25 Dec 2022


Business Plan/Considerations for Starting Up a Citrus Grove in Florida

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One has to consider important factors before opening up a new Citrus Grove in Florida. There are many considerations for the citrus growers in Florida, particularly those intending to take advantage of the planting incentives for this agribusiness. Florida offers many incentives for the people who want to start new citrus grove agribusiness. Successful agribusiness in citrus grove within Florida demands that the entrepreneur considers a numbers of important factors like diseases for the plant, availability of the market, labor presence, security, water, infrastructure and technology. These are quite significant factors that affect the success of citrus agribusiness directly. The importance of consideration for these factors is that the company is able to establish the viability of starting the agribusiness venture in Florida as well as plan for effective austerity measures for possible challenges in advance. Therefore, consideration of the factors that affect citrus agribusiness in Florida ensures the venture runs smoothly once it is started up. 


The agribusiness project 

The very first consideration to make is some thoughts about the new agribusiness project. It is important to consider the type of production that will be made in the new agribusiness project. In essence, the main product of the project must be determined and be defined in clear terms. In this case, the project is about the establishment of a new Citrus Grove in Florida. Therefore, the product of this agribusiness project is citrus fruits, which will always be harvested and sold in the market. Determination of the specific product to be produced in the agribusiness gives the new firm some significant sense of direction. It becomes part of its goals, which then inform the kind of programs to be put in place for the smooth running of the agribusiness. 

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Understanding the specific production that the new agribusiness will be making is very significant. The company must consider the technical and economic data about the production of citrus fruits in Florida. Through the information got, the agribusiness will be able to develop relevant strategies meant to ensure that it succeeds in the market. There are various ways of getting this information in the market. Before starting the new Citrus Grove, the agribusiness should approach the experienced other producers as well as experts on the dynamics that shape the Citrus commercial farming in Florida. Early knowledge of such information will help the new agribusiness to have special plans on how to tackle the expected issues in the industry. Other producers who have operated in Florida for a very long time ion this industry have very useful information, which they can share with the new agribusiness. This information that the experienced and seasoned producers in the Florida citrus industry may include the ways of getting success in terms of winning customers and having better produces on the farms. Moreover, the business may also get this information from the potential customers in the market. It is information that is very crucial to the success of the Citrus Grove in Florida. 

Any new agribusiness must plan on the kind of budget to use. The budget planned should be realistic and within the means of the company. To ensure that the budget selected is the most right one, the agribusiness must organize for a number of various start-up scenarios. The budget that suits the most applicable scenario is the one that is selected for the new Citrus Grove. 

Budgets have to be made by businesses that have money. Therefore, before starting the new Citrus Grove in Florida, it is vital to have the agribusiness amass financial resources to be used in the future. The agribusiness should have amassed enough capital for implementation in the running of the daily business of the agribusiness. Decision about the means of financing the new business must be reached even before operations start. Through the operational scenario tests done, the firm is able to establish the amount of resources that will be required. Assets must be acquired early and the location of the agribusiness determined in advance. Assets include the long-term machines for preparing the land before planting can be done. 

Business plan 

The next important thing to make consideration for is the business plan for the new Citrus Grove agribusiness. There are various components of a good business plan that must be considered even before the company starts its operations in Florida. The business plan involves the very critical factors that will determine the success of the new agribusiness in Florida. The business plan will act as the framework for the decisions and operations of the firm. 

The first significant component of a business plan, which must be considered, is the production level at the initial stages of operations. The new agribusiness must decide on the size of production it intends to start with after operations begin. The targeted sales revenue during the first operations of the company must also be clearly defined for the new agribusiness. These factors provide the short-term direction for the company. The agribusiness is able to make sound and right decisions that are connected with the overall objectives of the company when this information is clearly known the management of the firm. 

Making a good marketing plan is yet another very important consideration of the new agribusiness that has to be made before starting the new Citrus Grove in Florida. The marketing plan involves identifying the potential customers in the market and deciding on the most effective ways of reaching out to them. The new agribusiness must decide on its marketing mix before it starts operations. Its major marketing strategy for penetrating the market in Florida must also be considered and made clear. 

