• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 Abstract
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Executive summary
 Introduction
 Objectives
 Procedures
 Economic impact of agriculture...
 Descriptive overview of agriculture...
 Reference






Group Title: Industry report - Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, University of Florida - 97-1
Title: Economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness in Dade County, Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026928/00001
 Material Information
Title: Economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness in Dade County, Florida
Series Title: FAMRC industry report
Physical Description: xiii, 74 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Degner, Robert L
Moss, Susan D
Mulkey, W. David
Florida Agricultural Market Research Center
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, Food and Resource Economics Dept., Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: <1997>
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County   ( lcsh )
Agricultural industries -- Economic aspects -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 73-74).
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert L. Degner, Susan D. Moss, W. David Mulkey.
General Note: "August 31, 1997."
General Note: "Submitted to the Dade County Farm Bureau in fulfillment of Sponsored Program Agreement 96093-C."
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026928
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002303563
oclc - 37974550
notis - ALQ6870

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Preface
        Page i
    Abstract
        Page ii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of Tables
        Page viii
        Page ix
    List of Figures
        Page x
    Executive summary
        Page xi
        Page xiii
        Page xiii
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Objectives
        Page 1
    Procedures
        Page 2
    Economic impact of agriculture upon Dade County's economy
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Descriptive overview of agriculture in Dade County
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
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        Page 72
    Reference
        Page 73
        Page 74
Full Text




UNIVERSITY OF

FLORIDA



Economic Impact of Agriculture

and Agribusiness in Dade County,

Florida



FAMRC Industry Report 97-1
August 1997


A Report by
Robert L. Degner
Susan D. Moss
W. David Mulkey


Submitted to Dade County Farm Bureau
in Fulfillment of Sponsored Program Agreement 96093-C
by the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center
Food and Resource Economics Department
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0240

_____ 1










Economic Impact of Agriculture and
Agribusiness in Dade County, Florida






Submitted to the
Dade County Farm Bureau
in fulfillment of
Sponsored Program Agreement
96093-C





by
Robert L. Degner
Susan D. Moss
W. David Mulkey




August 31, 1997




the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center
a part of the
Food and Resource Economics Department
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0240


!J *: '.-. 't r 'i- Lf.li:4 L.i I. ir i LZ)








PREFACE


This study was conducted at the request of numerous individuals in Dade County
representing agricultural and business interests and local government. It was conducted with
the financial support of the Dade County Farm Bureau.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do
not necessarily represent those of the grantors.







ABSTRACT
This study evaluates the importance of agricultural production and related activities to
Dade County's economy. Data for analyses were based on published and unpublished data and
interviews with growers, shippers, extension personnel and others familiar with Dade County
agriculture. Input-output analysis was used to determine the economic impact of agricultural
subsectors, i.e., fruit, vegetable and nursery subsectors, on the Dade County economy and
economic interrelationships with other sectors of the county's economy. Input-output analysis
showed sales of agricultural products contributed $834 million to Dade County output and
almost $200 million to the county's income. The nursery industry contributed the most in
terms of dollars, followed by the vegetable industry and then the fruit industry. Descriptions
of selected commodities produced in the county and a historical view of agriculture in the
county are also reported.


Keywords: Agriculture, Economic Impact, Input-Output Analysis, Fruits, Vegetables,
Ornamental Horticulture.







ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study would have been impossible without the cooperation of the many
organizations and individuals interested in the future of agriculture in Dade County. We are
grateful to the Dade County Farm Bureau for their financial support and to Tom Kirby,
Executive Director, Dade County Farm Bureau, for handling administrative details associated
with the project. We are also grateful to the Dade County chapter of the Florida Nurserymen
& Growers Association for their endorsement of the nursery survey.
Technical assistance was also provided by many organizations and individuals. Special
thanks go to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, the Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services, to members of the Florida Nurserymen Growers Association for
providing data, the Florida Lime and Avocado Administrative Committees, The Florida
Tomato Committee, Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida, Inc., J. R. Brooks & Son, Inc.
and Couture-Allen, Inc.
Technical support was also given by Dr. Carlos Balerdi and Mr. De Hull, horticultural
specialists with the Florida Agricultural Extension Service in Dade County. Dr. Jonathan
Crane of the IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, also provided
invaluable assistance. We also appreciate the cooperation of the many agricultural producers,
packers, and shippers who took time to provide data essential to the study. We also extend
our appreciation to Juan Carranza, Malarie Harkey, Stephanie Mack and Romiro Vasquez for
their help with data collection. We also thank Vivian Thompson for typing much of the
manuscript.


iii








TABLE OF CONTENTS


PREFACE .................................. ................... i


ABSTRACT ................ ................................... ii


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ......................................... iii


TABLE OF CONTENTS ......................................... iv


LIST OF TABLES ............................................ viii


LIST OF FIGURES ............................................... x


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ......................................... xi


INTRODUCTION ................ ............................... 1


OBJECTIVES ................................................... 1


PROCEDURES .............................


ECONOMIC IMPACT OF AGRICULTURE UPON DADE


Overview of Input/Output Analysis ..........
Results of Economic Impact Analysis ..........
Output Impact ....................
Earnings Impact...................
Employment Impacts ...............

iv


COUNTY'S


ECONOMY








Economic Interrelationships ..........................
Summary of Economic Impact Analysis & Comparison to 1990 Study ...


DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW OF AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY .....
Physical Characteristics ..................................


. 13
. 19


Land Area and Population ...........
Soils .. ........................... .
Clim ate ............................
Irrigation ......................
Natural disasters .................
Hurricanes ................
Freezes...................
Historical View of Dade County Agriculture ....
Acreage in Farms .................
Value of Production ...............
Geographic Shifts in Production Areas ...
Production of Selected Agricultural Commodities .
Commercial Ornamental Horticulture .........
Types of nursery operations ..........
Survey analyses ..................
Gross sales per acre ...............
Traditional Vegetables ..................
Snap beans .....................
Potatoes .......................
Squash ........................
Sweet corn .....................
Seed corn, sorghum and soybeans ......
Bell peppers ................. ...
Strawberries ....................


: : : : : : : : :









Eggplant ..............................


Cucumbers (Fresh market) ...

Other Traditional Vegetables .

Tropical Vegetables ............

Boniato ...............

M alanga ...............

Calabaza ..............

Cassava ...............

Other specialty vegetables ...

Thai and Chinese eggplant ...

Tindora ...............

Bitter melon ............

Long beans .............

Other specialty vegetable crops

Tropical Fruit ................

Avocados ..............

Persian (Tahiti) Limes ......


Mangos ............

Carambola ..........

Mamey Sapote ........

Longan ............

Guava .............

Plantain and banana ....

Papaya .............

Lychee .............

Passion fruit .........

Pummelo ...........

Kumquat ...........


Atemoya


. . . . . . . . . . . 7 1


. . . .

. . . .







Sugar apple ........................................ 72
Miscellaneous Tropical Fruit ............................ 72


REFERENCES ........................................... 73











































vii








LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Multipliers used to estimate the economic impact of Dade County's agricultural

sector ... .. ... .............. .... ......... ... .. .... 5

Table 2. Total value of production by agricultural subsector, Dade County, 1995-96. 10

Table 3. Subsector contribution and economic impacts of agriculture on Dade County, 1996.
. . . . . . . . . . . ... 10

Table 4. Agricultural sector's impact on output by industry, Dade County, 1996. 15

Table 5. Agricultural sector's impact on earnings by industry, Dade County, 1996. 17

Table 6. A summary of agriculture's impact on Dade County's economy by agricultural

sector, 1988-89 and 1995-96.................................. 20

Table 7. F.O.B. sales by major agricultural subsector, Dade County, 1988-89 and 1995-96

seasons. .......................................... 22

Table 8. Number of farms categorized by acreage, value and size, for Dade County and the

State of Florida...................................... 28

Table 9. Farms and agricultural land use in Dade County and the State of Florida.. 29

Table 10. Total land in orchards (groves) for fruits and nuts, Dade County and the State of

Florida. ........................................... 31

Table 11. Acreage and gross sales by agricultural production subsector, Dade County, 1974,

1978, 1982, 1987 and 1992.............................. 32

Table 12. Estimated value of traditional vegetables sold outside of and within Dade County,

1995-96. ......................................... 41

Table 13. Tomato acreage, Dade County and the State of Florida, 1980-81 to 1995-96.
. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3

Table 14. Tomato prices, production and total sales, Dade County, 1982-83 through 1995-96.

