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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Economics of Methyl Bromide Alternatives for Orchard Replant in California

Authors
item Trout, Thomas
item Klonsky, Karen - UC DAVIS
item DE Moura, Rich - UC DAVIS

Submitted to: Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2004
Publication Date: November 2, 2004
Citation: Trout, T.J., Klonsky, K., De Moura, R. 2004. Economics of methyl bromide alternatives for orchard replant in california. Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings, pp 9-1-5.

Interpretive Summary: Methyl bromide use is being phased out. Alternative fumigants have been shown to effectively control replant disease when stone fruit orchards are replanted. Fallowing 1 - 3 years can also improve early growth. Three years of yield data from 7 orchard replant trials has shown that the yield differences between pre-plant treatments are greatest the first year and reduce with time as the trees mature. An economic analysis of alternative fumigants and fallow periods was carried out using an interactive spreadsheet based on Cost and Return Studies data developed by U.C. Davis. Analysis showed that a small yield change over the 15 year life of an orchard dramatically changed the net present value (NPV) of the orchard. Measured yield increases with fumigation over the first 3 production years are sufficient to pay for a preplant Telone fumigation ($850/ac), but an additional, continuing 2% yield increase would be required to pay for methyl bromide fumigation ($1750/ac). Two years of fallow costs about the same as a Telone fumigation, but three years of fallow has been required to approximate fumigation yields. Most pre-plant practices that increase yields will be economically beneficial for stone fruit orchards.

Technical Abstract: Seven field trials compared tree growth and yield of prunus orchards replanted after removing previous orchards. Three years of yield data has shown that the yield differences between pre-plant treatments are greatest the first year and reduce with time as the trees mature. In all cases, trees in fumigated soil out-yielded trees in non-fumigated soil, and 1, 2, and 3 years of fallow progressively increased yield. An economic analysis of alternative fumigants and fallow periods was carried out using an interactive spreadsheet based on Cost and Return Studies data developed by U.C. Davis. Analysis showed that a small yield change over the 15 year life of an orchard dramatically changed the net present value (NPV) of the orchard. Measured yield increases with fumigation over the first 3 production years are sufficient to pay for a preplant Telone fumigation ($850/ac), but an additional, continuing 2% yield increase would be required to pay for methyl bromide fumigation ($1750/ac). Two years of fallow costs about the same as a Telone fumigation, but three years of fallow has been required to approximate fumigation yields. Most pre-plant practices that increase yields will be economically beneficial for stone fruit orchards.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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