The agribusiness has to also consider the legal issues put in place to regulate the citrus industry within Florida. This agribusiness should take time to consider the laws governing agriculture in Florida. Legal provisions guiding the use of land in Florida must also be considered so that the company ensures it avoids possible suits for breaching the law. Knowing business practices that are prohibited in Florida is also a very important requirement that must be considered by the new agribusiness. 

The firm should consider specific time frames in which particular business achievements are made. The firm has to come up with a long-term schedule to guide the way it conducts the Citrus Grove commercial activities. Having a time schedule for business activities coupled with specified goals of the firm is the best of keeping the focus of the management on securing business success. It is also important to consider the impact of the business on the personal and family life. 

Considerations about citrus grove farming in Florida 

Frequent flushing makes newly planted citrus trees vulnerable to the adverse impact of insects like the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). ACP is the vector of the HLB pathogen. This is one of the most challenging disturbances experienced by agribusinesses in Florida. However, with prior consideration of the ways of protecting the plants from the impact of this insect, the entrepreneurs can be able to find ways of keeping the young trees from the diseases hence boost the production from the plantations ( Albrecht, 2016) . This brings about significant economic returns for the agribusinesses. Therefore, consideration of these citrus plant insects and their impacts must be done before starting the new Citrus Grove in Florida. The aim of this consideration will be to establish effective mechanism of minimizing the impact of the insects on the plant and maximizing the production as well as returns from the agribusiness. There are various pest and disease controls that can be considered including the use of soil drenches with neonicotinoids. It is also possible to use injections thjrough the micro-sprinklers, but soil drenches are normally preferred to this method because they help in avoiding losses of the material outside the root zone ( Albrecht, 2016) . Furthermore, it is also vital to note that the soil-applied pesticides have less effect on the beneficial insects than the foliar sprays ( Lewis-Rosenblum, Martini, Tiwari & Stelinski, 2015) . The agribusiness should consider some of the currently approved and registered neonicotinoid products that can be used on the young citrus trees, which include Admire Pro (imidacloprid), Platinum (thiamethoxam) and Belay (clothianidin) ( Albrecht, 2016) . 

Before starting the new citrus grove agribusiness in Florida, tree selection is also another significant factor that must be considered. One must consider starting with high-quality nursery trees. The trees should be bought from a nursery that is reputable and registered. The agribusiness entrepreneur must understand that a tree that is of poor quality will always not be productive hence lead to losses ( Albrecht, 2016) . This scion consideration is based on the preference of the grower and projected economic potential of the variety. Despite the fact that virtually all commercial scion varieties are affected by HLB, there are those that are reportedly able to perform better and give good production level even in the presence of this disease. Some of them include Sugar Belle, Fallglo, Nova, Temple, Triumph and Jackson ( Albrecht, 2016) . The aim of the agribusiness should be to choose the scion variety that will be able to perform well even in the presence of the HLB disease hence bring good returns to the farmer. 

Moreover, it is vital to note that the rootstock selection is also a very significant consideration that has to be made before starting a new Citrus Grove in Florida. This rootstock selection has to be based on the characteristics of the soil, pressure of pests and related diseases. Other issues to inform the rootstock selection include the desired size control and tree spacing. It has to be understood that the ability of a citrus tree to survive through the damaging impact of HLB is influenced by rootstock ( Albrecht, 2016) . The consideration of the rootstock selection should be informed by the guide developed collaboratively by citrus researchers drawn from the University of Florida (UF) and U.S. Department of Agriculture. This guide is very effective in assisting farmers top choose the right rootstock, suitable to their individual situations. Recently, many new rootstock selections were released and are now on evaluation, carried out under the Fast Track program. Considering the rootstock selection before starting the new Citrus Grove in Florida will enable the agribusiness to get the right choice suitable to its specific situation hence enable it to get optimum economic returns without any additional cost ( Albrecht, 2016) . 