. . . . . . . . . . . 44

Table 15. Bush and pole bean acreage, Dade County and Florida, 1976-77 to 1993-94.
. . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Table 16. Harvested acres of potatoes, Dade County and Florida 1976-77 to 1995-96. 48


viii








Table 17. Harvested acres of squash, Dade County and the State of Florida, 1972-73 to
1995-96. ........................................ 49
Table 18. Published acreage estimates of selected traditional vegetables, Dade County, 1979-
80 to 1995-96....................................... 51
Table 19. Estimated value of tropical vegetables sold outside of and within Dade County,
1995-96. ............................................. 54

Table 20. Acreage for selected tropical vegetables, Dade County. ............. 55
Table 21. Dade County tropical fruit acreage, 1990 and 1996. ................ 62
Table 22. Dade County acreages of avocados, Persian limes and mangos, 1976-1996.
. . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Table 23. Estimated value of tropical fruits sold within and outside of Dade County, 1995-96.


Table 24. Acreage of selected tropical fruits in Dade County 1982-83 to 1995-96. 67







LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. A comparison of values of traditional vegetable production, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

S. . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Figure 2. A comparison of the values of tropical vegetable production, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Figure 3. A comparison of the value of tropical fruit production, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Figure 4. A comparison of nursery crop production, 1988-89 and 1995-96.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Figure 5. Total value of production by agricultural subsector, Dade County, 1995-96, million

. . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Figure 6. Major nursery production systems and acreages. .................. 37

Figure 7. Production system specialization. ............................ 37

Figure 8. Percentages of wholesale and retail nursery sales. ................. 38

Figure 9. Percentages of gross sales comprised of plants and related services ...... 38

Figure 10. Percentages of sales of various types of nursery crops grown in Dade County.

. . . . . . . . . . . 39

Figure 11. Percentages of gross sales inside and outside Dade County. .......... 39

Figure 12. Dade County acreage of avocados, Persian limes and mangos, 1976-1996.

. . . . . . . . . . . . 60






EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


* Due to the non-traditional nature of Dade County agriculture, there is reason to believe
that estimates of the economic value of agriculture in the county are sometimes under-
reported. This study provides an updated, in-depth understanding of the importance
of agriculture to the Dade County economy. The research methodology employed was
similar to that used in the 1989-90 study conducted by the University of Florida to
facilitate comparison.

* The study focused on row crops including traditional and tropical vegetables, tree
crops, i.e. tropical fruit production, and commercial ornamental horticulture.

* The aggregate economic impact of Dade County's agricultural sector and its
interrelationships with other sectors of the county's economy were estimated with
Input-Output analysis. Economic data required for the Input-Output analysis were
obtained from published sources and personal interviews.

* Gross sales to destinations outside Dade County (termed "exports") are used to
calculate the economic impact of agriculture on the county. These sales bring "new"
dollars into the county thereby stimulating local economic activity. The effect of this
economic activity is measured in terms of output and earnings. "Output" is a measure
of gross economic activity generated among all sectors of the Dade County economy
resulting from sales of agricultural products. Sales outside of Dade County bring in
"new" dollars that create a multiplier effect as they are spent and respent within the
county. Sales of agricultural products within the county do not create a multiplier
effect, but they are added to total output. Similarly "earnings" reflect total household
earnings or income generated among all sectors of the county's economy resulting from
sales of agricultural products outside the county. As these "new" dollars are spent and
respent within the county, they also cause a multiplier effect on total earnings.
However, earnings estimates do not include sales of agricultural products made within
the county.

4. Agriculture's total output impact on Dade County in 1996 was $834 million.
Of this output impact, nurseries contributed 46 percent or $387 million;
vegetables were 41 percent or $344 million; and fruits constituted 12 percent
or $102 million.

+* The total earnings impact of agriculture on Dade County in 1996 was almost
$200 million. Nurseries constituted nearly 45 percent or $87 million;
vegetables contributed 42 percent of county income impact, or $82 million; and
fruits represented 13 percent, almost $26 million.









* There are approximately 1.25 million acres of land area in Dade County, with almost
three quarters of this under water, in water conservation areas, or considered
submarginal for urban or agricultural uses.

* According to the 1992 U.S. Department of Commerce Census of Agriculture:

o*V Since the 1970s, physical land area devoted to agricultural production has
remained relatively constant at approximately 6.7 percent of total county
acreage.

O. Between census years 1974 and 1992, farmland acreage in Dade County
increased by nearly 10 percent. During the same period, the number of farms
more than doubled, from 872 to 1,891. However, the average farm size
decreased from 88 acres to 44 acres.

4. In 1992, nearly 60 percent of all Dade County farms were nine acres or less in
size. Only 13 percent were 50 acres or larger.

o Between 1987 and 1992, there was a 12 percent decline in harvested vegetable
acreage in the county. However, the real value of vegetable production
increased by 85 percent in the five year period between 1987 and 1992.

o Acreage devoted to fruit production steadily increased, by over 65 percent,
between census years 1974 and 1987, but declined slightly from 1987 to 1992.
The Agricultural Census reports 16,507 acres of fruit crops in 1992, but a
comprehensive, post hurricane survey by the University of Florida estimated
acreage at just over 13,000 acres. The value of fruits produced in Dade County
decreased by about 40 percent between 1987 and 1992, reflecting crop losses
caused by Hurricane Andrew.

Commercial ornamental horticulture acreage increased by nearly 40 percent
between 1987 and 1992. The value of nursery production during the same time
period increased by nearly 20 percent.

4e Census data showed that field crops continued a steep decline in terms of
acreage. Total field crop acreage dropped from 6,739 acres in 1987 to 1,487
acres in 1992.

* For the economic impact analysis, official 1995-96 season or calendar year 1996
estimates of individual commodity production values were used when available.
Unofficial sources, including growers, shippers and packers, were consulted to
estimate acreages and values for those commodities for which there were no official
estimates and the proportion of all commodities shipped out of the county.


xii







S There were at least 18 different traditional vegetables commercially grown in
Dade County. During 1996, the estimated value of these traditional vegetables
was 174 million of which approximately 98 percent was shipped out of the
county. With respect to value, the top four traditional vegetable commodities
were tomatoes, green beans (bush and pole), potatoes, and squash.

O: The value of traditional vegetable crops declined by about 35 percent between
the 1988-89 and 1995-96 seasons, reflecting lower acreages and perhaps lower
prices. This decline is likely due to increased competition from Mexico and
other off-shore sources of winter vegetables.

4. More than a dozen tropical and specialty vegetables, as well as a variety of
herbs and spices are grown. The estimated value of tropical vegetables, herbs
and spices sold during 1996 was about $25 million, down from $26 million in
1988-89. About 90 percent of sales are made outside Dade County. Malanga,
boniato, and calabaza constituted most of the tropical vegetable production, but
significant quantities of Asian vegetables and spices were produced as well.

:0- Of approximately 19 commercially grown tropical fruits, the highest value
crops are carambola, avocados and limes. Tropical fruit sales for 1995-96 were
estimated at $56 million, down from $74 million in 1988-89. Most of the
decline is due to acreage losses caused by Hurricane Andrew, reduced yields
of groves severely damaged by the storm and to low yields of immature groves
planted after the hurricane. Approximately 90 percent of all tropical fruits are
shipped out of the county.

O0 A survey of nurseries in Dade County showed dramatic growth of the industry
from 1989 to 1996. Acreage increased by 42 percent, from about 6,100 to
8,668 acres.

4. The value of nursery sales per acre across all production systems increased by
over 9 percent, from about $28,000 to $30,650.

