• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Sources and method of study
 Production of potatoes in...
 Labor and materials requiremen...
 Costs and returns
 Summary






Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 472
Title: Labor and material requirements, costs of production and returns of Florida Irish potatoes
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026704/00001
 Material Information
Title: Labor and material requirements, costs of production and returns of Florida Irish potatoes
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 29 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brooke, Donald Lloyd, 1915-
Spurlock, A. H
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1950
 Subjects
Subject: Potato industry -- Costs -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Potatoes -- Economic aspects -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Potatoes -- Marketing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Donald L. Brooke and A.H. Spurlock.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: This collection includes items related to Florida’s environments, ecosystems, and species. It includes the subcollections of Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit project documents, the Florida Sea Grant technical series, the Florida Geological Survey series, the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetland technical reports, and other entities devoted to the study and preservation of Florida's natural resources.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026704
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000925726
oclc - 18264631
notis - AEN6382

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Introduction
        Page 5
    Sources and method of study
        Page 5
        Labor and materials
            Page 6
        Costs and returns
            Page 6
    Production of potatoes in Florida
        Page 7
        Acreage
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
        Yields and production
            Page 11
        Prices and value
            Page 12
        Competition
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
    Labor and materials requirements
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Costs and returns
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Summary
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
Full Text

DECep 195 19

September, 1950


Bulletin 472


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
WILLARD M. FIFIELD, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


Labor and Material Requirements, Costs

of Production and Returns on

Florida Irish Potatoes

By DONALD L. BROOKE AND A. H. SPURLOCK


Legend:
Area Season of Production
1. Dade Winter
2. Everglades Winter
3. Lee Winter
1. Hastings Spring
5. La Crosse Spring
6. Esbambia Spring


Fig. 1.-Principal commercial
Irish potato producing areas in
Florida.


Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA









BOARD OF CONTROL

Frank M. Harris, Chairman, St. Peters-
burg
N. B. Jordan, Quincy
Hollis Rinehart, Miami
Eli H. Fink, Jacksonville
George J. White, Sr., Mount Dora
W. F. Powers, Secretary, Tallahassee
EXECUTIVE STAFF
J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D., President3
J. Wayne Reitz, Ph.D., Provost for Agr.3
Willard M. Fifleld, M.S., Director
J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Asso. Director
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Asst. Dir., Research
Geo. F. Baughman, M.S., Business Mgr.8
Rogers L. Bartley, B.S., Admin. Mgr.3
Claranelle Alderman, Accountants

MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE

AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
H. G. Hamilton, Ph.D., Agr. Econo-
mist1 3
R. E. L. Greene, Ph.D., Agr. Economist
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
D. E. Alleger, M.S., Associate
D. L. Brooke, M.S.A., Associate
M. R. Godwin, Ph.D., Associate
H. W. Little, M.S., Assistant
Tallmadge Bergen, B.S., Assistant
D. C. Kimmel, Ph.D., Assistant
Orlando, Florida (Cooperative USDA)
G. Norman Rose, B.S., Asso. Agr.
Economist
J. C. Townsend, Jr., B.S.A., Agr.
Statistician'
J. B. Owens, B.S.A., Agr. Statistician'
J. F. Steffens, Jr., B.S.A., Agr.
Statistician2
AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING
Frazier Rogers, M.S.A., Agr. Engineer s
J. M. Johnson, B.S.A.E., Asso. Agr. Eng.'
J. M. Myers, B.S., Asso. Agr. Engineer
R. E. Choate, B.S.A.E., Asst. Agr. Engr.8
A. M. Pettis, B.S.A.E,, Asst. Agr. Eng.2 I
AGRONOMY
Fred. H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist'
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Agronomist2
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist'
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Agronomists '
R. W. Bledsoe, Ph.D., Agronomist
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
Darrel D. Morey, Ph.D., Associate
Fred A. Clark, B.S., Assistant
Myron C. Grennell, B.S.A.E., Assistant
E. S. Horner, Ph.D., Assistant
A. T. Wallace, Ph.D., Assistant
M. N. Gist, Collaborators
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND
NUTRITION
R. S. Glasscock, Ph.D., An. Husb.3
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist'
R. L. Shirley, Ph.D., Biochemist
T. J. Cunha, Ph.D., Asso. An. Hush.
J. E. Pace, M.S., Asst. An. Husbandman
S. John Folks, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.
Katherine Boney, B.S., Asst. Chem.
DAIRY HUSBANDRY AND MFS.
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Tech.'
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husb. '
S. P. Marshall, Ph.D., Asso. Dairy
Husb.'
W. A. Krienke, M.S.,Asso. in Dairy MfsS
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy
Husb.'
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech.'
Howard Wilkowski, Ph.D., Asst. Dairy
Tech.


EDITORIAL
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editors
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editors
J. N. Joiner, B.S.A., Assistant Editor

ENTOMOLOGY
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Entomologist'
L. C. Kuitert, Ph.D., Associate
F. A. Robinson, M.S., Asst. Apiculturist
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant

HOME ECONOMICS
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1
R. B. French, Ph.D., Biochemist

HORTICULTURE
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist'
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Horticulturists
Albert P. Lorz, Ph.D., Horticulturist
H. M. Reed, B.S., Chem., Veg. Processing
R. K. Showalter, M.S., Asso. Hort.
R. A. Dennison, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
R. H. Sharpe, M.S., Asso. Hort.
R D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Victor F. Nettles, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
L. H. Halsey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
C. B. Hall, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2

LIBRARY
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian

PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Patholo-
gist' I
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist and
Botanist
Howard N. Miller, Ph.D., Asso. Plant
Path.
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist
Robert W. Earhart, Ph.D., Plant Path.2
C. W. Anderson, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.

POULTRY HUSBANDRY
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.1 '
J. C. Driggers, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry
Husb."

SOILS
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologist'
Gaylord M. Volk, Ph.D., Chemist
J. R. Henderson, M.S.A., Soil Technolo-
gists
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Nathan Gammon, Jr., Ph.D., Soils
Chemist
R. A. Carrigan, Ph.D., Biochemist'
Ralph G. Leighty, B.S., Asso. Soil
Surveyor2
G. D. Thornton, Ph.D., Asso.
Microbiologist'
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Chemist'
V. W. Carlisle, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
James H. Walker, M.S.A., Asst. Soil
Surveyor
W. J. Friedmann, M.S.A., Asst.
Biochemist
O. E. Cruz. B.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor
W. G. Blue, Asst. Biochemist

VETERINARY SCIENCE
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian'
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarians
C. F. Simpson, D.V.M., Asso.
Veterinarian
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist
Glenn Van Ness, D.V.M., Asso. Poultry
Pathologist
E. G. Batte, D.V.M., Asso. Parasitologist









BRANCH STATIONS

NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
J. D. Warner, M.S., Vice-Director in
Charge
R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
L. G. Thompson, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
W. C. Rhoads, M.S., Entomologist
W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asso. Agron.
Frank S. Baker, Jr., B.S., Asst. An.
Husb.
Mobile Unit, Monticello
R. W. Wallace, B.S., Associate
Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Marianna
R. W. Lipscomb, M.S., Associate
Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Chipley
J. B. White, B.S.A., Associate
Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Pensacola
R. L. Smith, M.S., Associate Agronomist


CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Charge
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Entomologist
J. T. Griffiths, Ph.D., Asso.
Entomologist
R. F. Suit, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
E. P. Ducharme, Ph.D., Asso. Plant
Path.'
R. K. Voorhees, Ph.D., Asso.
Horticulturist
C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Asso. Chemist
J. W. Sites, M.S.A., Horticulturist
H. O. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
H. J. Reitz, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
Francine Fisher, M.S., Asst. Plant Path.
I. W. Wander, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
A. E. Willson, B.S.A., Asso. Biochemist
J. W. Kesterson, M.S., Asso. Chemist
R N. Hendrickson, B.S., Asst. Chemist
J. C. Bowers, M.S., Asst. Chemist
D. S. Prosser, Jr., B.S., Asst.
Horticulturist
R. W. Olsen, B.S., Biochemist
F. W. Wenzel, Jr., Ph.D., Supervisory
Chem.
Alvin H. Rouse, M.S., Asso. Chemist
H. D. Merwin, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
H. W. Ford, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
L. W. Faville, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist
L. C. Knorr, Ph.D., Asso. Histologist'
W. T. Long, M.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
R. M. Pratt, Ph.D., 'Asso. Ent.-Pathol-
ogist
W. A. Simanton, Ph.D., Entomologist
J. R. King, B.S., Asst. Entomologist
E. J. Desyck, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
C. D. Leonard, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.

