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Costs and Benefits of Little Cherry Management

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Tianna DuPont, Corina Serban, WSU Extension. May 2022 Reviewed by XXX

 Is aggressive pro-active management of X-disease and little cherry disease worth the cost? Below are three scenarios adapted from management costs and disease progression from example Washington orchards. Proactive management in these examples extends the life of the orchard resulting in a ten-year return on investment of $17,000 to $20,000 per acre. The costs and benefits in an individual orchard block will vary based on your management and the number of trees lost to infection.

In each case study scouting, sampling, tree removal, vector scouting, and weed management strategies costs are from actual grower case studies. The numbers of trees removed and resulting losses in revenue in each example are based on the actual numbers of trees removed for each case study block under the grower management described.

Case Study 1

Little Cherry/ X-disease Management Cost Benefit

LITTLE CHERRY/X-DISEASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES COST PER ACRE PER YEAR
Description: Various varieties and rootstocks at 270 trees per acre average.
Scouting: Scout each block looking at each tree in each row and use teams on four-wheelers 1 time per season. $15-20/A low pressure. $30-40/A high pressure. $35.00
Samples: Average of 2 samples per acre per year @ $140 ea (LCV2+XDP+LCV1). $280.00
Tree removal: Remove trees with a tractor, roots and all. 0.45 trees per acre per year removed on average at $25/tree (range of $8.42-31.59/tree). $11.25
Vector scouting: 1 sticky card trap every 2 acres for 14 weeks. Change the sticky card if leafhoppers are present. $1.50/A/week labor. $1.35/trap = $0.68/A/week traps. $2.18/A x 14 weeks = $30.52/A. $30.52
Vector sprays: 2-3 sprays post-harvest based on weekly monitoring with 1 trap every 2 acres. Rotate MOAs, high efficacy products (eg spray 1 4A thiamethoxam (Actara), spray 2 3A Lambda-cyhalothrin (Lamcap II)*, spray 3 4C sulfoxaflor (Transform). $40-45/A labor x 3 sprays = $135/A labor. $52.51/A product. $187.51
Weed management: 2 weed sprays including a spring broadleaf spray e.g. glufosinate-ammonium+ pyraflufen-ethyl+adjuvant (Rely 280 + Venue) ϔ. —**
Total LCD management costs $544.28

**Broadleaf weed spray is part of standard management. ϔSpring application approx. 2-3rd week in May when weeds are small. Estimated $71.84/A product + $90/A applicator labor.

10-Year Return on Investment of Managing Little Cherry

Where management maintains the orchard for 20 years and no management results in replanting after 10 years

ROI $ Per Acer Over 10 Years
Case Study 1: With LCD management Scenario: No LCD Management
Lost revenue from trees removed or reduced qualityϪ $1,261.20
LCD management costs over 10 years₼ $6,239.56 $0.00
Amortized renewal costs and foregone revenue§ $43,386.42 $70,0021.92
Total costs $50,887.18 $70,0021.92 $19,134.74

Ϫ Case Study 1 orchard had an average loss of 0.45 trees/acre/year (less than 1% over 6 years) due to pre-emptive management. Lost revenue in each case study was calculated based on a fixed value of $42.6 per tree, which was determined from an average yield of 45.77 lbs per tree at $0.93 per lb with a 3% annual inflation rate (NASS 2017-2019).
₼Assuming an annual inflation rate of 3%.
§Calculated from Galinato (2021) accumulated establishment costs of $24,721.47 per acre over the 5-year renewal period foregone annual net revenue per acre of $5,869.52 over the 5-year renewal period. Amortized at 5% over 20 years (assumed normal orchard life) for Case study 1 and over 10 years for the No LCD Management Scenario where the orchard has to be replanted after 10 years.

Example 2

Little Cherry/ X-disease Management Cost Benefit

LITTLE CHERRY/X-DISEASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES COST PER ACRE PER YEAR
Description: 7.2 acres. Sweetheart on Mazzard rootstock at 186 trees per acre.
Scouting: 3-5 people scout in teams looking at every tree in every row and marking suspect trees. If they suspect a tree they sample and if positive remove it. In a mid-pressure block, scouts can cover 5 acres in an hour with a team of 4. At a labor cost of $15.50 per hour at 1.5 hours per acre. $12.40
Samples: Average of 2-3 samples per 7.2-acre block per year. 0.35 samples per acre per year at an average cost of $89 per sample. $31.15
Tree removal: Infected trees treated with glyphosate via notch treatment and then removed. 33 trees per 7.2 acres over 6 years = 0.76/trees/A/year. The average cost of $35/tree. $26.74
Vector scouting: 1 sticky card trap every 2 acres for 14 weeks. Change the sticky card if leafhoppers present. $1.50/A/week labor. $1.35/trap = $0.68/A/week traps. $2.18 x 14 weeks = $30.52 $30.52
Vector sprays: 12 sprays post-harvest based on weekly monitoring with 1 trap every 2 acres. In the Wenatchee area starting around the 3rd week in Aug. In Mattawa starting end of July. Rotate MOAs, high efficacy products (eg. spray 1 4A thiamethoxam (Actara), spray 2 3A esfenvalerate (Asana XL). $40-45/A labor x 2 sprays = $90/A labor. $27/A product. $117.30
Weed management: 1 spring broadleaf weed spray for indaziflam + rimsulfuron + pyraflufen-ethyl (Matrix+Alion+Venue) ϔ. —**
Total management costs $218.11

* With adjuvant **Broadleaf weed spray part of normal management.