4. Nursery sales in 1996 totaled $265.6 million, up from $171 million in 1988-89,
a 55 percent increase. About 74 percent of sales, $196.6 million, are made
outside of Dade County.


xiii







INTRODUCTION
Despite the fact that Dade County is the most populous urban center in Florida, it is
also a major producer of agricultural products. According to the most recent official
agricultural census, Dade County ranked second in the state in terms of the size of its
agricultural industry with products valued at $357 million in 1992. Even though this figure
is impressive, there is reason to believe that published estimates significantly underreport the
economic value of agriculture in Dade County due to the non-traditional nature of Dade
County agriculture. As a result, estimates of agricultural activity that attempt to quantify the
economic importance of agriculturally related activities in the county (e.g. input supply,
transportation, marketing, etc.) may be significantly underestimated as well.
OBJECTIVES
This study was undertaken to provide a more complete understanding of agriculture and
agribusiness and their economic importance to Dade County. Information obtained may be
used by policy makers and industry officials to consider a broad range of policies affecting the
interests of agricultural producers, agribusiness firms, and citizens of the county.
Specific objectives were to: (1) identify the major elements of agricultural production
and agribusiness, (2) assemble available published and unpublished data for the major
agricultural and agribusiness elements, (3) identify potential sources of primary economic data
to supplement secondary data as necessary, (4) determine the aggregate economic impact of
the agricultural sector and estimate economic interrelationships with other sectors of the
county's economy, and (5) prepare descriptive profiles and specific estimates of economic
impacts for individual sectors as resources permitted.







INTRODUCTION
Despite the fact that Dade County is the most populous urban center in Florida, it is
also a major producer of agricultural products. According to the most recent official
agricultural census, Dade County ranked second in the state in terms of the size of its
agricultural industry with products valued at $357 million in 1992. Even though this figure
is impressive, there is reason to believe that published estimates significantly underreport the
economic value of agriculture in Dade County due to the non-traditional nature of Dade
County agriculture. As a result, estimates of agricultural activity that attempt to quantify the
economic importance of agriculturally related activities in the county (e.g. input supply,
transportation, marketing, etc.) may be significantly underestimated as well.
OBJECTIVES
This study was undertaken to provide a more complete understanding of agriculture and
agribusiness and their economic importance to Dade County. Information obtained may be
used by policy makers and industry officials to consider a broad range of policies affecting the
interests of agricultural producers, agribusiness firms, and citizens of the county.
Specific objectives were to: (1) identify the major elements of agricultural production
and agribusiness, (2) assemble available published and unpublished data for the major
agricultural and agribusiness elements, (3) identify potential sources of primary economic data
to supplement secondary data as necessary, (4) determine the aggregate economic impact of
the agricultural sector and estimate economic interrelationships with other sectors of the
county's economy, and (5) prepare descriptive profiles and specific estimates of economic
impacts for individual sectors as resources permitted.







PROCEDURES
The elements of the agricultural and agribusiness industry were identified through
personal interviews of individuals familiar with Dade County agriculture. Field work was
conducted in Dade County in cooperation with the Dade County extension staff and faculty of
the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead.
The major focus was on row crops (including traditional and tropical vegetables), tree crops,
and ornamental horticulture. Interviews were conducted with members of the agricultural
community and officials of the Cooperative Extension Service, the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, Federal agricultural agencies, trade associations, and
other local business and government sources. Interviews provided leads for obtaining
published and unpublished data.
Objectives 2 and 3 were met through personal interviews described above. Published
data were evaluated for accuracy and refined to meet the requirements of input-output analysis.
For example, published estimates of farm values of various crops were adjusted to reflect
values at the shipping point. Data for making such adjustments were obtained from trade
associations or shippers as required.
Objective 4 was largely achieved through the use of macroeconomic analytical
techniques, primarily input-output analysis. This technique allowed economic
interrelationships existing between agriculture and other sectors of the economy to be
estimated. Analysis employed an existing input-output model of the Dade County economy
estimated by the U.S. Department of Commerce (23).
The remainder of this report is organized into two major sections: "Economic Impact
of Agriculture Upon Dade County's Economy" and "An Overview of Agricultural Production
in Dade County." The first and most important section discusses the analysis of the
agricultural sector's impact on Dade County's economy. The second section provides a brief
physical description of the county as it pertains to the agricultural sector, and supporting
production and value data for selected commodities produced in the county.








ECONOMIC IMPACT OF AGRICULTURE UPON DADE COUNTY'S ECONOMY
Overview of Input/Output Analysis
The purpose of economic impact analysis is to help planners, analysts, and interested
individuals estimate the total economic effect that a particular sector or industry has upon a
region's economy, and to aid in understanding how a particular sector relates to other sectors
of the local economy. The agricultural sector of Dade County's economy "exports"
commodities to locations outside of the county. These "exports," in turn, affect the county's
economy by stimulating additional local economic activity, as dollars generated from sources
outside Dade are used for purchases within the county.
When Dade's agricultural commodities are sold outside the county, the agricultural
industry directly affects the region's economic activity by bringing new dollars into the county.
These direct effects then produce indirect impacts or effects on the regional economy as dollars
generated by external sales are used for local purchases. For example, farmers spend money
for wage payments in all phases of agricultural production from land preparation, planting and
harvesting to transporting produce to warehouse facilities for storage and subsequent packaging
and processing for export out of the county. Indirect impacts include goods and services
provided by local businesses to the agricultural sector, such as business services, sale of
inputs, and sale of parts and repair services. These indirect effects represent additional
economic activity and result in additional jobs and income for local residents, generated from
external sales by the agricultural industry.
In addition to direct and indirect effects, there are also induced effects or impacts
associated with the production of agricultural commodities. Induced effects represent the
spending activities of employees who earn income in jobs provided by the businesses involved,
either directly or indirectly, in the production of regional (agricultural) exports. This induced
effect is income that is spent by consumers on the local purchase of goods and services.
The total economic impact that agriculture has upon Dade County's economy is the
combined direct, indirect, and induced effects. For example, if for some reason agricultural
"export" sales increase and local production expands, then the increase in sales represents new
direct economic activity and increased local expenditures for labor and other agricultural








inputs. This increased activity then triggers a chain of increased local spending by service and
input supply industries as they increase their output and local purchases in order to supply
increased demands of the agricultural sector. This expansion, in turn, leads to increased
output and local purchases by firms supplying the input and service businesses. For example,
a local tire business might experience increased sales (indirect effect) because it supplies the
local transport company that provides freight services for agricultural producers. At the same
time, tire sales personnel spend income for a variety of local goods and services, one example
could be purchases of health services (induced effect). Thus, each dollar in additional sales,
when spent locally, triggers a chain reaction of additional indirect and induced spending
activities.
Total economic repercussions associated with an additional dollar of external sales is
referred to as the multiplier effect. The multiplier for a particular industry is the total
economic activity (direct, indirect, and induced) associated with an additional dollar of external
sales by the industry in question. As illustrated earlier, an increase in export sales has
repercussions via additional economic activity within the region. On the other hand, the
converse is also true. A decrease in agricultural export sales will have economic repercussions
in the form of decreases in regional economic activity. The multiplier therefore measures the
impact of either an increase or a decrease in export sales activities.
Additional economic activity is not infinite in its ripple effect through the economy.
Some dollars earned in the direct activity are not spent locally. A part of direct sales dollars
are used for such things as taxes and fees paid to state and federal agencies, payments to
landowners who reside outside the county, and as payment for goods and services which are
imported into Dade County (seed purchased from mid-west companies, externally located
computer consultants servicing equipment, etc). The size of the multiplier associated with
increased/decreased regional export sales varies with the size of the region and with the
industry in question. In general, the larger and more diverse the economy of the region and
the more complex the industry in terms of its linkages to other local industries, the larger the
multiplier effect.








