Economic Potential of Producing Tahiti Limes in Southern Florida in the Presence of Citrus Canker and Citrus Greening
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This article assesses the profitability of a hypothetical 5-acre tahiti lime (Citrus latifolia) orchard in southern Florida in the presence of citrus canker (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri) and citrus greening [Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (LAS)]. To account for the uncertainty associated with the presence of these diseases, a stochastic budgeting technique was employed in the analysis, incorporating stochastic prices and yields based on discussions with industry experts and researchers. The analysis focused on three possible types of management strategies currently practiced by citrus (Citrus sp.) growers in Florida: 1) production without any specific control activities for citrus canker and citrus greening, 2) canker and greening management without removal or replacement of infected/suspicious trees, and 3) canker and greening management with removal and replacement of infected trees. The analysis was carried out for a 20-year time horizon and average net return per acre and rate of return on investment were considered. The results suggest that despite the presence of disease, it would be profitable to produce tahiti limes in southern Florida. This is because the tahiti lime offers some resistance to both citrus greening and canker and will produce even if minimal attention is paid to controlling the diseases. Of the three management strategies investigated, strategy 2 offers the best prospect in terms of high net returns and highest probability of achieving or surpassing the desired rates of return on investment of 12% per annum. The key finding from the study is that the production of tahiti limes in southern Florida can be profitable if steps are taken to manage the diseases, but contrary to popular view, it might be better to wait until the trees become fully unproductive before disposing of them.
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En: HortTechnology February 2014 vol. 24 no. 1 99-106