Despite noticeable decreases in acreage during the last 20 years, Red Delicious remains the dominant apple variety produced in WA State in terms of planted acreage, number of fresh shipments and exports. WSU released a study that provides updated information on estimated production costs and revenues for Red delicious production. Note that WSU enterprise budgets are based on an assumed context and information is collected via in person interviews with a group of experienced WA growers, representative of modern production practices and well-managed orchards in the State. Total production costs on a full production year- were estimated at $24,601/acre. The break-even price was $413/925-lb bin or $18/ 40-lb box. The NPV (net present value) of the investment over 30 years was $469,523 (considering a price of $415/925-lb bin and a 4% annual interest rate). Payback period was 8.5 years.
The study is available free of cost at http://ses.wsu.edu/enterprise_budgets/. It presents a PDF summary and an Excel spreadsheet in which you can input your information to tailor the study to your very own operation.
WSU Extension Specialist