The means of estimating the economic impact that the agricultural sector has upon the
county is through use of multipliers based on regional input-output (I-O) models. The
foundation of the I-O model is a transactions table structured like a mileage chart on a road
map. Each industry (or sector) in the region is listed as a selling industry in a row and as a
purchasing industry in a column of the table. Entries in the table indicate the distribution of
sales and the pattern of purchases for each sector of the regional economy. For example,
agricultural products and services is treated as one sector, real estate as a sector, wholesale
trade as a sector, etc. until the entire local economy is divided into economic sectors producing
similar products. Households are considered a separate sector which purchases goods and
services and sells labor. In effect, the transactions table provides a picture of interactions
between local sectors and allows the flow of dollars to be traced through the economy.
Multipliers are calculated based on the information generated from the transactions table.
Because they are dollar multiples of the initial dollar spent for the output (sales) of the
industry, total changes in output are referred to as output multipliers. Earnings multipliers for
the agricultural industry in Dade County show the total earnings (direct, indirect, and induced)
by households in Dade County in order for the agricultural sector to deliver a dollar of sales
outside the county (Table 1).


Table 1. Multipliers used to estimate the economic impact of Dade County's agricultural
sector.

Agricultural Subsectors
Impact area Fruits Vegetables Nurseries
(-------------- Multipliers--------------)

Output multipliers 1.9200 1.7481 1.6202

Earnings multipliers 0.5078 0.4253 0.4446



In addition to output and earnings impacts, changes in agricultural sales also have multiplier








effects on employment in other sectors of the local economy. However, as will be noted later,
data problems prevent the estimation of employment impacts as a part of this study. For this
study, Dade County's agricultural sector consists of three subsectors: (1) vegetable production,
(2) fruit production, and (3) commercial ornamental horticulture. Multipliers for subsectors
of Dade County's agricultural sector (Table 1) were estimated by the Bureau of Economic
Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce using their Regional Input-Output Modeling
System (RIMS I) (23).
In order to estimate the impact that agricultural production had upon Dade County's
economy during the 1995-96 production season, (calendar 1996 for nursery crops) total gross
sales were estimated for each subsector, i.e., vegetables, fruits, and commercial ornamental
horticulture. For the purpose of describing the agricultural industry, vegetable production was
disaggregated to include itemization of traditional vegetable and tropical vegetable production.
However, for the impact analysis, vegetable production is aggregated into one subsector.
Since economic impact analysis estimates an industry's affect upon regional economic
activity when products or commodities are exported from the region (county), it is the dollar
amounts of total gross sales (for each subsector: vegetables, fruits, and commercial ornamental
horticulture) shipped out of Dade County that are used (Table 2, Figures 1-5).
The amount of total gross sales of each subsector that remains in Dade County (dollars
generated from local, in-county sales) is added back into the output impact calculation to show
the total output impact of the sector. That is to say, local sales do not generate new activity
or rather do not bring in new dollars into the county. They do represent local economic
activity and Xare simply added, without a multiplier effect, back into the estimated output
impact calculation from the I/O model.





Figure 1.

300


250

200

150

100

50


A compairson of the values of traditional vegetable production,
1988-89 and 1995-96.


Value sold Value Sold
Outside of Within
Dade Co. Dade Co.


Total Crop
Value


Figure 2. A comparison of the values of tropical vegetable production,
1988-89 and 1995-96.
30 ,


....



Value Sold Value Sold Total Crop
Outside of Within Value
Dade Co. Dade Co.
[ 88-89 *95-96




Figure 3. A comparison of the value of tropical fruit production,
1988-89 and 1995-96.

74.0
64.9
56.1
50.5

( .9. .- 56


-. 9.1 < "
0 --- .


Value Sold
Outside of
Dade Co.


Value Sold
Within
Dade Co.


Total Crop
Value


Figure 4. A comparison of nursery crop production,
1988-89 and 1995-96.


Value Sold Value Sold
Total Crop
Outside of Within al
Value
Dade Co. Dade Co.
I 88-89 95-96


250

200

150

100

50







Figure 5. Total value of production by agricultural subsector,
Dade County, 1995-96,
million dollars.


Tropical vegetables
$25.0 4.8%

Tropical fruits
$56.1 10.8%


Traditional vegetables
$174.2 33.4%


Nursery crops
$265.7 51.0%








Table 2. Total value of production by agricultural subsector, Dade County, 1995-96.
Value of crop sold Value of crop sold Total crop value
Subsector outside of Dade within Dade
(-----------------Thousand Dollars -----------------)

Traditional vegetables 171,128.6 3,092.8 174,221.4
Tropical vegetables 22,375.7 2,669.3 25,045.0
Subtotal 193,504.3 5,762.1 199,266.4

Tropical fruits 50,548.9 5,587.0 56,135.5
Nursery crops 196,590.2 69,072.2 265,662.5

Totals 440,643.4 80,421.3 521,064.7
'Totals may not sum due to rounding.


Table 3. Subsector contribution and economic impacts of agriculture on Dade County. 1996.
Agricultural Subsectors
Fruits Vegetables Nurseries Total
Total sales outside region $50,548,600 $193,504,300 $196,590,200 $440,643,100
Percentage of total' 11.47% 43.91% 44.61%

Output

Multiplier 1.92 1.7481 1.6202
Output impact $97,053,312 $338,264,867 $318,515,442 $753,833,621
Percentage of total" 12.87% 44.87% 42.25%

Earnings

Multiplier 0.5078 0.4253 0.4446
Earnings impact $25,668,579 $82,297,379 $87,404,003 $195,369,961
Percentage of total 13.14% 42.12% 44.74%

Sales within Dade County $5,587,000 $5,762,100 $69,072,200 $80,421,300

Total output impact $102,640,312 $344,026,967 $387,587,642 $834,254,921
Percentage of total 12.30% 41.24% 46.46%

"Percentages do not sum to 100.0 due to rounding.







Results of Economic Impact Analysis


Table 3 summarizes the impacts of agricultural subsectors on the Dade County
economy and includes respective subsector multipliers. Impacts for output and earnings
are reported separately for each agricultural subsector and for the agricultural industry
in total.

Output Impact
Output multipliers in Table 3 (from Table 1) estimate the total changes in output that
occur in all Dade County industries for each additional dollar of output that the agricultural
subsectors deliver outside Dade County. Vegetable production exported (sold) outside Dade
County during 1995-96 totaled $193,504,300. The output multiplier for vegetables is 1.7481
indicating that each dollar in vegetable sales outside Dade County has a local impact of $1.75.
Thus, multiplying gross export sales (output) of vegetables times the output multiplier results
in vegetable production during 1995-96 having an estimated economic impact of
$338,264,867. Similarly, export fruit production estimated at $50,548,600 times the output
multiplier for fruits (1.92) equals an estimated economic impact of $97,053,312 during the
1995-96 season; nursery export sales estimated at $196,590,200, times the nursery output
multiplier of 1.6202 equals an estimated economic impact of $318,515,442 for the 1995-96
production season.
To obtain the total output impact for each subsector, the amount of output that remains
within the county is added back to the (I/O model) output impact estimates. For fruits, there
is a total economic impact of $102,640,312 during the 1995-96 production season. Similarly,
for vegetables, the total output impact for 1995-96 was $344,026,967 of, and for nursery and
greenhouse production, the total output impact for 1995-96 was $387,587,642. The combined
total output impacts from fruits, vegetables and nursery production indicate that the
agricultural sector of Dade County had a total output impact of $834,254,921 during the 1995-
96 production season.
Earnings Impact
Earnings multipliers for a particular subsector provide an estimate of the earnings
generated in all Dade County industries in order for each agricultural subsector to deliver a