EVERGLADES STATION,
BELLE GLADE
R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Charge
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
Physiologist
J. W. Randolph, M.S., Agricultural Egr.
W. T. Forsee, Jr., Ph.D., Chemist
R. W. Kidder, M.S.. Asso. Animal Husb.
T. C. Erwin, Assistant Chemist
C. C. Seale, Asso. Agronomist
N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Asso. Entomolo-
gist
E. A. Wolf, M.S., Asst. Horticulturist
\\. H. Thames, M.S., Asst. Entomologist
W. N. Stoner, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.
WV. A. Hills, M.S., Asso. Horticulturist
W. G. Genung, B.S.A., Asst. Entomologist
D. W. Smith, B.S., Asst. Chemist


W. D. Hogan, M.S., Asst. Plant Path.
D. W. Beardsley, B.S., Asst. An. Hush.
K. A. Harris, B.S.A., Asst. Agr. Engr.
David B. Gibb, M.E., Fiber Technologist

SUB-TROPICAL STATION,
HOMESTEAD
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Vice-Dir. in
Charge
D. O. Wolfenbarger, Ph.D., Entomologist
Francis B. Lincoln, Ph.D., Horticulturist
Milton Cobin, B.S., Asso. Horticulturist
Robt. A. Conover, Ph.D., Plant Path.
John L. Malcolm, Ph.D., Asso. Soils
Chemist
R. W. Harkness, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist

W. CENT. FLA. STATION,
BROOKSVILLE
William Jackson, B.S.A.. Animal
Husbandman in Charge2

RANGE CATTLE STATION, ONA
W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Charge
E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Agronomist
D. W. Jones, M.S., Asst. Soil
Technologist

CENTRAL FLORIDA STATION.
SANFORD
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Vice-Dir. in
Charge
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D.. Entomologist
P. J. Westgate, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
Ben. F. Whitner, Jr., B.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Geo. Swank, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.

WEST FLORIDA STATION, MILTON
C. E. Hutton, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Charge
H. W. Lundy, B.S.A., Associate
Agronomist


FIELD LABORATORIES

Leesburg
G. K. Parris, Ph.D., Plant Path. in
Charge
C. C. Helms, Jr., B.S., Asst. Agronomist
Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Path. in
Charge
E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Horticulturist
Monticello
A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asso. Entomologist2
John R. Large, M.S., Asso. Plant Path.
Bradenton
E. L. Spencer, Ph.D., Soils Chemist in
Charge
E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
David G. Kelbert, Asso. Horticulturist
Robert 0. Magie, Ph.D., Gladioli Hort.
J. M. Walter, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Donald S. Burgis, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
W. G. Cowperthwalte, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
Lakelnnd
Warren O. Johnson, B.S., Meterologist2



Head of Department
2 In cooperation with U. S.
SCooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
On leave.





























CONTENTS


Page


INTRODUCTION -------


SOURCES AND METHOD OF STUDY ---....


LABOR AND MATERIALS ..---.......-

COSTS AND RETURNS .------......--...-.




PRODUCTION OF POTATOES IN FLORIDA

ACREAGE ----------------.


YIELDS AND PRODUCTION ----..-..

PRICES AND VALUE -----.........._..--


COMPETITION ..---...... .----


..-.....------------- ---------------------. 5


...-------......... .---- ----------- 6

------------ -.-...----------------.....-------..---- 6





................-------------------.------------ 87



....----- -----------------.....-----....----- 11

........... ............ .. --............. .... 12
--------. -- 13
_____~_~_~_-~_~~~_~~~~13


LABOR AND MATERIALS REQUIREMENTS .---


COSTS AND RETURNS


..------.--- 23


-------. ---- -------27


SUMMARY __._.-









Labor and Material Requirements,. Costs
of Production and Returns on
Florida Irish Potatoes'


By DONALD L. BROOKE AND A. H. SPURLOCK


Introduction
This material is presented for growers who wish to compare
their individual operations with the average of their own or
other areas in Florida and for commodity groups and others
who need factual information as background material for formu-
lation of policies on labor, price, tariff and transportation prob-
lems as related to the Irish potato industry of Florida.
During nine of the past 10 seasons, Irish potatoes ranked
fourth in value of production among Florida's commercial vege-
table crops. They were exceeded in value only by tomatoes,
snap beans and celery.
Early commercial production started in Florida in the late
1800's. Only 74,089 bushels were produced in 1889 and 232,212
bushels in 1899. By the 1911-12 season production reached one
million bushels and in the 1917-18 season three million bushels
were harvested. The largest crop on record in Florida was
6,010,000 bushels harvested in the 1945-46 season.2

Sources and Method of Study
Data on acreages, yields, production, prices and farm value
were taken from published reports of the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics and
Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. Data on domestic
and foreign competition were taken from mimeographed annual

1 Acknowledgments.-The authors wish to express their appreciation to
the many Irish potato growers who supplied data which made this study
possible; to the Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, U.S.D.A.,
and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando, for their excellent
cooperation; and to Dr. R. E. L. Greene for assistance in gathering data
and for many helpful suggestions. Much credit is due Dr. C. V. Noble,
under whose direction this study was conducted.
2 Data for 1889 and 1899 from U. S. Census reports. Data for 1911-12,
1917-18 and 1945-46 from corresponding yearbooks of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture.









Labor and Material Requirements,. Costs
of Production and Returns on
Florida Irish Potatoes'


By DONALD L. BROOKE AND A. H. SPURLOCK


Introduction
This material is presented for growers who wish to compare
their individual operations with the average of their own or
other areas in Florida and for commodity groups and others
who need factual information as background material for formu-
lation of policies on labor, price, tariff and transportation prob-
lems as related to the Irish potato industry of Florida.
During nine of the past 10 seasons, Irish potatoes ranked
fourth in value of production among Florida's commercial vege-
table crops. They were exceeded in value only by tomatoes,
snap beans and celery.
Early commercial production started in Florida in the late
1800's. Only 74,089 bushels were produced in 1889 and 232,212
bushels in 1899. By the 1911-12 season production reached one
million bushels and in the 1917-18 season three million bushels
were harvested. The largest crop on record in Florida was
6,010,000 bushels harvested in the 1945-46 season.2

Sources and Method of Study
Data on acreages, yields, production, prices and farm value
were taken from published reports of the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics and
Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. Data on domestic
and foreign competition were taken from mimeographed annual

1 Acknowledgments.-The authors wish to express their appreciation to
the many Irish potato growers who supplied data which made this study
possible; to the Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, U.S.D.A.,
and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando, for their excellent
cooperation; and to Dr. R. E. L. Greene for assistance in gathering data
and for many helpful suggestions. Much credit is due Dr. C. V. Noble,
under whose direction this study was conducted.
2 Data for 1889 and 1899 from U. S. Census reports. Data for 1911-12,
1917-18 and 1945-46 from corresponding yearbooks of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


supplements to Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin
224, Florida Truck Crop Competition, by C. V. Noble and M. A.
Brooker.
Labor and Materials.--Data on labor and materials require-
ments were obtained by personal interview with growers in five
major producing areas. Growers were asked to estimate. the
usual time required for each operation in the production and
harvesting of Irish potatoes. The actual dates for performing
the various jobs were recorded. They were asked also the kind
and amount of seed, fertilizer and insecticide or fungicide ordi-
narily used in production. Their average yield per acre was
obtained. The data were summarized according to the most
common practices in each area. Most potato farms are geared
to tractor operation; hence, mule hours, if any, are not included.
The hours of labor for man and tractor are averages of estimates
of time required by farmers following the most usual practice.
Costs and Returns.-Data on costs of production, harvesting
and net returns were also obtained by personal interview with
growers. These data differ slightly from labor and materials
above, in that they represent the average of actual expenses
incurred in production rather than the most common practices in
an area. Records of actual costs and returns were used when
available and estimates were taken when records were not kept.
As complete a breakdown of the various items of cost as possible
was obtained from each grower. In so far as possible, growing
and harvesting costs were separated and labor items excluded
from costs of materials. The data were summarized by convert-
ing the record of each cooperator to a per-acre basis and then
computing a simple average of the sum of all records obtained in
each area for a particular season. In the interest of uniformity,
land rent was charged on all acreages at the prevailing rate re-
ported by growers in the area. This was done to avoid difficulties
of determination of a normal valuation, interest charge for use
of land, and pro-rating of land taxes in a period of fluctuating
values and prices.
Costs for materials, such as seed, fertilizer, spray, dust, feed,
fuels and containers, represent estimates or actual costs of sup-
plies used. Labor or machine costs of application were not in-
cluded with materials.
Labor cost included man labor, whether hired or family, re-
quired to produce the crop from ground preparation through
harvest. Separate items were made of cultural and harvest labor.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


supplements to Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin
224, Florida Truck Crop Competition, by C. V. Noble and M. A.
Brooker.
Labor and Materials.--Data on labor and materials require-
ments were obtained by personal interview with growers in five
major producing areas. Growers were asked to estimate. the
usual time required for each operation in the production and
harvesting of Irish potatoes. The actual dates for performing
the various jobs were recorded. They were asked also the kind
and amount of seed, fertilizer and insecticide or fungicide ordi-
narily used in production. Their average yield per acre was
obtained. The data were summarized according to the most
common practices in each area. Most potato farms are geared
to tractor operation; hence, mule hours, if any, are not included.
The hours of labor for man and tractor are averages of estimates
of time required by farmers following the most usual practice.
Costs and Returns.-Data on costs of production, harvesting
and net returns were also obtained by personal interview with
growers. These data differ slightly from labor and materials
above, in that they represent the average of actual expenses
incurred in production rather than the most common practices in
an area. Records of actual costs and returns were used when
available and estimates were taken when records were not kept.
As complete a breakdown of the various items of cost as possible
was obtained from each grower. In so far as possible, growing
and harvesting costs were separated and labor items excluded
from costs of materials. The data were summarized by convert-
ing the record of each cooperator to a per-acre basis and then
computing a simple average of the sum of all records obtained in
each area for a particular season. In the interest of uniformity,
land rent was charged on all acreages at the prevailing rate re-
ported by growers in the area. This was done to avoid difficulties
of determination of a normal valuation, interest charge for use
of land, and pro-rating of land taxes in a period of fluctuating
values and prices.
Costs for materials, such as seed, fertilizer, spray, dust, feed,
fuels and containers, represent estimates or actual costs of sup-
plies used. Labor or machine costs of application were not in-
cluded with materials.
Labor cost included man labor, whether hired or family, re-
quired to produce the crop from ground preparation through
harvest. Separate items were made of cultural and harvest labor.






Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


Labor cost does not include supervision by the operator, since his
compensation is to a great extent dependent upon returns from
the sale of the crop.
Depreciation represents the annual per-acre charge for depre-
ciation and obsolescence of equipment to allow for replacement.
When actual depreciation charges could not be obtained from
records, they were computed by assuming a 10-year life-use on
all equipment on the basis of replacement value as indicated by
the grower.
Interest on production capital was charged at the rate of 6 per-
cent on all cash costs for the period required to grow and market
the crop. This percentage was used because it is believed to be
a normal interest rate.
Interest on machinery and equipment also was computed at
6 percent for four months. Since it was impossible to find enough
growers who had set up a depreciation schedule on capital in-
vested in machinery and equipment to make a fair interest charge
for its use, computations were made by assuming (1) a 10-year
life-use on all equipment; and (2) all equipment one-half depre-
ciated.
Crop sales were the gross per-acre return to the grower before
the deduction of any of the cost items, viz., f.o.b. returns. Net
return was computed as the difference between total crop cost
and crop sales.

Production of Potatoes in Florida
Irish potatoes are produced for local consumption during the
fall, winter and spring months. The commercial crop is classified
as to winter and spring production. Most counties produce some
potatoes but commercial production is limited to six major areas,
Fig. 1. The winter crop is produced in Dade, Palm Beach and Lee
counties, where damage from cold weather is less likely and the
crop can usually be harvested from December to March. The
spring crop for harvest in April, May and June is grown in St.
Johns, Flagler, Putnam, Clay, Alachua and Escambia counties.
Soil types in the six areas of production vary widely. In the
Hastings area, largest of the six, the soil is principally Bayboro-
Bladen fine sand and fine sandy loam. It is, for the most part,
rather poorly drained and the natural vegetation is pine and
native grasses. In the Dade County area, second largest, the
crop is grown on Perrine marl, also poorly drained. The Lee
County area uses Portsmouth and Scranton fine sands and in the







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Everglades, muck is capable of producing a good crop of potatoes
with very little fertilizer, if properly drained. In the LaCrosse
area of Alachua County the crop is produced on Blanton-Norfolk
and Leon-Portsmouth sands and sandy loams. Norfolk-Green-
ville and Norfolk-Orangeburg sandy loams are found in the
Escambia County area.
Acreage.-The acreage of Irish potatoes harvested in Florida
has ranged from 16,000 acres in the 1920-21 season to 35,300
acres in 1945-46 and has averaged 25,035 acres per year for the
31-year period 1918-19 to 1948-49. There has been a sharp drop
Thousand Million
Acres I Bushels


Seasons -
Fig. 2.-Harvested acreage and total production of Irish potatoes in
Florida, seasons 1917-18 to 1948-49.







TABLE 1.-ACREAGE, YIELD, PRODUCTION AND VALUE OF FLORIDA IRISH POTATOES, 1927-28 TO 1948-49, INCLUSIVE, AND 5-SEASON
AVERAGES, 1929-30 TO 1948-49.
Winter Spring


Year


Acreage Yield P
(bu.)


1927-281 7,000 50
1928-29 4,600 77
1929-30 4,800 86
1930-31 4,400 85
1931-32 3,500 83
1932-33 2,500 118
1933-34 6,400 140
1934-35 5,400 140
1935-36 6,500 104
1936-37 9,800 145
1937-38 11,800 145
1938-39 10,000 145
1939-40 9,500 90
1940-41 9,800 125
1941-42 8,600 165
1942-43 9,150 150
1943-44 10,500 110
1944-45 11,800 230
1945-46 13,600 175
1946-47 10,300 121
1947-48 7,300 205
1948-49 8.700 265
5-Seasoa Averages
1929-30-1933-34 4,320 105
1934-35-1938-39 8,700 138
1939-40-1943-44 9,510 127
1944-45-1948-49 10,340 196
' Seasonal data unavailable prior to 1927-28.


Unit
reductionn Value
(000) (per bu.)
350 $2.10
354 2.20
413 2.50
374 1.60
290 1.50
295 .90
896 1.20
756 1.27
676 1.30
1,421 1.55
1,711 .70
1,450 1.25
855 1.30
1,225 .95
1,419 1.55
1,372 1.95
1,155 2.85
2,714 2.50
2,380 2.30
1,246 2.00
1,496 2.70
2,306 2.35


Total
Value


(000)
$ 735
779
1,032
598
435
266
1,075
960
879
2,203
1,198
1,812
1,112
1,164
2,199
2,675
3,292
6,785
5,474
2,492
4,039
5,419


Unit
Acreage Yield Production Value
(bu.) (000) (per bu.)
24,000 148 3,547 $1.42
17,400 129 2,242 1.75
26,200 79 2,067 1.73
22,600 141 3,190 1.01
18,000 68 1,215 1.23
14,500 134 1,949 .84
17,100 140 2,394 1.10
19,400 85 1,649 .94
18,000 103 1,849 1.50
21,500 110 2,364 1.18
19,600 127 2,497 .71
16,700 121 2,013 .97
16,100 204 3,285 .81
17,000 112 1,904 .86
16,400 147 2,404 1.54
17,450 118 2,067 1.93
18,100 114 2,057 1.53
19,300 120 2,321 2.26
21,700 167 3,630 1.73
12,800 139 1,782 1.30
13,400 150 2,016 2.35
11,900 247 2,944 2.26


454 $1.50 $ 681 19,680 110 2,163 $1.16 $2,513
1,203 $1.17 $1,410 19,040 109 2,074 $1.04 $2,167
1,205 $1.73 $2,088 17,010 138 2,343 $1.29 $3,025
2,028 $2.39 $4,842 15,820 160 2,539 $1.99 $5,043


Total
Value
(000)
$5,050 0
3,916 m
3,574
3,220
1,498
1,642
2,633
1,544
2,773
2,795 .
1,762
1,962
2,654
1,639
3,702
3,992 C1
3,139
5,248 F.
6,270
2,317
4,733
6,645








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 2.-ACREAGE, YIELD, PRODUCTION AND VALUE OF FLORIDA IRISH POTATOES,
1917-18 TO 1948-49, INCLUSIVE, AND 5-SEASON AVERAGES,
1919-20 TO 1948-49


Year


1917-18
1918-19
1919-20
1920-21
1921-22
1922-23
1923-24
1924-25
1925-26
1926-27
1927-28
1928-29
1929-30
1930-31
1931-32
1932-33
1933-34
1934-35
1935-36
1936-37
1937-38
1938-39
1939-40
1940-41
1941-42
1942-43
1943-44
1944-45
1945-46
1946-47
1947-48
1948-49
5-Season Averages
1919-20-1923-24
1924-25-1928-29
1929-30-1933-34
1934-35-1938-39
1939-40-1943-44
1944-45-1948-49


in acreage since
acreage control.


Acreaee Yield
(bu.)
26,500 116
16,500 100
22,000 96
16,000 96
26,000 110
19,500 92
28,000 88
21,900 124
23,100 118
28,000 105
31,000 126
22,000 118
31,000 80
27,000 132
21,500 70
17,000 132
23,500 140
24,800 97
24,500 103
31,300 121
31,400 134
26,700 130
25,600 162
26,800 117
25,000 153
26,600 129
28,600 112
31,100 162
35,300 170
23,100 131
20,700 170
20,600 255


All
Production
(000)
3,U74
1,650
2,112
1,536
2,860
1,794
2,464
2,716
2,726
2,940
3,897
2,596
2,480
3,564
1,505
2,244
3,290
2,405
2,525
3,785
4,208
3,463
4,140
3,129
3,823
3,439
3,212
5,035
6,010
3,028
3,512
5,250


Unit Value
(per bu.)
$1.40
2.04
4.00
2.00
1.65
2.20
2.14
1.74
3.04
1.87
1.48
1.81
1.86
1.07
1.28
.85
1.13
1.04
1.45
1.32
.70
1.09
.91
.90
1.54
1.94
2.00
2.39
1.95
1.59
2.50
2.30


Total Value
(000)
$ 4,304
3,366
8,448
3,072
4,719
3,947
5,273
4,726
8,287
5,498
5,785
4,695
4,606
3,818
1,933
1,908
3,708
2,504
3,652
4,998
2,960
3,774
3,766
2,803
5,901
6,667
6,431
12,033
11,744
4,809
8,772
12,064


22,300 97 2,153 $2.37 $ 5,092
25,200 118 2,975 $1.95 $ 5,798
24,000 109 2,617 $1.22 $ 3,195
27,740 118 3,277 $1.09 $ 3,578
26,520 134 3,549 $1.44 $ 5,114
26,160 175 4,F67 $2.16 $ 9,884


the 1945-46 season, concurrent with postwar
A total of 23,100 acres in 1946-47, 20,700 acres


in 1947-48 and 20,600 acres in 1948-49 was harvested, Tables 1
and 2 and Fig. 2.
The acreage of winter potatoes increased from 2,500 acres in
1932-33 to 13,600 acres in 1945-46 and decreased to 7,300 acres
in the 1947-48 season. Much of the increase during the 1930's
was due to new planting in the rapidly developing Dade County
area.







