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  • Author or Editor: Fredy H. Ballen x
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Edward A. Evans and Fredy H. Ballen

This article develops an inverse demand model for Florida green-skin avocados (Persea americana). Information from the model is used to assess the likely impact on growers’ prices resulting from a reduction in the supply of Florida green-skin avocados due to a recent outbreak of a deadly fungus in the Florida commercial avocado production area. Consideration is also given to the increased supply of green-skin avocados imported to the United States from the Dominican Republic (DR), as well as the increased availability of ‘Hass’ avocado in the U.S. market. The estimated own price flexibility of –0.551 evaluated at the mean suggests that Florida avocado prices are not very responsive to changes in quantity supplied. A reduction in the quantity supplied is likely to bring about a less than proportionate rise in the price. Moreover, any noticeable rise in prices due to the impact of the disease is likely to be short lived and may be insufficient to cover additional grove management costs. In the longer run, prices are expected to revert closer to their long-run trend (or decrease) as a result of increased shipments from the DR, and further increases in the availability of ‘Hass’ avocados.

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Edward A. Evans, Fredy H. Ballen and Jonathan H. Crane

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.