dollar of output to final demand. Or stated differently, earnings multipliers for each subsector
can be viewed as estimates of the total (direct, indirect, and induced) dollar changes in
earnings that occur in Dade County households for each additional dollar of output (sales) the
agricultural subsectors deliver outside the county. To illustrate, for the nursery and
greenhouse subsector, the earnings multiplier is 0.4446 (Table 3) which is interpreted as
follows: for each additional dollar of export sales the nursery subsector delivers, $0.44 in
earnings is generated in all Dade County industries. Similarly, for each additional dollar of
export sales delivered by the vegetable industry and the fruit industry, there is approximately
$0.43 and $0.51, respectively, in earnings generated in Dade County industries.
The total impact (generated from external sales) that the agricultural sector had upon
Dade County earnings during 1995-96 was $195,369,961. A summation of earnings or
income impacts in 1995-96 are as follows: (a) nurseries $87,404,003, (b) vegetables
$82,297,379, and (c) fruits $25,668,579. Estimates do not include earnings generated by sales
made within Dade County.
Employment Impacts
As noted earlier, employment impacts are not estimated in this study due to data
problems. Between the time of this study and that of the 1990 Dade County economic impact
study, the methodology for estimating employment effects was changed. As a result, the use
of RIMSII employment multipliers here would yield estimated that are inconsistent with
estimates from earlier studies.
Further, there are equally severe problems with agricultural employment data from
other sources. Data reflecting employment covered by unemployment compensation are
reported at the county level for a sector which combines agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
However, these data likely understate agricultural employment, due to the seasonal and part-
time nature of much agriculture employment. There also may be problems with the
classification of employees by sector where one firm conducts economic activities that could
be classified in more than one sector.
Problems with employment data were recognized in an earlier study of agricultural
impacts in southwest Florida (19). That study is now being supplemented with a detailed study








of agricultural labor in the same area being conducted by University of Florida researchers in
the Department of Food and Resource Economics and the Southwest Research and Education
Center. Results should provide more insight into the accuracy and comparability of
agricultural data.
Economic Interrelationships
In addition to total impacts noted above, Tables 4-5 illustrate the interrelationships
between the three agricultural subsectors and each of 37 other sectors of the Dade County
economy for output and earnings. Sectors are listed on the left of each table and the three
agricultural subsectors are listed across the top. The final row of each table reflects the total
impacts for each agricultural subsector, and the final column reflects the total agricultural
impact on other sectors of the local economy. Numbers in the tables reflect that part of the
total agricultural impact which occurs in the sector listed for a particular row. Each table
(Tables 4-5) shows the disaggregated multiplier value for each agricultural sector and dollar
impacts for each sector. Disaggregated impacts are reported only for external sales.
The greatest amount of economic activity generated by agriculture in the county occurs
within the agricultural sector itself. For example, of the $97 million economic impact
generated by fruit production export sales, about $60 million occurs within the agricultural
sector. With respect to interrelationships with other sectors of Dade County's economy, the
real estate sector is the second most important sector affected by agricultural output. For
example, of the $1.75 of total economic activity generated by a dollar of export sales from
vegetable production approximately $0.12 of this is economic activity which occurs within the
real estate sector. Stated differently, this indicates that for every dollar of export sales
produced by the vegetable industry in Dade County, approximately $0.12 of economic activity
is generated in the real estate sector. Similarly, for every dollar of export sales from nursery
production, approximately $0.09 of economic activity is generated in the real estate sector and
fruit sales generates $0.12 in the real estate sector. The household sector row of each table
sums the impact on Dade County households of the output and earnings impacts reflected in
sectors 1 through 37.








In a manner similar to that for output above, Table 5 desegregates the earnings impact
across 38 sectors of the Dade economy. To illustrate the economic interrelationships with
other sectors of Dade County's economy, for each additional dollar of sales outside the county
that fruit production delivers, there is an estimated $0.02 of earnings generated in retail trade
industries by the fruit sector. Similarly, for each dollar of external sales that nurseries deliver,
there is an estimated $0.02 of earnings in the wholesale trade sector. In each case estimates
include direct, indirect, and induced activity.








Tahle 4 Agricultural sectnr's impact on otnput hv inds trv. Dade Cnintyv 1996
Agricultural Subsector
Fruits Vegetables Nursery Total
(Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars)
Total sales outside region $50,548,600 $193,504,300 $196,590,200 $440,643,100
Industry aggregation Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact *
(Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars)

1 Farm products & Ag, Forestry & Fishery Services 1.1867 $59,986,024 1.144 $221,368,919 1.0882 $213,929,456 $495,284,398
2 Forestry and fishing products 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0 $0
3 Coal mining 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0 $0
4 Oil and gas extraction 0 $0 0 $0 0 $0 $0
5 Metal mining and nonmetallic minerals 0.0011 $55,603 0.0011 $212,855 0.0006 $117,954 $386,412
6 Construction 0.0182 $919,985 0.0162 $3,134,770 0.0124 $2,437,718 $6,492,473
7 Food and kindred products and tobacco prod. 0.0129 $652,077 0.0108 $2,089,846 0.0111 $2,182,151 $4,924,075
8 Textile mill products 0.0033 $166,810 0.0028 $541,812 0.002 $393,180 $1,101,803
9 Apparel and other textile products 0.0138 $697,571 0.0123 $2,380,103 0.0073 $1,435,108 $4,512,782
10 Paper and allied products 0.0113 $571,199 0.0124 $2,399,453 0.0018 $353,862 $3,324,515
11 Printing and publishing 0.0125 $631,858 0.0101 $1,954,393 0.0091 $1,788,971 $4,375,222
12 Chemical and allied products; petroleum and coal products 0.0092 $465,047 0.0067 $1,296,479 0.0049 $963,292 $2,724,818
13 Rubber; misc plastic; leather and leather products 0.0032 $161,756 0.0034 $657,915 0.0032 $629,089 $1,448,759
14 Lumber and wood products; furniture and fixtures 0.0035 $176,920 0.0016 $309,607 0.0016 $314,544 $801,071
15 Stone, clay and glass products 0.0009 $45,494 0.0008 $154,803 0.0006 $117,954 $318,251
16 Primary metal industries 0.0001 $5,055 0.0001 $19,350 0.0001 $19,659 $44,064
17 Fabricated metal products 0.0014 $70,768 0.0011 $212,855 0.0009 $176,931 $460,554
18 Industrial machinery and equipment 0.0012 $60,658 0.0011 $212,855 0.0007 $137,613 $411,126
19 Electronic and other electric equipment 0.0007 $35,384 0.0006 $116,103 0.0005 $98,295 $249,782
20 Motor vehicles and equipment 0.0003 $15,165 0.0002 $38,701 0.0002 $39,318 $93,183
21 Other transportation equipment 0.0013 $65,713 0.001 $193,504 0.0012 $235,908 $495,126
22 Instruments and related products 0.0010 $50,549 0.0008 $154,803 0.0008 $157,272 $362,624
23 Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 0.0013 $65,713 0.0011 $212,855 0.001 $196.590 $475.158










Table 4 Aripcultural pectnr'- impact nn output by indiustrvy Dade Cnuntl, 19i rrnntintied)


Agricultural Subsector


Fruits
(Dollars)
$50,548,600


Total sales outside region

Industry aggregation


Vegetables
(Dollars)
$193,504,30


Nursery
(Dollars)
$196,590,200


Total
(Dollars)
$440,643,100


Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact *


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


24 Transportation
25 Communications
26 Electric, gas and sanitary services
27 Wholesale trade
28 Retail trade
34 Business services
35 Eating and drinking places
36 Health services
37 Miscellaneous services
38 Private households **


0.0390
0.0254
0.0210
0.0949
0.0565
0.0519
0.0304
0.0504
0.0395
0.5078


Totals


$1,971,395
$1,283,934
$1,061,521
$4,797,062
$2,855,996
$2,623,472
$1,536,677
$2,547,649
$1,996,670
$25,668,579

$97,053,312


0.0328
0.0214
0.0167
0.0576
0.0473
0.0434
0.0252
0.0422
0.0331
0.4253


$6,346,941
$4,140,992
$3,231,522
$11,145,848
$9,152,753
$8,398,087
$4,876,308
$8,165,881
$6,404,992
$82,297,379

$338,264,867


0.0333
0.0209
0.0274
0.057
0.0485
0.0342
0.0253
0.0441
0.029
0.4446


$6,546,454
$4,108,735
$5,386,571
$11,205,641
$9,534,625
$6,723,385
$4,973,732
$8,669,628
$5,701,116
$87,404,003

$318,515,442


$14,864,790
$9,533,662
$9,679,614
$27,148,551
$21,543,374
$17,744,944
$11,386,718
$19,383,159
$14,102,778
$195,369,961

$753,833,621


* Impact equals sales outside the county times the multiplier value.
**Totals in the impact columns do not include the household sector.