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


The spring harvest has averaged 17,888 acres per year over
the past 20 seasons and has ranged from a peak of 26,200 acres
in 1929-30 to a low of 11,900 acres in 1948-49. Cabbage has re-
placed potatoes somewhat in the important Hastings area and
weather hazards the past three years have tended to lower plant-
ings in the LaCrosse area in favor of several other vegetable
crops.
Yields and Production.-Per-acre yields of Irish potatoes have
increased gradually during the past 20 years, Fig. 3. The 1948-49
state average yield of 255 bushels per acre was 50 percent higher
than any previously reported yearly average. Weather conditions


1919-20 192-25 1929-30 193-35 1939-40 1944-45 19i8-l9
Seasons -
Fig. 3.-Per-acre yield of Irish potatoes in Florida, seasons 1917-18 to
1948-49.

are a most important factor in determining yields from one sea-
son to another. Growers in South Florida areas prefer a rela-
tively dry growing season because it is easier for them to irrigate
than to drain the fields. Better methods of cultivation, improved
varieties, and insect and disease control have contributed largely
to increased yields. Yields of winter potatoes have shown the







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


largest increase. The Spaulding Rose and Katahdin varieties of
the early years have been replaced by the higher yielding Sebago
variety in the Hastings area. Approximately 95 percent of the
1949 production in the Hastings area was of the Sebago variety.
South Florida areas still plant some Bliss Triumphs but the
Pontiac variety is gaining favor rapidly. In 1948-49 approxi-
mately 75 percent of the Dade County crop was of the Pontiac
variety.
Harvested production of Irish potatoes in Florida reached a
peak of 6,010,000 bushels in the 1945-46 season, Tables 1 and 2.
Reduced acreage and a low yield in 1946-47 resulted in a total
production of 3,028,000 bushels. Average annual production for
the period 1919-20 to 1923-24 was 2,153,000 bushels and for the
1944-45 to 1948-49 period, 4,567,000 bushels. This increase in
average annual production was the result of increased yields.
There has been a decrease in average annual acreage harvested.
S-\ Prices and Value.-F.o.b. prices received by Florida Irish po-
tato producers averaged $2.37 per bushel for the 5-year period
1919-20 to 1923-24. In the four succeeding 5-year periods prices
ranged from $1.09 per bushel to $1.95 per bushel. In the period
1944-45 to 1948-49 they again passed the $2.00 mark, averaging
$2.16 per bushel. Prices dropped to a low point of $0.70 per

Dollars Per Bushel
4.00








I \
/ \ '

2.00 / inter





Spring


1919-20 1924-25 1929-30 19jh-35 1939-40 1944-45
Seasons -
Fig. 4.-Value per bushel of Irish potatoes in Florida, seasons 1917-18
to 1948-49.







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


bushel in the 1937-38 season. The $2.50 per bushel price received
during the 1947-48 season was the highest season average price
since the 1925-26 season and the third highest average price in
the previous 31 years, Fig. 4.
The price received for the winter crop usually has been higher
than that received for the spring crop. There was very little
difference in prices received for the two crops from the 1940-41
season to the 1942-43 season. Since that time winter potatoes
have sold from $0.09 to $1.32 per bushel higher than the spring
crop in the same season. The winter crop meets very little com-
petition from other new crop potatoes during the months from
December to March. The spring crop, on the other hand, meets
heavy competition from other new crop areas during the last
half of the season.
Yearly average prices received by Florida growers are affected
by the volume of production in Florida, the general level of
wholesale prices, stocks of Irish potatoes on hand January 1 of
each year, sweet potato production the previous year, and prices
of stored crop potatoes in the principal markets.
The total value of Florida's Irish potato crop has ranged from
$1,908,000 in 1932-33 to $12,064,000 in the 1948-49 season. By
5-year periods the average annual value of the crop ranged be-
tween three and six million dollars until the 1944-45 to 1948-49
period, when its average annual value was $9,884,000. For the
past 32 years the average annual value was $5,343,000.
Competition.-Irish potato producers in Florida must compete
with both new crop and stored crop shipments from other states
and with imports from other countries, Table 3 and Fig. 5. Im-
ports are small and have not averaged more than 565 carlots in
any month of the Florida shipping season during the past 10
years. The bulk of this movement is from Canada's stored crop.
Prior to World War II there were small imports of new crop
potatoes from the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico and Hawaii. Imports
from Cuba and Mexico were resumed in the 1948-49 season.
New crop shipments are made in small quantities from Cali-
fornia and Texas during January, February and March of
each year. Heavy shipments from these same states begin in
April and continue through July. Other new crop states ship-
ping heavily from May through July are Arizona, Alabama,
South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The peak of
Florida's new crop competition is usually reached the last week
in May or the first week in June. From then through July new









TABLE 3.-MONTHLY CARLOT SHIPMENTS OF IRISH POTATOES DURING THE FLORIDA SEASON FROM FLORIDA AND COMPETING STATES,
1939-40 TO 1948-49, INCLUSIVE
Year Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. April May June July Total

Florida'
1939-40 2 65 374 341 502 1,295 4,889 113 7,581
1940-41 13 103 423 498 863 1,027 2,240 94 4 5,265
1941-42 3 184 479 542 999 1,521 2,618 35 4 6,385
1942-43 81 373 490 737 22 1,574 1,484 4,761
1943-442 3 204 459 713 597 2,281 1,445 44 7 5,754
1944-45 206 604 837 1,781 2,155 2,170 65 6 7,824
1945-46 163 688 713 1,767 3,531 3,439 140 7 10,448
1946-47 1 70 241 552 760 516 2,631 61 6 4,838
1947-48 8 150 737 1,402 1,917 1,783 7 1 6,005
1948-49 11 255 885 2,494 4,912 736 1 9,294
Average 2 110 405 631 1,190 1,918 2,352 204 4 6,816


Other States New Crop
8 3 2,531
7 1 3,500
8 16 2,076
27 8 2,069
3 306 1,550

5 400 2,111
8 61 2,844
9 44 5,710
3 21 2,760
4 3 2,571


13,228
11,489
10,881
13,920
14,781

20,241
23,692
14,473
13,536
11,840


22,342
17,540
22,658
29,499
23,053

21,169
28,868
23,875
35,452


9,360
8,371

14,021

11,630
17,404
24,195
9,588


38,207
41,942
44,037
45,569
53,815

55,833
73,062
68,366
61,403
14,435


8 86 2,772 14,808 22,446 9,457 49,667


' Includes Florida truck shipments
2 One car shipped in October.
SIncludes some truck shipments.


except fcr 1942-43 when data were unavailable. Conversion factor 550 bushels.


1939-40
1940-413
1941-423
1942-43
1943-44

1944-45
1945-46
1946-47
1947-48
1948-493

Average






TABLE 3.-MONTHLY CARLOT SHIPMENTS OF IRISH POTATOES DURING THE FLORIDA SEASON FROM FLORIDA AND COMPETING STATES,
1939-40 TO 1948-49, INCLUSIVE (CONCLUDED).
Year Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. April May, June July Total

Other States Stored Crop Domestic
1939-40 8,111 20,829 17,471 22,306 14,035 6,508 398 89,658
1940-41 7,682 19,074 17,583 22,722 17,365 7,416 2,344 22 94,208
1941-42 12,465 19,951 16,108 19,650 18,998 6,445 878 12 94,507
1942-43 17,202 19,513 20,813 25,072 8,312 1,506 520 92,938
1943-44 14,725 22,740 22,411 28,615 15,396 8,786 1,591 20 114,284

1944-45 12,681 24,018 19,200 20,810 10,612 2,520 310 90,151
1945-46 17,372 27,475 21,901 26,666 16,118 5,960 451 115,943
1946-47 14,984 22,631 21,187 27,371 24,342 4,292 505 10 115,322
1947-48 23,776 20,603 29,219 16,938 6,876 898 98,310
1948-49 19,397 24,569 36,921 18,081 4,479 103,447

Average 10,522 21,940 20,185 25,935 16,020 5,479 790 6 100,877

New and Stored Crop Imports
1939-40 7 56 90 135 260 81 629
1940-41 5 9 15 241 147 43 140 6 606
1941-42 19 169 51 5 1 44 289
1942-43 190 73 81 439 141 14 10 948
1943-44 190 142 89 160 57 359 302 85 1,384

1944-45 739 1,032 1,240 1,398 1,168 482 8 8 6075
1945-46 373 430 232 300 171 42 9 1,557
1946-47 556 515 357 944 896 670 525 34 4,497
1947-48 483 370 397 235 24 1,509
1948-49 295 386 1,516 1,153 432 3,782

Average 205 299 285 565 415 233 108 18 2,128

Source: Noble, C. V., and Brooker, M. A., Florida Truck Crop Competition. Fla. Agri. Exp. Sta. Bul. 224, 1931, and Annual Supplements and
U. S. D. A. Vegetable Crops in Florida, Volume IV, Dec.. 1948







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Dec. Jan. Feb. Iar. Apr. Iay June July
Months -
Fig. 5.-Monthly carlot shipments of Irish potatoes from Florida and
competing areas, 10-year average, 1939-40 to 1948-49. (Includes truck
shipments as noted in Table 3.)

crop shipments decrease rapidly. Peak movement from Florida
is in late April and early May. During recent years, growers of
Florida's spring crop have made a concerted effort to complete
their harvest before June 1.
Domestic stored crop potatoes are a heavy competitor of Flor-
ida's new crop shipments from January through April. During
the past 10 seasons stored crop shipments have been heaviest in







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


March and declined rapidly thereafter. Maine, Idaho, North
Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado and Nebraska ship the bulk of the
stored crop movement during Florida's season.


