Fruit Orchard Application Process

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Application Directions

Name: The name section is the owner of the property’s name or a representative such as a manager of the business or a tax representative legally that is allowed to represent the interest of the fee simple owner. The tenant does not have the legal right only if they are responsible for the taxes on the lease.

Phone: Include the contact number of the owner or someone that has access to the property on behalf of the owner.

Parcel ID or legal description: I would include the parcel ID. Trying to locate a property by its legal description is incredibly difficult. You can find a 17 digit number a.k.a the PCN by looking your property up on the property appraiser’s website.

Land Used Primarily for Agricultural Purposes Section: If you do not see your specific use in this section, your use would be written in the other box. Circle or simply indicate which use you are applying for by writing in the box to the right the number of acres you’re applying for. The next box to the right is indicates how long you have been active in this particular agricultural use.

The Agricultural Income from this Property: Specify the year and what Ag use such as poultry or cattle. The gross income is how much money in total was made that year. Your expenses are what you had to pay to keep that use going. Your net income is the gross income minus the expenses.

Under the Agricultural Income Section is the Date Purchased and the Purchase Price. The purchase price isn’t as important as the date purchased but it may be helpful to the Appraiser’s Office to know this information.

A Tangible Account is a business account filed with the Property Appraiser. This is a good indication there is a business on the property. It is not a necessity, but you would know if you filed or not. Answer “no” if you do not have a business tax account with the Property Appraiser.

The next question: Is the property leased to others? If there is any lease on the property, including a residential lease, the answer is “yes”.

Has the property been rezoned to a non-agricultural use at the request of the owner? In other words, if the property was zoned Agricultural/Residential (AR) or just Agricultural, and you as the owner put in a request to the Department of Building and Zoning to change the zoning code to say, commercial, it’s very possible that agricultural use could be an illegal use and disqualify you from acceptance. Again, you would know if you changed the zoning.

There is a small area to file out that indicates the year you are applying for so make sure this is completed.

Sign and date your application. Make a copy of it and when you send it or drop it off, get a receipt of some sort to prove when you applied should there be any issues down the road.

Application deadlines are March 1 in the year of which you are applying (FL Statute 193.461 (3.a). The application can be found here.

Use:

Once the application is submitted, you need to prove use is and was on the property on January 1. Try and take photographs of the use as close to January 1st as possible for documentation. Time and date stamp your photos if possible.

The property appraiser will typically give an Agricultural Classification on whatever lands are used. The more land used may result in more Agricultural Classified Lands. If the Ag Classification will save you money (check out the Ag Analysis Calculator) try and apply for all the acres on the property to see what you can get. Why limit your tax savings?

Florida Business License Application process: https://www.stateofflorida.com/corporations/

Below is a general map of Florida’s growing zones to help determine what fruit tree to consider.

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Fruit TreeGrowing zonesAverage annual yield per tree 
Apple5 to 9100 to 300 lbs
Kiwi7 to 9about 50 lbs
Pomegranates7 to 12100 to 150 lbs
Acerola9b to 1130 to 60 lbs
Akee10a to 11100 to 150 lbs
Atemoya9b to 10a30 to 150 lbs
Avocado9 to 1160 to 200 lbs
Banana9a to 10a30 to 40 lbs
Black Sapote10 to 11100 + lbs
Canistel10a to 11100 to 200 lbs
Carambola9 to 11250 to 350 lbs
Coconut Palm10 to 1240 to 100 nuts
Guava8 to 1150 to 80 lbs
Jackfruit9b to 1240 to 250 lbs
Jubaticaba9b to 111000+ lbs
Key Lime10 to 1130 to 50 lbs
Kumquat9 to 1040 to 50 lbs
Tahiti Lime9 to 11450 to 600 lbs
Longan8 to 1050 to 250 lbs
Lychee10 to 1150 to 250 lbs
Mango10 to 11200 to 300 lbs
Macadamia9 to 1115 to 35 lbs
Monstera10b to 113 to 6 fruit/vine
Mamey Sapote10 to 1260 to 300 lbs
Nectarine4 to 8100 to 150 lbs
Persimmon4 to 9 50 to 75 lbs
Papaya9 to 1030 to 100 lbs
Passion Fruit9b to 1150 to 100 lbs
Peach4 to 9 100 to 150 lbs
Peanut5b to 10bless than 1 lb/plant
Pear4 to 8150 to 200 lbs
Plum3 to 1030 to 50 lbs
Pummelo9+100 to 300 lbs
Annona Reticulata10 to 1130 to 70 lbs
Sapodilla10b to 1150 to 200 lbs
Sugar Apple4+25 to 50 lbs
Wax Jambu4b to 11100 to 200 lbs
White Sapote10+100 to 275 lbs
Growing zones and average yield will vary depending on the tree variety and care.

When it comes time to sell some of the fruit, this website by the USDA will help in determining the price.

When it comes to protecting your trees be sure to click the links below:

If a U-Pick is your thing, or if you’d like to remove the fruit and not leave the ground, you may want a couple of fruit pickers. No need to spend muck money here.

Picking up macadamia nuts can be cumbersome, therefore save your back and invest in a machine to pick them up for you. It’s worth the pain and doctor bills you will eventually be paying for.

Business and Laws Concerning Fruit Sales:

The Florida Statutes consist of a chapter (Statute 603) dedicated to fruit produce and selling the produce in Florida. Fruit is graded by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Most of the fruit in this section refers to tropical or subtropical fruit (Section 603.161). “Tropical or subtropical fruit” means avocados, bananas, calamondins, carambolas, guavas, kumquats, limes, longans, loquats, lychees, mameys, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, sapodillas, and fruit that must be grown in tropical or semi tropical regions. Citrus is covered in Statute 600.
Stemming from the Florida Statutes is an executive department of the government of Florida called the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or FDACS for short. When it comes to fruit sales, the FDACS encourages all who sell fresh fruits and vegetables at places like flea markets or roadside stands to apply for an Agricultural Dealer’s License. The only time it is not required is for cash-only sales.
As long as the producer sells directly to the consumer (retail) who will not resell the product (wholesale), no other license is required other than what may be required by county or city regulations.

If you sell any of your produce privately then at least have a receipt book. They are an inexpensive way to help satisfy the agricultural business aspect to the guidelines. One can be found here on Amazon (affiliate) for less than $5.

Also, have a business plan. One can be found here. A business plan will not prove business use on it’s own but if you are starting a business it’s likely you will not have much documentation. These are helpful and can show intent at a minimum.

Make sure to check out the “General Section of the agricultural section of the Classified Use Real Property Guidelines of the Manual of Instructions”: https://floridarevenue.com/property/Documents/FLag.pdf. There is a section used for citrus however property appraisers can apply this valuation technique to other fruits.

For legal documentation look at these websites:  

  • Law Depot (click this affiliate link to receive a 10% discount on online legal forms)
  • Legal Forms

Always make sure to claim any profits or losses on your yearly income taxes too. If you are running a business and making money, then you may want to keep track of the earning and spending. The accounting will be easier come tax season. Let’s face it, QuickBooks is the leader in accounting software. If you are starting your business and don’t want to part with a couple hundred dollars on Quickbooks software, I recommend MyInvoices & Estimates Deluxe. The software can create invoices, logos, and can calculate taxes.