids, while for Valencia oranges the forecast was $1.78 per pound solids. Those projected prices represent a 26 percent decline … Read More

Grower Frustration Mounting Over Millions of Uncommitted Boxes

Ernie NeffEconomics, Processing

Highlands County grower Jarred Eddy recently shared his frustration with the Florida Citrus Commission over his failure to receive any offers for the fruit from his 200-acre grove. Following Eddy’s Oct. 23 presentation, he and Highlands County Citrus Growers Association Executive Director Ray Royce discussed the problem. Eddy says he expected offers several times since the middle of summer, but “as … Read More

Economics of CUPS and IPCs

Ernie NeffCUPS, Economics, HLB Management

At Citrus Expo, economist Ariel Singerman discussed the economics of producing citrus under protective screen (CUPS) and covering young trees with individual protective covers (IPCs). The primary purpose of both strategies is to exclude HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Singerman is with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Singerman calculated that a CUPS grower who insures … Read More

The Real Cost of HLB in Florida

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Production, Research

By Ariel Singerman This article summarizes the major changes in the cost of production for processed oranges in Florida since the outbreak of huanglongbing (HLB). To deal with the disease, growers have significantly changed their cultural practices. Those changes have had a considerable impact on the cost of production per acre. NOMINAL COSTS VS. REAL COSTSHowever, given that inflation also … Read More

Grower Optimism Tempered by Pricing

Ernie NeffCitrus, CUPS, Economics


Central Florida citrus grower Jerry Mixon of KLM Farms recently expressed optimism that is tempered by current orange prices. “I am optimistic, and it seems like the industry does have that same feeling,” Mixon says. “Yields are up. I have heard a little bit that (pound) solids are up a little bit, particularly Valencia crops … Trees look better.” Mixon … Read More

Small Citrus Growers Struggling to Sell Valencias

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Economics, sales

Citrus grower Chip Henry of McGuire Groves in Apopka reports that some small citrus growers in Florida are currently unable to sell their Valencias. Although Henry’s 12 acres of Valencias are ready to be picked — with a high Brix level and good pound solids — he has no market for his fruit. Henry is not the only grower currently … Read More

Citrus Production Cost Surveys Scheduled

Daniel CooperEconomics, Production

In an effort to continue to gather accurate production cost data for Florida citrus growers, University of Florida economist Ariel Singerman will be conducting two regional surveys. This will be the fourth year that Singerman has met with citrus growers to gather current production cost data. This information is important for a multitude of reasons, including citrus grove valuations for … Read More

The Economics of Mesh Bags

Ernie NeffEconomics, HLB Management


Numerous Florida citrus growers have recently put mesh bags over individual young citrus trees to exclude HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. A topic title at the 2019 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute asked whether the practice is profitable. The presentation was made by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economist Ariel Singerman. “The answer to the question of whether … Read More