Labor and Materials Requirements

Data on labor and materials requirements contained herein
reflect the most common practices in an area at the time this
study was made. Labor requirements may change considerably
over a period of years where new methods of operation are in-
troduced. Changes in the kinds and amounts of insecticides and
fungicides used have been rapid since World War II. Growers
should consult their county agents or other qualified individuals
concerning current recommendations.
In Tables 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are shown the usual labor require-
ments per acre and season of operations for producing and har-
vesting Irish potatoes in five of the six important producing
areas of Florida. Labor requirements for producing (40.8 man
hours per acre) were highest in the Hastings area and harvest-

TABLE 4.-IRISHI POTATOES: USUAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
AND SEASON OF OPERATIONS, LACROSSE AREA.

Usual Dates Times Hours per Acre
Operation Performed' Over Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Ditching and cleaning...----.... ---- 9/ 1-12/15 1 1.9
Breaking land----...-...-.......---- -- -. 9/ 1-10/31 1 1.0 1.0
Disking ....-------- 10/ 1-12/31 2 1.0 1.0
Laying off and bedding up ------- 12/ 1- 1/15 1 .9 .6
Cutting seed .....---....---......--- -----. 1/20- 2/10 1 6.4
Planting and fertilizing ........ -- 1/20- 2/10 1 5.1 .8
Cultivating and opening drains -. 2/ 1- 3/31 4 3.3 2.2
Dusting ------------- --. 3/15- 4/20 3 1.0 .8
Plowing water furrows...---- ----.. 12/15- 3/15 1 .2 .2
Total preharvest labor----- -----------.---- 20.8 6.6
Harvest:
Digging ---..--- --.....--..-- 4/25- 5/25 1.8 .9
Picking up ..........-- ___---...... ___..- 4/25- 5/25 31.5
Checking .-------------........._ -_. .-- 4/25- 5/25 .9
Hauling to packinghouse ..--..---. 4/25- 5/25 8.9
Grading, packing and loading .... 4/25- 5/25 13.0
Total harvest labor --------.----------..--....- 56.1 .9
Total labor-growing and harvesting 76.9 7.5
Estimated average yield: 142 bushels per acre.
Row width: average 40 inches.
Distance of hills: average 12 inches.
The first number indicates the month and the second number indicates the approxi-
mate date; thus, 1/15--2/10 refers to the period beginning around January 15 and
ending around February 10.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 5.-IRISH POTATOES: USUAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
AND SEASON OF OPERATIONS, HASTINGS AREA.

Usual Dates Times Hours per Acre
Operation Performed1 Over Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Ditching and replacing water
boxes .----- .. .---- 9/ 1-11/30 1 6.0
Cutting stalks or disking .------..-- 9/ 1- 9/30 1 .5 .5
Breaking .-... -------- 9/15-10/31 1 1.0 1.0
Disking -------- 10/ 1-11/30 3 1.8 1.8
Laying off, bedding up and
opening drains -----12/ 1-12/25 2 2.5 1.2
Cutting seed ____---- 12/20- 2/ 1 1 7.6
Planting, fertilizing and
opening drains _.... ---- 12/20- 2/ 1 1 6.6 1.1
Cultivating and opening drains 1/15- 3/15 4 5.5 2.4
Hceing and weeding -------- 3/ 1- 3/31 1 2.1
Dusting ------ .-- 3/ 1- 3/31 3 1.1 .8
Irrigating --- ----------. 1/15- 3/31 5.7
Plowing water furrows -- 11/15- 3/15 2 .4 .4
Total preharvest labor ---- -----. 40.8 9.2
Harvest:
Digging ...-....-. -----------.. ... 4/ 5- 5/15 2.2 1.1
Picking up .------------ 4/ 5- 5/15 31.5
Checking ------ -- 4/ 5- 5/15 1.1
Hauling to packinghouse ---..-.... 4/ 5- 5/15 7.7
Grading, packing and loading 4/ 5- 5/15 13.0
Total harvest labor.. -__ --____55.5 1.1
Total labor-growing and harvesting 96.3 10.3
Estimated average yield: 142 bushels per acre.
Row width: average 40 inches, Hastings; average 42 inches, Bunnell.
Distance of hills: average 111/2 inches.
SThe first number indicates the month and the second number indicates the approxi-
mate date; thus, 1/15-2/10 refers to the period beginning around January 15 and
ending around February 10.

ing (56.1 man hours per acre) were highest in the LaCrosse area.
The least amount of production labor (20.8 man hours per acre)
was required in the LaCrosse area and harvest labor require-
ments (39.3 man hours per acre) were lowest in the Lee County
area. In general, harvesting an average crop required more
labor than production. The season, soil type, drainage facilities,
availability of labor and location with respect to local markets
and shipping facilities are all factors affecting production and
marketing practices in the area.
Growers in the Everglades area begin preparing land for
planting between the first of July and middle of August. By the
middle of September they have the land in condition and begin
planting. From October 1 until the crop is ready for harvest it
is cultivated and sprayed regularly. A total of 27.1 man hours







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


and 7.3 tractor hours per acre was required to produce the crop.
Harvest usually begins in mid-December and is completed by the
end of January.
In Lee County land preparation is started around the first of
August, while growers in Dade County must wait until the first
of October or later to break the land. Lee County growers try to
complete their planting by the first of November, when planting
in Dade County begins. Harvest starts in Lee County about the
third week in January and is completed by March 1. In Dade
County harvest usually begins the first week in February and is
completed by the last of March. These two areas are direct
competitors in the market for a short period of time in February.
In the Hastings and LaCrosse areas land preparation is begun
in September. Planting starts in the Hastings area just before
Christmas and usually is completed by the first of February.
Planting begins in the LaCrosse area about January 20 and
usually is completed by February 10. Harvest begins the last
week in March in Hastings and is completed shortly after the

TABLE 6.-IRISH POTATOES: USUAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
AND SEASON OF OPERATIONS, EVERGLADES AREA.

Usual Dates Times Hours per Acre
Operation Performed' Over Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Rundown or disking --....---......-- 7/ 1- 8/15 1 .3 .3
Breaking -....... __--- 7/15- 8/15 1 1.1 1.1
Disking ..----_- -------__ ----------... 7/20- 9/30 4 1.2 1.2
Ditching and mole draining ---- 8/15- 9/15 1 2.5 .3
Leveling and dragging- -- 8/15- 9/15 1 .6 .3
Disinfecting seed -- -------. 9/15- 9/30 1 1.5
Cutting seed ------- 9/15- 9/30 1 7.6
Treating seed (stimulant) ---------- 9/15- 9/30 1 1.5
Planting and fertilizing -----.... 9/15- 9/30 1 5.3 .7
Cultivating ------------ 10/ 1-11/30 4 1.3 1.3
Spraying ------.. --... --..------------ 10/ 1-12/15 8 4.2 2.1
Total preharvest -----27.1 7.3
Harvest:
Digging .--- 12/15- 1/31 1.8 .9
Picking up -. --- 12/15- 1/31 26.3
Hauling to packinghouse ----..--- 12/15- 1/31 8.0
Grading, packing and loading --. 12/15- 1/31 14.5 -
Total harvest labor ..._--...---- -.._-... 50.6 .9
Total labor-growing and harvesting 77.7 8.2