ϔApprox. 2-3rd week in May when weeds are small. Might have to separate root sucker spray. Root suckers must be green. Spring root sucker spray and fall weed spray another option. Estimated $125/A + operator time.

10-year Return on Investment $ PER ACRE over 10 years
Lost revenue from trees removed at $42.6 per treeϪ with average loss of 0.764 trees/acre/year. $1,881.97
LCD management costs over 10 years $2,181.06
Costs and foregone revenue during-5 year renewal period amortized over 20-year orchard life§ $43,386.42
Total costs WITH X-disease and Little cherry disease management $47,449.46
Costs and foregone revenue during-5 year renewal period amortized over 10-year orchard life§ (with no LCD management) $70,021.92
Total costs WITHOUT X-disease and Little cherry disease management $70,021.92
Return on Investment (ROI) of managing little cherry $22,572.46
Where management maintains the orchard for 20 years and no management results in replanting after 10 years.

ϪLost revenue in each case study was calculated based on a fixed value of $42.6 per tree, which was determined from an average yield of 45.77 lbs per tree at $0.93 per lb (NASS 2017-2019).

  • Calculated from Galinato (2021) accumulated establishment costs of $24,721.47 per acre over the 5-year renewal period amortized at 5% over 10 and 20 years and foregone annual net revenue per acre of $5,869.52 over the 5-year renewal period amortized at 5% over 10 and 20 years.

Example 3

Little Cherry/ X-disease Management Cost Benefit

Little Cherry/X-disease management practices Cost per acre per year
Scouting: 1 scout. If they see symptoms, they flag it. $25.00
Samples: Average of 6 samples per 28-acre block (0.21 tests per acre per year) @ $72 each (LCV2+XDP). $15.12
Tree removal: Infected trees treated with glyphosate via notch treatment and then removed. The average cost of $11.63/tree. Average 1.62 trees/A/yr removed. $18.79
Vector scouting: No scouting. Sprays every 10-14 days post-harvest. $0.00
Vector sprays: 6 sprays post-harvest every 10-14 days. (Eg spray 1 MOA 3 lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior II, Silencer), spray 2 4A thiamethoxam (Actara), spray 2 3A esfenvalerate (Asana XL), spray 4 4C sulfoxaflor (Transform), spray 5 3 fenpropathrin (Danitol 2.4EC), spray 6 1A carbaryl (Carbaryl 4L).

 $40-45/A labor x 6 sprays = $270/A labor. $115/A product.

$385.00
Weed management: Burndown herbicide/root sucker spray + season long pre-emergent.  $202/A product + $90/ labor for two applications. $292.00
Total management costs $735.91

 

10-year Return on Investment $ PER ACRE over 10 years
Lost revenue from trees removed at $42.6 per treeϪ. Loss of 181 trees in 28 acres over 6 years. $2,119.18
LCD management costs over 10 years $7,359.07
Costs and foregone revenue during-5 year renewal period amortized over 20-year orchard life§ $43,386.42
Total costs WITH X-disease and Little cherry disease management $52,864.67
Costs and foregone revenue during-5 year renewal period amortized over 10-year orchard life§ (with no LCD management) $70,021.92
Total costs WITHOUT X-disease and Little cherry disease management $70,021.92
Return on Investment (ROI) of managing little cherry $17,157.25
Where management maintains the orchard for 20 years and no management results in replanting after 10 years.

ϪLost revenue on each case study was calculated based on a fixed value of $42.6 per tree, which was determined from an average yield of 45.77 lbs per tree at $0.93 per lb (NASS 2017-2019).
§Calculated from Galinato (2021) accumulated establishment costs of $24,721.47 per acre over the 5-year renewal period amortized at 5% over 10 and 20 years and foregone annual net revenue per acre of $5,869.52 over the 5-year renewal period amortized at 5% over 10 and 20 years.

References

Galinato, S. P., & Gallardo, K. (2021).  . 2021. 2021 Cost Estimates of Establishing, Producing and Packing Sweetheart Cherries in Washington State. Washington State University.

NASS. 2017-2019. NASS-Quick Stats. dataset: WA cherries, Sweet cherries price Received $/Ton. In U. National Agricultural Statistics Service [ed.], <https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/D90A89C1-0179-304A-8A4D-C629E6FBA545> <https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/55DA01D5-FDAC-3897-99FE-44CFB21B72EA>.

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