Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery
Crops: Citrus en Eucalyptus
Location: Frostproof, Florida, United States of America
Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery, Inc. was established by Phillip Rucks in 1997.
With over 25 years of experience Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery is the largest screened commercial citrus nursery in the US with propagations of one million trees annually. The operation is a full service self-contained containerized citrus nursery that grows only the highest yielding citrus trees. The propagation assurance originates from the latest seed source clones and screened disease free budwood houses. The nursery also propagates windbreak trees for citrus canker deterrent and is a low chill licensed propagator of Florida peaches. Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery has a dedicated staff and facilities to insure the future preservation of the Florida Citrus Industry along with other agricultural entities for years to come.
Model Of Efficiency
“When we decided to build the new nursery, I wanted to build something that was as efficient as possible,” says Rucks. “The rolling bench system helps accomplish this. By using the system, we get 30% more plants per square foot, and with the controlled environment of the greenhouse, we can get trees out 60 days faster than the way we did it before.”
According to Rucks, the biggest benefit of the system is cutting labor requirements in half. “Labor is our biggest cost in producing nursery trees,” he says. “Virtually everything we do is hand-labor dependent. In our old container nursery, one person could take care of 20,000 trees per year. With this rolling bench system, one person can take care of about 40,000 trees per year.”
The task of grading and sizing young trees is probably one of the most labor intensive duties, according to Rucks. Young trees must be monitored regularly for uniformity. Trees that don’t meet the size requirements often have been over shaded by siblings and must be pulled and placed elsewhere. Moving these to another bench with like sized trees,allows them to gain the height and get care they need. In the past this required hand loading and moving, plus hand unloading in a separate area. Now benches are simply placed side by side and the culling process can be handled efficiently without hand carrying trees from one location to another, saving an enormous amount of time and energy. Labor costs typically amount to about 70% of the cost to grow out young citrus trees to optimum transplant size.
Phillip Rucks estimates that by using the Rolling Bench System from Logiqs, he cut his labor costs by 40%.
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If you would like to learn more about how your greenhouse would benefit by using a Rolling Bench system, please get in touch with us!