Estimated average yield: 175 bushels per acre.
Row width: average 32-34 inches.
Distance of hills: average 10 inches.
SFall crop. The first number indicates the month and the second number indicates
the approximate date; thus, 1/15-2/10 refers to the period beginning around
January 15 and ending around February 10.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 7.-IRISH POTATOES: USUAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
AND SEASON OF OPERATIONS, DADE COUNTY AREA.
Usual Dates Times Hours per Acre
Operation Performed1 Over Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Cover crop:
Disking 4/15- 5/31 3 1.5 1.5
Planting --__--....--------..-- 5/ 1- 5/31 1 1.6 .8
Cultivating -- ----------- 5/20- 6/15 1 .6 .6
Potato crop:
Breaking land --------- 10/ 1-10/20 1 2.0 2.0
Disking -------....--------------.... 10/ 1-11/15 4 2.0 2.0
Unloading seed ...---------------.. 9/20-10/15 1 .9
Disinfecting seed -... ----- 10/10-10/31 1 2.0
Cutting seed -- 11/ 1-11/20 1 8.8
Planting and fertilizing-.- 11/ 1-11/20 1 5.0 1.0
Cultivating------- 11/10-12/31 5 2.7 2.7
Spraying .-------..... ------ ------.- 11/25- 1/31 12 4.9 2.4
Total preharvest labor-_ --..-.--- 32.0 13.0
Harvest:
Digging 2/ 1- 3/31 2.5 1.2
Picking up _.....-- --- ------ ----. 2/ 1- 3/31 21.8
Loading in field ..- 2/ 1- 3/31 3.3
Hauling to packinghouse.--------- 2/ 1- 3/31 4.6
Grading, packing and loading -- 2/ 1- 3/31 15.0
Total harvest labor __-__---- -----. 47.2 1.2
Total labor-growing and harvesting 79.2 14.2
Estimated average yield: 200 bushels per acre.
Row width: average 36-38 inches.
Distance of hills: average 6-8 inches.
1 The first number indicates the month and the second number indicates the approxi-
mate date; thus, 1/15-2/10 refers to the period beginning around January 15 and
ending around February 10.

middle of May. The LaCrosse area is about two weeks later.
The usual materials requirements per acre for producing Irish
potatoes by areas in Florida are shown in Table 9. Growers in
the LaCrosse area planted from 750 to 1,000 pounds of seed per
acre, as contrasted with an average of 1,800 pounds of seed per
acre in Dade County and 1,300 pounds in the Hastings area. The
Everglades area used an average of 500 pounds of fertilizer per
acre on its muck land, as compared to an average of around one
ton per acre in the other four areas. All fertilizer was applied in
one application at planting time in all areas except Lee County.
In that area one-half of the total amount was applied at planting
and a second application made 10 days to two weeks later.
Nabam (dithane D-14 or liquid parzate), combined with zinc
sulfate and hydrated lime, was used almost wholly in the Lee
County, Dade County and Everglades areas as a control for late
blight. The spray was applied with tractor-drawn power spray-








Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


ers every few days at the rate of 85 to 125 gallons per acre per
application.
Most growers in the Hastings and LaCrosse areas were not
equipped to spray for late blight, so were using dust as a control.
They applied an average of 45 pounds per acre of basic or neutral
copper dust in three applications in the LaCrosse area. In the
Hastings area growers used from 80 to 175 pounds per acre of
basic or neutral copper dust in three to seven applications at
weekly intervals. Copper dusts containing 3 percent DDT also
are used when needed for controlling Colorado potato beetles and
other insects, with the exception of aphids.

TABLE 8.-IRISH POTATOES: USUAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
AND SEASON OF OPERATIONS, LEE COUNTY AREA.

Usual Dates Times Hours per Acre
Operation Performed1 Over Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Cover crop:
Planting 3/15- 3/31 1 .3
Disking in cover crcp -- 3/15- 3/31 2 .8 .8
Ditching and cleaning.--------- 8/ 1-10/31 1 4.7
Disking under cover crop --- -- 8/ 1- 8/31 2 .8 .8
Potato crop:
Breaking (disk or bottom plow) 8/ 1- 9/15 1 1.1 1.1
Disking .--. ...- -------- 8/15- 9/15 2 .8 .8
Breaking (tiller) ---------- 8/15- 9/15 1 .7 .7
Dragging or spring-tooth
harrow ---- 10/ 1-10/15 2 .5 .5
Unloading seed -- --9/ 1- 9/30 1 .6
Treating seed (stimulant) ..... 9/20-10/15 1 1.5
Cutting seed (machine) .------ 10/10-10/31 1 5.72
Planting and fertilizing...---- 10/10-10/31 1 3.3 .8
Boarding off --.- -- 10/20-11/15 1 .3 .3
Fertilizing ---- 10/20-11/20 1 1.2 .6
Other cultivation --- 11/ 1-12/15 2 1.0 1.0
Spraying --- 10/25-12/10 9 4.6 2.3
Irrigating 10/10-12/31 4.0
Total preharvest labor 31.9 9.7
Harvest:
Digging ---- .-- 1/20- 3/ 1 1.6 .8
Picking up (excluding foreman)- 1/20- 3/ 1 17.2
Loading in field-- 1/20- 3/ 1 3.0
Hauling to packinghouse. 1/20- 3/ 1 1.7
Grading, packing and loading 1/20- 3/ 1 15.8_
Total harvest labor- -__39.3 .8
Total labor-growing and harvesting 71.2 10.5
Estimated average yield: 200 bushels per acre.
Row width: average 36 inches.
Distance of hills: average 7-8 inches.
SThe first number indicates the month and the second number indicates the approxi-
mate date; thus, 1/15-2/10 refers to the period beginning around January 15 and
ending around February 10.
2 Hand cutting requires about twice as much labor.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE 9.-IRsIS POTATOES: USUAL MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS PER ACRE
IN SELECTED AREAS IN FLORIDA.
Amount Required
Item Kind Range Usual

LaCrosse Area
Seed Sebago 750-1,000 lb 900 lb.
Fertilizer 4-8-6; 4-7-5 2,000 lb.
Dust Fixed copper dusts 20- 75 lb. 45 lb.
Containers 100 lb. burlap 85 bags
Hastings Area
Seed Sebago 900-1,500 lb. 1,300 lb.
Fertilizer 5-7-5; 4-8-6 1,800-2,500 lb. 2,100 lb.
Dust Fixed copper dusts,
Zineb (dithane Z-78
or dry parzate) 80- 175 lb. 110 lb.
Containers 100 lb. burlap 85 bags
Everglades Area
Seed disinfectant-
Hot formaldehyde 1:120 @ 122 F. for 3
min. .6 pt.'
Seed Bliss Triumph 1,100-1,300 lb. 1,200 lb.
Seed stimulant Ethylene chlorohy-
drin, 40% .8- 1.6 pt. .8 pt.
Fertilizer 0-8-24 (incl. zn, cu,
mn, bo.) 400- 700 lb. 500 lb.
Spray Nabam (dithane D-14
or liquid parzate),
chlorinated insecti-
cides, nicotine sulfate 600-1,100 gal. 800 gal.
Containers 50 lb. burlap 210 bags
' 7% gal. 40% formaldehyde treats 1,200 bags (100 lb. each) of potatoes.
Dade County Area
Cover crop seed Velvet beans .5- 1.0 bu. .75 bu.
Seed Bliss Triumph, Pontiac 1,500-1,980 lb. 1,800 lb.
Fertilizer 4-7-5; 4-8-6; 4-8-5 1,800-2,065 lb. 2,000 lb.
Seed disinfectant Formaldehyde .5- 2.4 pt. .7 pt.
Bichloride of mercury 3.0- 4.6 oz. 4.0 oz.
Muriatic acid .5- .7 pt. .6 pt.
Spray Nabam (dithane D-14
or liquid parzate),
chlorinated insecti-
cides, nicotine sulfate 850-3,000 gal. 2,100 gal.
Containers 50 lb. burlap, paper 240 bags
Lee County Area
Cover crop seed Sesbania 25- 32 lb. 30 lb.
Seed Bliss Triumph, Pontiac 1,380-1,920 lb. 1,620 lb.
Fertilizer (initial
application) 5-7-5; 4-7-5; 5-8-6; 5-8-8 800-1,000 lb. 1,000 lb.
Fertilizer (second
application) 5-7-5; 4-7-5; 5-8-6; 5-8-8 1,000-1,200 lb. 1,000 lb.
Seed stimulant Ammonium thio-
cyanate 1- 3 lb. 2 lb.
Spray Nabam (dithane D-14
or liquid parzate),
chlorinated insecti-
cides, nicotine sulfate 1,000-1,200 gal. 1,125 gal.
Container 50 lb. burlap, paper 240 bags







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes 23

Costs and Returns

Per-acre and per-unit costs and returns by areas for the
1946-47, 1947-48, and 1948-49 seasons are shown in Tables 10, 11,
12, and 13. On a per-acre basis, total cost of production was
highest in the Lee County area and lowest in the LaCrosse area
for the three seasons. LaCrosse growers used less seed per acre
and reported fewer hours of man labor in producing the crop
than the other areas. Seed cost was highest in Dade County
and cost of fertilizer, spray material and labor highest in Lee
County in 1946-47. In 1947-48 fertilizer and spray material
cost was highest in Lee County and seed and labor cost highest
in the Dade County area. In 1948-49 Dade County had the
highest cost for seed. Lee County was highest for fertilizer and
labor and the Everglades for spray and dust material.
Cost of production per 100 pounds of potatoes harvested was
highest in the Everglades area in 1946-47, in the LaCrosse area
in 1947-48, and in Lee County in 1948-49. Weather hazards
were responsible for the short crops in these areas. Yields in
all areas except Lee County were considerably higher in 1948-49
than in the previous two seasons. Consequently, with the ex-
ception noted above, per-unit cost of production was lower in the
1948-49 season.. Per-unit cost of production within an area
varies almost inversely with the yield harvested per acre.
Harvesting cost ranged from $67.63 per acre in the Everglades
area to $112.40 per acre in Dade County in 1946-47. During the
1947-48 season harvesting cost ranged from $36.66 per acre in
LaCrosse to $198.71 per acre in the Everglades area. In 1948-49
harvesting cost ranged from $95.83 per acre in LaCrosse to
$274.30 per acre in the Everglades area.
Per-unit cost of harvesting ranged from $0.88 per 100 pounds
in the Hastings area in 1948-49 to $1.74 per 100 pounds in the
Everglades area in 1946-47. Total harvesting cost is almost
directly proportional to yield per acre. Such items of cost as
packing, container and commission vary directly with yield.
Labor and machine cost will be proportionately somewhat less
for a large crop than a small one.
Growers with a high yield can usually harvest at a cost per unit
slightly below the area average and realize a higher net profit
than those growers with an average or low yield. Too, those
growers with a product of above-average quality who can harvest
at average or less than average per-unit cost will realize a higher