Table 5h Agricultural gsectnr's imnact on earnings hv industry, Dade Cniinty, 1996
Agricultural Subsector


Fruits
(Dollars)
$50,548,600


Total sales outside region

Industy aggregation


Vegetables
(Dollars)
$193,504,300


Nursery
(Dollars)
$196,590,200


Total
(Dollars)
$440,643,100


Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact *


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


(Dollars)


1 Farm products & Ag, Forestry & Fishery Services
2 Forestry and fishing products
3 Coal mining
4 Oil and gas extraction
5 Metal mining and nonmetallic minerals
6 Construction
7 Food and kindred products and tobacco prod.
8 Textile mill products
9 Apparel and other textile products
10 Paper and allied products
11 Printing and publishing
12 Chemical and allied products; petroleum and coal products
13 Rubber; misc plastic; leather and leather products
14 Lumber and wood products; furniture and fixtures
15 Stone, clay and glass products
16 Primary metal industries
17 Fabricated metal products
18 Industrial machinery and equipment
19 Electronic and other electric equipment
20 Motor vehicles and equipment
21 Other transportation equipment
22 Instruments and related products
23 Miscellaneous manufacturing industries
24 Transportation
25 Communications


0.3144
0
0
0
0.0002
0.0049
0.0016
0.0006
0.0029
0.0020
0.0030
0.0015
0.0006
0.0009
0.0002
0
0.0003
0.0003
0.0002
0
0.0003
0.0002
0.0003
0.0126
0.0048


$15,892,480
$0
$0
$0
$10,110
$247,688
$80,878
$30,329
$146,591
$101,097
$151,646
$75,823
$30,329
$45,494
$10,110
$0
$15,165
$15,165
$10,110
$0
$15,165
$10,110
$15,165
$636,912
$242.633


0.2708
0
0
0
0.0003
0.0044
0.0013
0.0005
0.0026
0.0022
0.0024
0.0011
0.0007
0.0004
0.0002
0
0.0003
0.0003
0.0001
0
0.0002
0.0002
0.0002
0.0106
0.004


$52,400,964
$0
$0
$0
$58,051
$851,419
$251,556
$96,752
$503,111
$425,709
$464,410
$212,855
$135,453
$77,402
$38,701
$0
$58,051
$58,051
$19,350
$0
$38,701
$38,701
$38,701
$2,051,146
$774.017


0.3031
0
0
0
0.0001
0.0033
0.0013
0.0004
0.0014
0.0003
0.0022
0.0008
0.0006
0.0004
0.0001
0
0.0002
0.0002
0.0001
0
0.0003
0.0002
0.0002
0.0104
0.0039


$59,586,490
$0
$0
$0
$19,659
$648,748
$255,567
$78,636
$275,226
$58,977
$432,498
$157,272
$117,954
$78,636
$19,659
$0
$39,318
$39,318
$19,659
$0
$58,977
$39,318
$39,318
$2,044,538
$766.702


$127,879,934
$0
$0
$0
$87,820
$1,747,855
$588,001
$205,717
$924,928
$585,784
$1,048,555
$445,950
$283,736
$201,532
$68,470
$0
$112,534
$112,534
$49,119
$0
$112,843
$88,129
$93,183
$4,732,596
$1.783.352


0.0 $1783352









Table 5 AgriCultural sertnr'S imnact on earnings hy industry Datd Cinty, 1996 continuedd)'

Agricultural Subsector

Fruits Vegetables Nursery Total
(Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars)
Total sales outside region $50,548,600 $193,504,300 $196,590,200 $440,643,100

Industry aggregation Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact Multiplier Impact *
(Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars) (Dollars)

26 Electric, gas and sanitary services 0.0032 $161,756 0.0025 $483,761 0.0035 $688,066 $1,333,582
27 Wholesale trade 0.0296 $1,496,239 0.018 $3,483,077 0.0178 $3,499,306 $8,478,622
28 Retail trade 0.0221 $1,117,124 0.0185 $3,579,830 0.019 $3,735,214 $8,432,167
29 Depository & nondepository institutions; securities brokers 0.0126 $636,912 0.0106 $2,051,146 0.0091 $1,788,971 $4,477,029
30 Insurance 0.0095 $480,212 0.0068 $1,315,829 0.0051 $1,002,610 $2,798,651
31 Real estate 0.0028 $141,536 0.0029 $561,162 0.0017 $334,203 $1,036,902
32 Hotels & lodging; amusements; recreation services 0.0050 $252,743 0.004 $774,017 0.0033 $648,748 $1,675,508
33 Personal services 0.0049 $247,688 0.0039 $754,667 0.0032 $629,089 $1,631,444
34 Business services 0.0224 $1,132,289 0.0186 $3,599,180 0.0152 $2,988,171 $7,719,640
35 Eating and drinking places 0.0089 $449,883 0.0073 $1,412,581 0.0074 $1,454,767 $3,317,231
36 Health services 0.0236 $1,192,947 0.0198 $3,831,385 0.0207 $4,069,417 $9,093,749
37 Miscellaneous services 0.0108 $545,925 0.0089 $1,722,188 0.0084 $1,651,358 $3,919,471
38 Private households ** 0.0009 $45,494 0.0007 $135,453 0.0008 $157,272 $338,219

Totals $25,638,250 $82,161,926 $87,266,390 $195,066,565


* Impact equals sales outside the county times the multiplier value.
**Totals in the impact columns do not include the household sector.








Summary of Economic Impact Analysis & Comparison to 1990 Study
Of the total $834 million economic impact on Dade County output, in 1995-96, the
fruit industry contributed 12.3 percent or $102.6 million (Table 3), the vegetable industry
contributed 41.2 percent or $344 million, and the nursery industry contributed 46.5 percent
or $387.6 million of the total output. This pattern of subsector contribution is similar for
earnings impacts. Agriculture's impact on Dade County earnings totaled $195 million in 1995-
96. Approximately 13.1 percent of the earnings impact was generated by the fruit subsector
($25.7 million), 42.1 percent or $82.3 million by the vegetable industry, and 44.7 percent or
$87.4 million by nursery production.
Table 6 provides a comparison between estimates presented here and those for 1988-89
presented in a 1990 study of agricultural impacts in Dade County. The earlier study reported
a total output impact of $910.1 million compared to $832.8 million reported here, a decline
of more than eight percent. Similarly, the current study provides a lower estimate of earnings
impact, $195.4 million compared to $297.2 million in the earlier study, a decline of
approximately 34 percent.
Also, the mix of impacts between the three agricultural subsectors changed between
1988-89 and 1995-96. Vegetables provided 56 percent of output impacts and 61 percent of
earnings impacts in 1988-89. By 1995-96 these percentages had declined to 41 percent for
output impacts and 42 percent for earnings. The fruit sector declined slightly in terms of
absolute impacts on output and earnings between the time of the two studies but remained
relatively constant at around 13 percent of total impacts. The nursery sector's impact
increased in both relative and absolute terms. In 1995-96 the nursery sector accounted for 46
percent of total agricultural impacts and 44 percent of total earnings impacts.








Table 6. A summary of agriculture's impact on Dade County's economy by agricultural sector, 1988-89
and 1995-96.

Sector Total Output Earnings
1988-89 1995-96 1988-89 1995-96
Million Million Million Million
Percent Dollars Percent Dollars Percent Dollars Percent Dollars


Fruit 14.0 127.5 12.3 102.6 13.3 39.6 13.1 25.7

Vegetable 56.2 511.4 41.2 344.0 61.0 181.2 42.1 82.3

Nursery 29.8 271.2 46.5 387.6 25.7 76.4 44.7 87.4

Totals 100.0 910.1 100.0 834.3 100.0 297.2 100.0 195.4


aTotals may not sum to 100 due to rounding.




