Citrus Production Case Study

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In the United States, citrus production was 8.6 million metric tons in 2016 (USDA, 2016). In Florida, Valencia production represented about 80% of the total US Valencia production during the 2015/16 season (USDA, 2016). During 2015/16 season, the state of Florida produced almost 95% of the total US citrus-juice production (USDA, 2016). Together with roadside charges, hand harvesting cost was between $1.87 and $ 2.20 per box throughout the 2014/15 season. Mechanical harvesting costs during the 2011/12 ranged from $1.25 to $1.75 per box. Roka et al. (2014) reported that during 2002 - 2012, growers saved at least 25 cents per box when they used the mechanical harvesting method.
Various methods for mechanical harvesting of citrus have been …show more content…

However, mechanically shaking ‘Valencia’ trees canopies during the late season may cause a half yield reduction in the following year’s crop (Coppock 1972).
Spreading of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) after 2005 resulted in declining of the use of mechanical canopy or trunk shakers. During 2013/14, only 6,700 acres of sweet oranges were harvested with canopy shakers, an 83% reduction from the 2006/07 harvest season (35,600 acres) (FDOC, 2016). Therefore, many growers who were using a mechanical harvesting method before 2006, stopped using that method because they were concerned that HLB affected trees could not tolerate mechanical shaking (Roka et al., 2014). Due to growers concern about the health of their HLB-affected trees and increases in hand harvesting costs since 2006, more study and consideration should be given to mechanical harvesting method. Cost savings from mechanical harvesting may help Florida growers to support their economic profitability.
A 2008 survey of 153,000 acres (17,676,000 trees) revealed that the average amount of HLB affected trees in Florida was ≈ 11% (Morris et al., 2009). Recently, that number has been increased to over 75% (Singerman and Useche, 2015). In addition, the number of citrus bearing trees has declined by 25% from 2004 to 2015 (USDA, 2016). Citrus trees require a proper water management system (Zekri et al., 2009; Hamido et al., 2017) that can provide expected yield quality (Zekri et

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