Merced County Cooperative Extension
Merced County Cooperative Extension
Merced County Cooperative Extension
University of California
Merced County Cooperative Extension

Posts Tagged: Eta Takale

New avocado study outlines costs and returns of high-density plantings

A worker prunes weak tree branches to improve sunlight penetration in a high-density avocado orchard.

Growers considering producing avocados in San Diego County with high-density plantings now have help to determine the economic feasibility. A new study on the costs and returns of establishing and producing avocados in San Diego County has been released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Cooperative Extension, UC Agricultural Issues Center and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Avocado has been one of the prominent crops produced in Southern California since the early 1950s. California avocado production peaked in 1987-88 with about 76,300 acres. San Diego had been the leading producer accounting for about 60% of the acreage.

“Beginning in the early 1980s, there has been a continuous decline of acreage and production of avocados in San Diego County, said Etaferahu Takele, UC Cooperative Extension farm management advisor for Southern California and co-author of the study. “This is mainly because of the expansion of urban development that has increased the cost of producing the crop and especially the cost of water, reaching to up to $2,000 per acre feet in 2020.”

The same amount of water was sufficient for the high-density avocados as it was for the traditional planting. Photo by Gary Bender

High-density planting increases profitability of avocado production given there is suitable land for high-density orchard development.

Although the cost of water accounts for 44% of the total production cost in the high-density planting, the water cost is proportionally less than in the conventional planting of 145 trees per acre when distributed over a higher yield per acre, the authors write.

Their cost analysis describes production operations for avocados planted at 430 trees per acre, with an expected life span of 40 years. The study includes a detailed summary of costs and returns and a profitability analysis of gross margin, economic profit and a break-even ranging analysis table, which shows profits over a range of prices and yields. Growers can identify their gross margin and returns to management based on their yield and prices received.

UC Cooperative Extension advisor Gary Bender checks sunlight penetration in a high-density avocado orchard.

Input and reviews were provided by a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor and grower cooperators in San Diego County. The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for avocado establishment and production, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. 

The new study, “Avocado Establishment and Production Costs and Profitability Analysis in High Density Planting, San Diego County-2020,” can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu and UCCE Riverside County Farm Management website at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Farm_Management/Costs_and_Returns. Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities are also available on the websites.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, refer to the “Assumptions” section of the report or contact Takele at (951) 683-6491 Ext. 243 or ettakele@ucanr.edu or Donald Stewart at the UC Agricultural Issues Center at destewart@ucdavis.edu.

For the high-density planting study, avocado trees were spaced 10’x10’ or 430 trees per acre. Traditional plantings of avocados are spaced 20’x15’ or 145 trees per acre. Photo by Ben Faber
 
Posted on Monday, January 4, 2021 at 1:58 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UC ANR study outlines costs and returns of producing lemons in Southern California

Eureka lemons

A new study on the costs and returns of establishing and producing lemons in Ventura County has been released by UC Cooperative Extension in Southern California and UC Agricultural Issues Center, both part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“Coastal agriculture is always in transition and as strawberries and vegetables become less profitable due to markets and labor availability, lemons have returned as a potentially profitable alternative to those crops,” saidBen Faber, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Ventura County and coauthor of the study.

California lemon acreage was at roughly 47,000 acres in 2018-19, of which Ventura County accounts for 31%, according to the 2019 Ventura County Crop Report. Ventura County was growing lemons on 14,407 acres in 2019. 

“The profitability of lemon production depends on the price of land,” said Etaferahu Takele, UC Cooperative Extension farm management advisor for Southern California, another coauthor of the study. “If the price of land continues in its current trend, it could be prohibitive for new entrants to make a profit and limit further expansion of lemon production in the county.” 

Their cost analysis describes production operations for Eureka lemons on macrophylla rootstock, which are planted at 155 trees per acre with an expected life span of 40 years. 

The study includes a detailed summary of costs and returns and a profitability analysis of gross margin, economic profit and a break-even ranging analysis table, which shows profits over a range of prices and yields.

Input and reviews were provided by Ventura County farm advisor and grower cooperators. The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for lemon establishment and production, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead.  

The new study, 2020 - Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Eureka Lemons in Ventura County,” can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu and the UCCE Riverside County Farm Management website at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Farm_Management/files/338947.pdf. Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities are also available on the websites. 

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, refer to the section of the report titled “Assumptions” or contact Takele at (951) 683-6491 Ext. 243 ettakele@ucanr.edu or Donald Stewart at the UC Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651, destewart@ucdavis.edu.

For information about production of lemons in Ventura County, contact Faber at bafaber@ucanr.edu.

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 1:39 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

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