TABLE 10.-IRIsI POTATOES: PER ACRE AND PER UNIT COSTS AND RETURNS IN SELECTED AREAS IN FLORIDA, SEASON 1946-47. 3
Item LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee
Number of growers.------ 14 28 5 33 6
Number of acres._.-------- 356.0 2504.0 526.0 3308.0 573.0
Average acres per grower 25.5 89.4 105.0 100.2 95.5
Average yield per acre
(bushels) _____...-------- 115.0 118.7 64.8 163.2 112.5
(100 lb. sacks) 69.0 71.2 38.9 97.9 67.5 o
Growing Costs: Average per Acre Average per 100 lb.
Land rent ...........- $ 6.37 $ 18.73 $ 16.86 $ 25.13 $ 38.33 $ 0.092 $ 0.263 $ 0.433 $0.257 $0.568
Seed ..-------- 40.00 49.28 55.25 75.80 75.28 .580 .692 1.420 .774 1.115
Fertilizer -39.04 44.37 19.75 40.16 58.04 .566 .623 .508 .410 .860 I
\Spray and dust .... 5.20 8.92 32.02 22.53 39.01 .075 .125 .823 .230 .578 5.
Cultural labor ....... .--- 17.97 33.38 30.42 42.86 44.67 .260 .469 .782 .438 .662
'Mule feed ..--------. 5.56 1.00 .081 .014
Gas, oil and grease 5.14 7.39 11.65 8.79 9.42 .074 .104 .300 .090 .140
Repair and maintenance 5.17 9.53 9.35 7.41 10.08 .075 .134 .240 .076 .149
Depreciation ..- -7.26 8.55 13.89 8.76 11.67 .105 .120 .357 .089 .173
\Licenses and insurance 1.37 1.33 1.39 2.79 2.44 .020 .019 .036 .028 .036
,Interest on production
capital (6% 4 mos.) 2.55 3.50 3.66 4.59 5.55 .037 .049 .094 .047 .082 n
Int. on capital invested
(other than land) ._ .73 .85 1.39 .88 1.16 .011 .012 .036 .009 .017
Miscellaneous expense- 1.52 .82 6.14 4.27 .022 .012 .158 .044
Total growing cost..--___ -. $137.88 $187.65 $201.77 $243.97 $295.65 $ 1.998 $ 2.636 $ 5.187 $2.492 $ 4.380
Harvesting costs: tQ
Picking labor $ 17.61 $ 13.98 $ 12.28 $ 13.57 $ 10.22 $ 0.255 $ 0.196 $ 0.316 $0.139 $ 0.151
Grading, packing labor 14.61 19.89 23.36 49.53 24.22 .212 .279 .600 .506 .359 -.
Tractor and digger use_ 7.14 7.16 .104 .106 0
Containers and twine 16.91 15.35 16.76 24.08 23.55 .245 .216 .431 .246 .349
Hauling -----------7.59 8.26 7.00 6.08 4.25 .110 .116 .180 .062 .063
Commission ..--- 8.36 10.53 8.23 19.14 10.83 .121 .148 .212 .195 .161
Total harvesting cost --- $ 72.22 $ 68.01 $ 67.63 $112.40 $ 80.23 $ 1.047 $ 0.955 $ 1.739 $1.148 $ 1.189
Total crop cost --- $210.10 $255.66 $269.40 $356.37 $375.88 $ 3.045 $ 3.591 $ 6.926 $3.640 $ 5.569
Crop sales ----- $175.60 $190.69 $170.02 $378.27 $319.00 $ 2.545$ 2.678 $ 4.371 $3.864 $ 4.726
Net return ----------- $-34.50 $-64.97 $-99.38 $ 21.90 $-56.88 $-0.500 $-0.913 $-2.555 $0.224 $-0.843






TABLE 11.-IRISH POTATOES: PER ACRE AND PER UNIT COSTS AND RETURNS IN SELECTED AREAS IN FLORIDA, SEASON 1947-48.
Item LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee
Number of growers -..--..- 13 27 3 37 4
Number of acres --.---... 245.0 2637.5 280.0 3288.0 580.9
Average acres per grower 18.8 97.7 93.0 88.9 145.2
Average yield per acre
(bushels) ---------. 62.5 161.7 214.8 230.8 255.8
(100 lb. sacks) --.... 37.5 97.0 128.9 138.5 153.5
Growing costs: Average per Acre Average per 100 lb.
Land rent ..---- ---. $ 7.48 $ 17.22 $ 14.50 $ 27.82 $ 36.50 $ 0.199 $0.178 $0.112 $0.201 $0.238 >
Seed ------..---------.... 42.32 64.87 47.84 75.33 70.27 1.129 .669 .371 .544 .458 n
Fertilizer ---.-.....---..----. 42.67 51.35 18.34 44.54 59.32 1.138 .529 .142 .322 .386 "
Spray and dust ...----_-----. 3.03 9.48 16.95 24.15 28.97 .081 .098 .132 .174 .189 1
Airplane application-.... .55 .76 .015 .008
Cultural labor ....----....... 28.77 35.16 18.94 38.60 34.38 .767 .362 .147 .279 .224 o
Machine hire -----........-- .54 2.08 1.07 .014 .016 .008
Mule feed -.---...-------. 4.78 .78 .127 .008
Gas, oil and grease ..... 4.89 8.61 8.07 10.22 8.45 .130 .089 .063 .074 .055 "
Repair and maintenance 3.56 8.98 8.57 9.32 7.82 .095 .093 .066 .067 .051
Depreciation --.--- ---. 4.68 9.22 7.15 12.60 8.83 .125 .095 .056 .091 .057
Licenses and insurance 1.12 1.75 1.76 4.00 1.38 .030 .018 .014 .029 .009
Interest on production
capital (6% 4 mos.) 2.79 4.01 2.74 4.76 4.94 .074 .041 .021 .034 .032 0.
Int. on capital invested -
(other than land) ..-...... .47 .92 .72 1.26 .88 .013 .009 .006 .009 .006
Miscellaneous expense- 1.38 2.92 .014 .021 o
Total growing cost.-----...... $147.65 $214.49 $147.66 $256.59 $261.74 $ 3.937 $2.211 $1.146 $1.853 $1.705 S
Harvesting costs: <"
Picking labor ----. -- $ 9.95 $ 15.00 $ 31.15 $ 20.28 $ 18.43 $ 0.265 $0.154 $0.242 $0.146 $0.120
Grading, packing labor 5.28 23.73 60.25 65.90 62.13 .141 .245 .467 .476 .405
Tractor and digger use 1.18 .032
Containers and twine... 11.52 23.65 50.55 29.13 51.77 .307 .244 .392 .210 .337
Hauling __------_ 4.12 10.03 25.76 9.49 11.95 .110 .103 .200 .069 .078
Commission ..-------4.61 14.72 31.00 25.04 27.70 .123 .152 .240 .181 .181
Total harvesting cost ..-.. $ 36.66 $ 87.13 $198.71 $149.84 $171.98 $ 0.978 $0.898 $1.541 $1.082 $1.121
Total crop cost __--- $184.31 $301.62 $346.37 $406.43 $433.72 $ 4.915 $3.109 $2.687 $2.935 $2.826
Crop sales ..----- $114.11 $417.97 $456.30 $616.14 $549.64 $ 3.043 $4.309 $3.540 $4.449 $3.581
Net return __--- $-70.20 $116.35 $109.93 $209.71 $115.92 $-1.872 $1.200 $0.853 $1.514 $0.755 n









TABLE 12.-IRISH POTATOES: PER ACRE AND PER UNIT COSTS AND RETURNS IN SELECTED AREAS IN FLORIDA, SEASON 1948-49.


