How To Set Up An Orchard in Your Country Farm (What To Consider)
Growing an orchard may bring a lot of joy, especially when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. When produced on a small scale, it can also be a complicated and expensive business that is only marginally profitable.
There are several elements to consider before starting or investing in a small orchard. This article will give you a guideline that will help you start your orchard. Read on!
1.Consider Your Lifestyle, Do You Have Time?
The idea of semi-retiring on a small piece of land and cultivating fruit to supplement your income can be appealing. On the other hand, a small-scale orchard requires a lot of physical labour, long hours, and little profit.
Because most orchard work is done in the spring and summer, vacations will need to be planned around these times. Are You prepared to do this? You will have to forget about summer and spring vacations for a while to work on the orchard. You will also need to be fully involved in everything that happens to it.
2.The Legal Considerations
Development plans should be reviewed and approved by your local government authority before creating an orchard.
Land clearing, surface and groundwater extraction, and manure use are all subject to restrictions and licensing in water catchment zones. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will have to approve any development proposals.
Simply put, ensure that you get the necessary legal requirements approval before beginning anything on your farm. The last thing you want is to be on the wrong side of the law.
3.Analyze the Production Factors
When it comes to starting an orchard, there are a few things to think about:
Are your property’s land aspect and soil types suitable? Consider the slope, drainage, land fertility, frost danger, physical constraints (such as rocks), and historical land operations.
Is there enough water and is it of acceptable quality? Depending on the growing location, crop variety, and irrigation plan, fruit crops require between 3 and 18ML of quality water supply per year. Excessive salt consumption can have a negative impact on growth and productivity.
Is the property located in a location where pesticide spray will not spread onto neighbouring properties soon?
What is the average number of winter chill hours required for deciduous fruit crops?
If trees already exist on the land, find out as much as you can about their age, variety, and production history. It might be useful to hire an outside consultant to assess the company’s output potential.
Before starting a new business, it’s a good idea to speak with neighbors who run comparable enterprises to see if there are any obstacles to producing fruit in the area.
If you’ll be getting your water from a nearby water mass, or river, you can invest in hisea floating docks to stand on and set up your water pumping machine to supply water to your orchard. They are firm and strong and you are most certainly guaranteed that they’ll serve you for a long period, since they are designed for maximum productivity, due to their durable quality materials they are made from.
4.Budget For the Requirements
Before you establish or buy an orchard, you must first create a business plan.
The costs of land preparation and planting are significant, and your first reasonable crop will be delayed. Stone fruit crops can take two to three years to bear fruit, whereas nut trees might take up to ten years to bear fruit.
There are still annual orchard care costs that must be addressed during this non-productive period. You also need to include the major infrastructure required for an orchard.
Based on planting density and orchard setup, the overall orchard development cost for the first three years might be rather significant, so do your homework before committing.
Expenditures of packaging and distributing fruit to markets, as well as continuous running costs beyond your initial setup, should all be considered. Don’t forget necessities such as lighting as well.
5.The Marketing Plan-How Will You Sell Your Crops/Produce
With their years of knowledge and economies of scale, a small fruit grower will compete in the same markets as larger producers. The fruit you plant must be safe to eat, and all major fruit buyers will expect it to be farmed following a quality assurance program.
Fruit prices in the local market might fluctuate depending on supply and demand, so producers should consider cultivars with export potential as well.
Fruit producers are quick to detect and take advantage, resulting in an oversupply. A local market niche that has offered high profits to present orchardists may not exist in two to three years. Small, specialized, high-return crops would often come with a high-risk profile.
You need to be ready to adapt to the changes in the market and remain relevant with whatever you choose to supply.
The Bottom Line
No matter how smart and good you are in business when it comes to Orchards, you need to be extra careful, or you’ll end up with losses far beyond your imagination. Do your market research right and always be relevant to what you bring to the market. Also, remember to update yourself regularly on the market trends. Best of luck!