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Greg Martin 01/11/06 Future of plant production, Part two
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: January 11, 2006

One of the challenges facing tree fruit growers as they plan for future plant production is making sure production meets economic viability twenty or thirty years down the road. And according to fieldman and orchardist Ty Fleming, that means increasing per acre plantings. For example, if current plantings per acre averages were figured out over twenty years, the average would come in at thirty five bins to the acre, well below what is currently needed for a grower to stay in business.

FLEMING: Were going to be spending more in the future. Were going to be receiving less. We have to increase our efficiency. We need to be at a sixty bin to the acre average. I say that now, twenty years from now, we may be saying we need a one hundred bin to the acre average.

And that assessment becomes all the more somber when one factors in other trends such as increased trees per acre, decreased margins in the orchard, growing competition both at home and abroad, and fewer buyers. And Fleming adds that if projected long-term land values are also taken into account, then growers in the future will need to consider how best to get instant returns.

FLEMING: Well be talking thousands of dollars and acre instead of hundreds of dollars an acre. We will be planting trees with a two and three year wood in the top so they are able to produce. Well be fall planting so we can get the roots established. The rootstocks that well be using will be matched to the soil so we know were going to get growth. We know were going to fill our space. And that plant will fruit the next year, and well have instant return on our investment.

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