AN ANALYSIS OF HOW PLANTING DENSITY AND ROOTSTOCK VIGOR AFFECT THE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF 'VALENCIA' TREES

MURARO, RONALD P.

Abstract


For any given scion/rootstock combination, selecting the proper planting density is essential to maximize economic performance. This was demonstrated by comparing 15-year cash budgets and internal rates of return (IRR) for soluble solids production of trees on vigorous rootstocks (Carrizo citrange and Milam lemon) with those on less vigorous stocks (Swingle citrumelo and Rusk citrange). Data were obtained from long-term Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck 'Valencia' field trials located in Indiantown, Avon Park, and Babson Park. The analyses included adjustments for tree losses and annual replacement, and were based on current/constant costs applied throughout the 15-year period. Internal rates of return were about 6.5% or less for trees on Carrizo or Milam when grown at planting densities of 102 and 150 trees/acre, respectively. The IRR improved slightly for Milam when planted at 270 trees/acre suggesting that the optimum spacing can be exceeded; for trees on Carrizo planted at 145 trees/acre, the IRR increased to over 13.7%, one of the highest rates in this study. The economic performance of trees on Swingle was relatively poor at the low planting density; however, analyses of trees at actual and hypothetical planting densities in the range of about 218 to 270 trees/acre improved IRR to values greater than 14%.

Keywords


nutrition; orange; grapefruit

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283