Another important consideration when starting a new Citrus Grove in Florida is site preparation and planting. Drainage is a very significant element to consider in this case. The chosen site must be one that has good drainage. Although the issue of drainage is not a challenge on the sandy Central Florida ridge, the soils of southwest and eastern areas of production that are largely wet need drainage systems comprised of water furrows, ditches and raised beds since the land is flat ( Albrecht, 2016) . While planting, it is vital to ensure the trees are well spaced considering their expected size and the lifespan of the grove. Normally, a densely planted grove brings high earlier economic returns. However, it may involve huge amount of investment. The farmer should just understand that considering the pressure of the HLB disease, it is better to go for the high earlier returns before the citrus trees are greatly affected by it ( Albrecht, 2016) . One more important consideration to make is that the tree wraps have to be put around the young plants during the initial years in order to avoid the formation of sprout. This tree wrapping also helps in protecting the plants from herbicide and mechanical damage. Furthermore, there are a number of tree wraps that offer protection from freezing ( Albrecht, 2016) . The farmer must conduct constant inspection of the tree wraps to ensure they are not affected by insects like fire ants, which girdle the young citrus plants. 

The issue of water and irrigation is also quite important and must be considered when starting a new Citrus Grove in Florida. The irrigation needs normally rely on various factors such as rainfall, temperature, the season of the year and features of the soil. One must understand that proper and effective scheduling of the irrigation program has a huge impact on the health of the citrus trees, quality of the fruits and the quantity of the yield ( Albrecht, 2016) . Trees become vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies, diseases caused by pests and physiological disorders when there is no proper irrigation. The farmer must target rapid development of the tree canopy during the very first years of planting in order to get huge fruit production. What is needed in this case is simply maintaining the right and optimum soil moisture at all times because vegetative growth is quite vulnerable to water stress. It is vital to consider the fact that currently Florida has irrigation standards, which include low-volume systems using micro-sprinklers. Moreover, the use of drip irrigation in advanced citrus production is also under exploration in Florida ( Albrecht, 2016) . Micro-irrigation is preferred in Florida because of its many useful advantages. The advantages of micro-irrigation include lower cost, minimal consumption of water, effective distribution of the water, reduced foliar diseases and the possibility of applying fertilizers and other chemicals at the same time ( Futch, 2015) . 

Irrigation scheduling may be electronic considering the level of evapo-transpiration. The University of Florida has developed applications meant to fine-tune the process of electronic irrigation. Drip irrigation, which is being explored, minimizes the development of weeds in the citrus plantations. However, micro-irrigation is highly effective because it covers a large area of the root zone, which is quite significant especially when the trees become big. In this era of the HLB disease, sufficient irrigation of the Citrus Grove is very essential since the affected trees suffer from fibrous root loss hence are susceptible to water deficiency ( Albrecht, 2016) . 

The agribusiness entrepreneur must also consider the pH of the soil. In Florida, the appropriate pH of the soil is 6.3. This pH of the soil, 6.3, can be achieved through mechanisms like acidification of the water used in the irrigation process as well as the application of the acid-forming fertilizers ( Giménez, Cerdà & Peñaloza, 2013) . Elemental sulfur may also be used to achieve this recommended pH of the soil. The new Citrus Grove farmer must consider the fact that high alkaline water resulting from the excessive carbonate, bicarbonate as well as the hydroxyl anions is very detrimental to the citrus trees, particularly the ones that are affected by the HLB disease. 


The agribusiness must make various important considerations before starting a new Citrus Grove in Florida. These considerations include irrigation and water availability, pests and diseases, site preparation and planting, tree and rootstock selection as well as the pH of the soil. The consideration of these factors when starting the new Citrus Grove in Florida will help the agribusiness in ensuring that high economic returns are got during the early years. 


Albrecht, U. (2016). From Planning to Planting: Establishing New Groves in the Presence of HLB. AgNet Media, Inc . Retrieved 6 March, 2017 from Citrus Industry , Web. http://citrusindustry.net/2016/11/08/from-planning-to-planting-establishing-new-groves-in-the-presence-of-hlb/ . 

  Futch, H.S. (2015). Citrus Reset Management. University of Florida . Retrieved 6 March, 2017 from Electronic Data Information Source, Web. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch025 . 

Giménez Morera, A., Cerdà, A., & Ángel González Peñaloza, F. (2013, April). Production, soil erosion and economic failure in new citrus plantations in Eastern Spain. In  EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts  (Vol. 15, p. 550). 

Lewis-Rosenblum, H., Martini, X., Tiwari, S., & Stelinski, L. L. (2015). Seasonal movement patterns and long-range dispersal of Asian citrus psyllid in Florida citrus.  Journal of economic entomology 108 (1), 3-10. 

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