Examination of the F.O.B. sales data for each of the major agricultural subsectors
reveals where major changes have occurred in Dade County's agricultural economy since the
1988-89 economic impact study (Figures 1-4, Table 7). The declines in total economic impact
(output) and earnings impact are directly attributable to drastically reduced value of production
in the vegetable and fruit subsectors. Traditional vegetables showed the largest decline in total
value of production, going from $267.3 million in 1988-89 to $174.2 million in 1995-96, a
drop of over $93 million, or approximately 35 percent (Table 7). The crops showing the
greatest declines were tomatoes ($42.8 million) snap beans ($19.0 million) squash ($10.3
million) and potatoes ($6-7 million) and cukes ($2.8 million). Only sweet corn and eggplant
increased in total value of production, by $1.7 and 0.7 million, respectively. The reason for
the lower values of production vary from crop to crop, but most stem from lower acreage and
prices. Although determining the reasons for lower acreages and prices was outside the scope
of this study, these effects are likely due to increased competition from imports.
The total value of tropical vegetable production dropped slightly from 1988-89 to 1995-
96, from $26 million to $25 million. Boniato was the only one of the four tropical vegetable








crops to show a gain, however. While the value of the boniato crop doubled due to price
increases, the value of malanga, calabaza and cassava dropped by 18, 78 and 85 percent,
respectively. These crops have also been negatively impacted by import competition in recent
years.
The value of tropical fruit production dropped from $74 million in 1988-89 to $56.1
million in 1995-96. Most of this decrease is directly attributed to Hurricane Andrew; nearly
40 percent of the county's tropical fruit acreage was lost to the storm, and during the 1995-96
season total grove acreage was still 34 percent below pre-hurricane levels. Further, yields
were lower than normal because many trees that had been replanted following the hurricane
had not reached maturity, and older trees damaged by the storm had not fully recovered.
Fortunately, the nursery subsector showed very large gains, largely offsetting the lower
values for vegetable and fruit crops. Total nursery sales increased by over $94 million from
1989 to 1996, a 55 percent increase and over $75 million in sales were made outside Dade
County (Table 7).
Additional details on major, specific crops within each of the agricultural subsectors
are found in the following section "Descriptive Overview of Agriculture in Dade County."








Table 7. F.O.B. sales by major agricultural subsector. Dade County. 1988-89 and 1995-96 seasons.
Agricultural subsector Season Change, 1988-89
88-89 95-96 to 1995-96

(----Million Dollars----) (Million) (Percent)
Fruit
Sales Outside Dade County 64.9 50.5 -14.4 -22.2
Sales Within Dade County 9.1 5.6 -3.5 385
Totals 74.0 56.1 -17.9 -24.2

Traditional vegetable
Sales Outside Dade County 262.5 171.1 -91.4 -34.6
Sales Within Dade County 4.8 3.1 -1.7 35.4
Totals 267.3 174.2 -93.1 -34.8

Tropical vegetables
Sales Outside Dade County 18.2 22.4 4.2 +23.1
Sales Within Dade County 7. 2.7 -5,1 -65.4
Totals 26.0 25.0 -1.0 -3.8

Total vegetables
Sales Outside Dade County 280.7 193.5 87.2 -31.1
Sales Within Dade County 12.6 5.8 -6.8 -54.0
Totals 293.3 199.3 -94.0 -32.0

Nursery
Sales Outside Dade County 120.9 196.6 +75.7 62.6
Sales Within Dade County 50.6 69.1 +18.5 36.6
Totals 171.4 265.7 +94.3 55.0

'Some totals may not sum to values shown because of rounding.








DESCRIPTIVE OVERVIEW OF AGRICULTURE IN DADE COUNTY
In order to fully appreciate the environment in which agriculture exists in Dade
County, it is helpful to first look at physical characteristics which contribute to the uniqueness
of Dade County agriculture, and then review agriculture in the county from a historical
perspective. The remainder of this report is devoted to describing Dade County agriculture
by looking at its physical characteristics, its history and selected commodities which are
currently produced in the county.
Physical Characteristics
Land Area and Population
Dade County covers 2,429.6 square miles or over one and one half million acres.
However, about three-fourths of the land area in the county is either covered by water, in
water conservation areas, in national parks, or is submarginal; i.e., unsuitable for urban or
agricultural use (reference). There were approximately 83,700 acres of farm land in the
county in 1992, an increase of about 600 acres over the 1987 Census of Agriculture (22).
Nearly 22 percent of Dade County farmland is foreign-owned (1).
With 4 percent of the state's population, Dade county ranks first in state population,
estimated to be over 2.0 million in 1996 (21). Dade County's populated area is located along
the coastal ridge. With respect to number of persons per square mile, Dade is the fourth most
densely populated county in the state, and Miami is the second most populous city in Florida
with 376,000 inhabitants (1).
Soils
There are primarily two soil types on which Dade's fruits, vegetables, and nursery
crops are grown: Miami oolite, a solid rockland soil and Perrine marl, both basically calcium
carbonate. The marl and rockland farming soils are extremely low in organic matter and
nutrients. Even with the use of summer cover crops, organic buildup in these soils is slow and
requires good management year round. Both soil types are alkaline with pH of 7.5 to 8.5.
Crops raised on either type of soil depend on commercial fertilizer applications for nutrients.
The consistency of rockland and marl soils are quite different. The rock soil is hard but very
porous and requires frequent irrigation. On the other hand, flooding can be a problem for the








marl land because marl is a dense soil and percolation is slow (18).
Most of Dade's winter vegetables are grown on rock soil. Rock soils are located inland
on elevations ranging from eight to fourteen feet above sea level. Preparation of rock soils for
cultivation is unique and expensive. The rock soils must be broken up with track-type tractors
(D8 or D9 Caterpillars), with specially designed plows to scarify the solid rock into small
particles. Tractor clearing of rockland started in 1920 in the area of Coral Gables. Until that
time, rockland vegetable farming was impractical, but since 1947, vegetable acreage on the
rockland has increased steadily. Prior to 1925, rockland vegetable farming in the South Dade
pinelands was confined to "pot hole" areas in the pines. Farmers confined winter vegetable
growing to the marl areas of the East Glade and the inland finger glades. Some growers
followed these practices through 1935 and even later (3).
Perrine marl land must be contoured and shaped to allow appropriate runoff and
drainage of excess water. Marl land used for cultivation ranges from elevations of one to two
feet alo -1Xng the coastline to elevations up to seven and eight feet near the rock ridge and in the
inland glades. As long as flooding is controlled, almost anything will grow on the marl.
Potatoes, other root crops such as malanga and boniato, and large tree nurseries are currently
found on marl lands.
Salt intrusion from hurricane storm surge can severely pollute the East Glade marl
vegetable lands and tree farms. Due to the very slow leachability of marl soil, salt pollution
may prevent land use for several years afterward. During the 1970s, a hurricane dike was
built to deter salt intrusion, hoping to protect farmland and residences located near the
coastline. Salt intrusion may also occur during severe droughts when the fresh water table
declines.
Climate
Dade County, Florida is located on the lower east coast of the state at the bottom of a
400 mile long peninsula that is no more than 100 miles wide at its widest point. The Tropic
of Cancer, 23.4 degrees North latitude, is approximately 140 miles south of Homestead. The
county has a subtropical climate, wet and hot in the summer (May to November) and cool and
dry through the winter (December to April). Average temperatures range from 67" F in