Item LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee
Number of growers ..------- 6 23 3 43 6
Number of acres __.__---...... 33.9 2688.0 500.0 3953.0 726.0
Average acres per grower 5.6 116.9 166.7 263.5 121.0
Average yield per acre
(bushels) ._.. ......------ 153.3 256.3 297.0 294.3 208.7
(100 lb. sacks) 92.0 153.8 178.2 176.6 125.2
Growing costs: Average per Acre
Land rent --------- $ 8.00 $ 17.89 $ 21.67 $ 30.40 $ 32.08
Seed ______ 43.63 56.63 62.52 81.37 70.92
Fertilizer --- 39.29 53.87 25.54 46.96 60.96
Spray and dust. -. 3.47 15.25 27.90 20.13 21.36
Cultural labor ---- 20.25 33.37 18.36 34.77 38.33
Machine hire 1.97 1.92
Mule feed ------ 4.20 .83
Gas, oil and grease --- 8.18 10.30 10.86 9.71 18.55
Repair and maintenance 5.68 9.77 13.05 8.70 14.88
Depreciation -------- 6.71 9.86 10.28 12.60 18.54
Licenses and insurance 1.92 2.16 1.94 3.19 6.32
Interest on production
capital (6% 4 mos.) 2.71 4.16 3.68 4.85 5.44
Int. on capital invested
(other than land) ..---. .67 .99 1.03 1.26 1.85
Miscellaneous expense_ 1.03 8.19 5.46 8.26
Total growing cost....--- $145.74 $223.27 $198.80 $261.32 $297.49
Harvesting costs:
Picking labor ....-----.. $ 26.26 $ 20.13 $ 27.18 $ 21.86 $ 17.22
Grading, packing labor 14.69 37.52 97.54 87.28 70.66
Containers ----- ...36.89 37.16 82.85 34.08 44.37
Hauling ...---- ---_----. -- 7.76 18.22 31.10 15.78 17.73
Commission ---_----...... 10.23 22.61 35.63 29.43 25.47
Total harvesting cost ... $ 95.83 $135.64 $274.30 $188.43 $175.45
Total crop cost --- $241.57 $358.91 $473.10 $449.75 $472.94
Crop sales- ..._--...------ $334.72 $532.87 $659.24 $648.30 $569.36
Net return --............. $ 93.15 $173.96 $186.14 $198.55 $ 96.42


LaCrosse Hastings Everglades Dade Lee





Average per 100 lb.
$0.087 $0.116 $0.122 $0.172 $0.256
.474 .368 .351 .461 .566
.427 .350 .143 .266 .487
.038 .099 .156 .114 .171
.220 .217 .103 .197 .306
.011 .011
.046 .006
.089 .067 .061 .055 .148
.062 .064 .073 .049 .119
.073 .064 .058 .071 .148
.021 .014 .011 .018 .051
.029 .027 .021 .028 .043
.007 .007 .006 .007 .015
.011 .053 .031 .066
$1.584 $1.452 $1.116 $1.480 $2.376
$0.286 $0.131 $0.152 $0.124 $0.138
.160 .244 .547 .494 .564 S.
.401 .242 .465 .193 .354
.084 .118 .175 .089 .142
.111 .147 .200 .167 .203
$1.042 $0.882 $1.539 $1.067 $1.401
$2.626 $2.334 $2.655 $2.547 $3.777
$3.638 $3.465 $3.699 $3.671 $4.547
$1.012 $1.131 $1.044 $1.124 $ .770








Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


TABLE 18.-SUMMARY OF PER UNIT COSTS AND RETURNS IN SELECTED AREAS IN
FLORIDA, SEASONS 1946-47, 1947-48 AND 1948-49.


Item and Season
Average'Yield per Acre:
1946-47-
1947-48 -----
1948-49 -
Total Growing Cost:
1946-47 ----------
1947-48 ---... --
1948-49 ..._-------
Total Harvesting Cost:
1946-47 ----
1947-48---- ----
1948-49 ...-------
Total Crop Cost:
1946-47 --------
1947-48 -------
1948-49 -_ --- ----------
Crop Sales:
1946-47 ...---------
1947-48---- ---
1948-49 ----- -----
Net Return:
1946-47 ------ -------------.
1947-48 --....----- --- .
1948-49 ---..... ------


LaCrosse Hastings Everglades
100 lb. Sacks


69.0 71.2
37.5 97.0
92.0 153.8
Average
$ 1.998 $ 2.636 $
3.937 2.211
1.584 1.452


$ 1.047
.978
1.042


$ 0.955
.898
.882


$ 3.045 $ 3.591
4.915 3.109
2.626 2.334

$ 2.545 $ 2.678
3.043 4.309
3.638 3.465


$-0.500
-1.872
1.012


Dade Lee


38.9 97.9 67.5
128.9 138.5 153.5
178.2 176.6 125.2
per 100 Lbs.
5.187 $ 2.492 $ 4.380
1.146 1.853 1.705
1.116 1.480 2.376


$ 1.739
1.541
1.539


$ 1.148
1.082
1.067


$ 6.926 $-3.640
2.687 2.935
2.655 2.547


$ 4.371
3.540
3.699


$-0.913 $-2.555
1.200 0.853
1.131 1.044


$ 3.864
4.449
3.671


$ 1.189
1.121
1.401

$ 5.569
2.826
3.777

$ 4.726
3.581
4.547


$ 0.224 $-0.843
1.514 0.755
1.124 0.770


net profit per unit. Marketing a quality product usually pays
off in better returns to the grower.
Yields were higher in all areas except LaCrosse in the 1947-48
season. Cost of harvesting per 100 pounds was from $0.06 less
in Hastings to $0.20 less per unit in the Everglades area than in
the 1946-47 season, despite some slight increase in daily wage
rate and container cost.
Growers in the LaCrosse area lost money in 1946-47 and
1947-481. Of the other areas, Dade County alone showed a profit
from Irish potatoes in the 1946-47 season. The other four areas
made a profit in the 1947-48 season, with Dade County showing
highest returns per acre and per 100 pounds. Profits in the
1948-49 season ranged from $0.77 per hundredweight in Lee
County to $1.13 per hundredweight in the Hastings area. In no
other season on record have Irish potato prices and yields been so
simultaneously satisfactory for Florida growers as in the 1948-
49 season.

Summary
Irish potatoes are Florida's fourth most important commercial
vegetable crop in value of production. They are produced to
some extent in most counties during the fall, winter or spring







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


months. The commercial crop is classified as to winter and
spring production and is confined to six major areas. In order
of acreage harvested in 1949 these areas were: Hastings, Dade,
LaCrosse, Everglades, Lee and Escambia. The winter crop is
produced in the South Florida areas and the spring crop in the
North and West Florida areas.
The acreage of Irish potatoes harvested in Florida has aver-
aged 26,105 acres per year since the 1929-30 season. Of this
amount, approximately 31 percent has been for winter and 69
percent for spring harvest.
Per-acre yields of Irish potatoes have increased gradually dur-
ing the past 20 years. Planting of improved varieties, such as
the Sebago and Pontiac, and improvement in disease control
methods have been major factors in increasing yields. The high-
est state average yield on record, 255 bushels per acre, was har-
vested during the 1948-49 season under ideal weather conditions.
F.o.b. prices received for Florida Irish potatoes have ranged
from $0.70 per bushel in the 1937-38 season to $4.00 per bushel
in the 1919-20 season. Prices received for the winter crop
usually have been higher than those received for the spring crop.
Average annual value of the crop for the past 32 years has
been $5,343,000. The 1948-49 crop was valued at $12,064,000.
Florida Irish potatoes must compete with new crop production
from California, Arizona, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, North
Carolina and Virginia and with domestic stored-crop shipments
from Northern, Midwestern and Western states. Imports from
Canada's stored-crop and new-crop imports from Cuba and Mexico
offer some competition.
From 20.8 to 40.8 man hours were required to produce an acre
of Irish potatoes in Florida and from 39.3 to 56.1 man hours were
required in harvesting an acre.
Growers in the LaCrosse area used an average of 900 pounds
of seed per acre, Everglades used 1,200 pounds, Hastings 1,300
pounds, Lee County 1,620 pounds and Dade County 1,800 pounds.
From 2,000 to 2,100 pounds of fertilizer per acre were used in all
areas except the Everglades, where growers used 500 pounds per
acre.
Late blight is the most serious disease affecting the production
of Irish potatoes in Florida. It was controlled by the use of a
spray mixture of Nabam (dithane D-14 or liquid parzate), zinc
sulfate and hydrated lime in the Lee County, Dade County and







Returns on Florida Irish Potatoes


Everglades areas. In the Hastings and LaCrosse areas late
blight was controlled by the use of basic or neutral copper dusts.
Irish potatoes are usually shipped to market in 50-pound paper
bags and 50 or 100-pound mesh bags.
Cost of production varies between areas according to the
materials used and amount of labor required in producing the
crop. Total production cost per acre was lowest in the LaCrosse
area and highest in Lee County for the three seasons studied.
Harvesting cost per unit varies almost inversely with the har-
vested yield per acre in an area. Per-unit costs between areas
varied as much as $0.78 per 100 pounds in 1946-47, $0.64 per 100
pounds in 1947-48, and $0.66 per 100 pounds in 1948-49. Wages
paid to labor and differences in size, type and cost of containers
used were responsible for most of the variation.
Growers in the LaCrosse area had two poor seasons in a row
and lost heavily because of low yields. The Dade County area
had a below-average yield in 1946-47 but managed to show a
slight profit. Yields and prices were generally good in 1947-48
and most areas showed a substantial profit. The combination of
high yields and good prices made 1948-49 a very satisfactory
season in Florida.




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