The up to date intense apple growing in Hungary is capable to produce yearly about 500-1000 thousand Ft/ha income, which means that the investment of 4 000–5 000 thousand Ft is returned by producing 10-20% net income. The economic balance may, however, be upset by the damage caused by hail, quantitative and qualitative, with an apparently inc...reasing frequency experienced in each third or fourth year. Estimates prove that each hail causing 50% damage may reduces the income proportionately to the capital by 1.5–2.0 percent points, which means a serious threat for the economy of apple production. According to calculations, a plantation producing 30–40 t/ha yields would not be able to raise incomes compensating the investment of 7.0–10.0 million Ft/ha, let alone the frequencies of hail damages. Consequently, 50–60 t/ha yields are needed to become successful, and in planning of new plantations those high yields are aimed with hail nets. An additional difficulty is represented by a lack of financial resources to install hail protection nets.
Total investment costs of an up to date apricot plantation requires about 5000 thousand HUF/ha. Modern
plantations yield under normal conditions 15–20 t/ha with 80% quality for fresh consumption. Consequently, taking the life span of a plantation (15 years), the internal rate of return of 15–17% per year (IRR), that means that the costs
Hungary possesses very good agroecological conditions even in a European comparison. Agriculture and food production is highly important despite its decreasing relative economic significance, since providing high quality and affordable food for the population is a basic social necessity and one of the decisive factors in quality of life. The de...velopment of vegetable and fruit production is of great importance both from a healthy nutrition as well as from a comparative advantage (cheap labour, expertise, production traditions, favourable climate) point of view.Vegetable and fruit consumption per capita is lower than in developed countries, which is a decisive indicator of healthy nutrition, but improvement is continuous and desired. Appropriate quality and quantity in production is a requirement to meet customers’ needs in a highly competitive market from one year to the next. Hungary can only be competitive if production results are improved while risks are reduced. Fruit production is a sector with high capital requirements, risk assessment is very important from a production, investment as well as from a national economy point of view. Our examinations will focus on production risk, which is present in the annual fluctuation of average yields, especially as a result of extreme weather factors.