January, steadily increasing to an average of 83 F in July and August, then again decreasing
to the mid to low 70s during the fall. For Miami the average annual high temperature is 82.6*
F and the average annual low is 68.70 F, with the highest temperature of record (at the Miami
International airport) being 98* F and the lowest temperature of record being 300 F (1).
However, in the farming areas around Homestead, temperatures of 25 F and lower have been
reported. Subfreezing temperatures may occur about every two years with moderate to severe
damage to agricultural commodities. Frosts are recorded almost every winter. Droughts have
influenced production practices and affect the area every few years. There is occasional
flooding during the wet season, which lasts from June through October. The greatest amount
of rainfall generally occurs in September and October. Average annual rainfall is
approximately 58 inches (38), with as much as 100 inches reported in the Homestead area in
the early 1970s (18).
Irrigation
Low rainfall during the dry season combined with the porous nature of the rock soils
necessitates the use of irrigation. Irrigation systems, therefore, play an important role in
agricultural production in Dade County. Encased wells for portable overhead high-pressure
volume gun irrigation rigs are used pr imarily for winter vegetable production. Permanent
solid set sprinkler irrigation is used in the production of fruits and nursery crops. Permanent
and portable solid set sprinklers also provide frost and freeze protection for many crops.
Trickle and drip low-volume irrigation systems are also used by farmers in Dade County.
Farmers and researchers are converting irrigation systems to low-volume systems due to recent
droughts, water restrictions, and increased urban water use.
Natural disasters
Although Dade County enjoys a highly productive sub-tropical growing environment,
the area is also susceptible to a wide range of potentially devastating natural disasters, such as
hurricanes, floods, droughts and freezing temperatures.
Hurricanes. --Hurricanes have had devastating effects on Dade County and on the
agricultural sector in particular. Hurricane Andrew, which struck the Homestead area on
August 24, 1992 was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit the U.S. Andrew caused an








estimated $25 billion in damage, and effects are still evident in some tropical fruit groves even
though five years have elapsed. Grove crops and ornamental plant nurseries were particularly
hard hit by Andrew. Approximately 57 percent of the lime acreage was destroyed, as was
about one-third of the mango and avocado acreage. Many other types of tropical fruit groves
were heavily damaged as well (5). Nurseries also sustained heavy losses of shade houses,
greenhouses and plant material.
Andrew was particularly shocking to many south Florida residents, including
agricultural producers, because there had not been any serious hurricane damage in the area
since the 1960s. Until Andrew, the last hurricanes to cause damage were Donna in 1960,
Betsy in 1965 and Inez in 1966. Hurricane Donna was the most damaging of storms to hit in
the 1960's. In October, 1994, tropical storm Gordon inflicted considerable damage to Dade
County. High winds gusted to over 50 miles per hour, and excessive rainfall caused extensive
flooding. Crop losses for most traditional winter vegetables and tropical vegetables ranged
from 85 to 100 percent. Tree crops such as limes, carambola, and bananas sustained from 50
to 80 percent losses.
Freezes.--Freezes in Dade County are not unique occurrences. A freeze in 1958
caused "financial loss to Dade County's agriculture (that) was the greatest of any on record
(as of 1958)... The official low temperature for the morning of February 5, 1958, near
Homestead was 25 degrees" (4). More recently, freezes occurred during 1960, 1962, 1967,
1977, 1983, 1985, and 1989. Of these freezes, the 1958, 1977, and 1989 caused the most
extensive crop damage. The "Christmas Freeze of 1989" was an extremely damaging freeze.
High winds caused wind burn and plant desiccation. High winds exacerbated the freeze
because most types of irrigation normally used for freeze protection became ineffective when
the winds reached 15 mph and higher. Long duration of record low temperatures in the
Homestead area (250 F) and frost occurring for two consecutive nights also contributed to the
severity of damage. This freeze was preceded by temperatures in the upper 70s and some low
80s. Plants had not had any low temperatures to become winterizedd" in preparation for more
severe conditions. Therefore, any one of the factors listed above (wind, duration, record low
temperature, and frost) can severely damage trees and plants, but the combination of all four







destroyed a large portion of the winter vegetables, with nursery and grove damages continuing
to appear as late as the summer of 1990 (18).
Historical View of Dade County Agriculture
Many aspects of Dade County agriculture have changed over time. The number of
farms, size of farms, types of farms, value of farm production, and geographic location of
farms in the county have all changed.
Acreage in Farms
Census of Agriculture data gives some perspective of the changes Dade County
agriculture has undergone in the 1970s and 80s and early 90s. In 1974, there were 872 farms
in Dade County; by 1987, there were reportedly 1,623 and by 1992 there were 1,891 (Table
8). Thus the number of farms in the county increased by 117 percent between 1974 and 1992.
Farms with less than ten acres almost tripled in number, the largest increase of any size
category. In 1974, there were 437 farms that were one to nine acres in size, and by 1992 there
were 1,129 farms in this size category. This smallest size category, nine acres or less, had
grown to represent 60 percent of all farms in the county by 1992. Eighty-seven percent of
Dade farms (1,644 farms) were of 49 acres or less in size in 1992.
Dade County's average per acre value of land and buildings is nearly five times higher
than the state average (Table 8). This is probably the result of substantially higher per acre
land values for the county.
Between 1974 and 1992 there was an 117 percent increase in the number of farms in
Dade County, but there was only a 9.6 percent increase in the amount of farmland acreage
(76,318 acres in 1974 up to 83,681 acres reported in 1992). Larger parcels were being
subdivided into smaller units during this time period (Table 9). By 1992, the average farm
size was only half as large as in 1974, declining from 88 to 44 acres. From 1974 to 1992,
harvested cropland, "all other land" (land other than cropland or woodland), and irrigated land
all showed substantial increases in the number of farms but much smaller increases in the
amount of acreage. The "all other land category captures increases in the number of farms
for smaller orchards, groves, and nurseries. Harvested cropland from 1974 to 1992 increased
from 771 farms to 1,716 farms, representing a 123 percent increase; whereas, the amount of











Table 8. Number of farms categorized by acreage, value and size, for Dade County and the State of Florida.
Year

1974 1978 1982 1987 1992
Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida

Total number of farms 872 32,466 1,354 44,068 1,483 36,352 1,623 36,556 1,891 35,204
Approximate land area (Acres) 1,306,816 34,618,304 1,251,200 34,620,800 1,251,366 34,657,843 1,251,366 34,657,843 1,244,480.0 34,558,261.0
Proportion in farms 5.6 38.1 7.5 38.4 7.0 37.0 6.6 32.3 6.7 31.2

Value of land and buildings 281,682 8,896,000 533,476 15,444,000 683,663 20,066,304 555,066 19,849,908 736,911,354 21,800,605,060
($1,000)
Average value/farm (Dollars) 323,030 274,010 394,000 350,458 461,000 552,000 342,513 543,000 389,694 619,265
Average valuelacre (Dollars) 3,691 685 4,965 1,149 7,835 1,576 6,853 1,790 9,794 2,037

Number of farms with:
1 to 9 acres 437 7,090 665 10,997 544 2,449 877 7,300 1,129 7,664
10 to 49 acres 262 9,802 411 10,771 334 3,489 499 13,346 515 12,692
50 to 179 acres 73 4,645 150 5,255 103 2,083 142 8,379 143 7,738
180 to 499 acres 64 1,338 79 1,702 69 1,204 68 4,255 68 4,011
500 to 999 acres 19 419 31 537 15 602 23 1,598 23 1,451
1.000 acres and over 17 326 18 381 13 723 14 1.678 13 1,648

Source: Census of Agriculture 1974, 1978, 1982, 1987, and 1992, Florida Edition, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census.










Table 9. Farms and agricultural land use in Dade County and the State of Florida.
Year
1974 1978 1982 1987 1992
Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida Dade Florida


Number of farms
Acreage in farms
Average farm size (Acres)


Land in farms according to use:
Total cropland
farms
acreage
Harvested cropland
farms
acreage
Cropland used only for pasture or grazing
farms
acreage
All other cropland
farms
acreage
Total woodland including pasture
farms
acreage
All other land
farms
acreage
Irrigated land


872 32,466 1,354 44,068 1,483 36,352 1,623 36,556
76,318 13,199,365 98,574 13,306,231 87,420 12,814,216 83,061 11,194,090
88 407 73 302 59 353 51 306


812 28,658 1,246 38,240 1,378 30,565 1,464 29,386
62,096 3,721,831 74,506 4,497,004 72,784 4,093,583 66,313 3,790,599

771 23,620 1,198 29,643 1,336 24,396 1,420 22,677
55,730 2,304,043 64,084 2,761,473 58,940 2,643,147 61,997 2,240,831


55 12,034 72 16,691
2,064 1,086,074 4,313 1,299,766

66 4,315 163 7,502
4,302 331,714 6,109 435,765

43 9,943 102 12,184
2,176 2,932,880 5,785 2,978,291

328 19,877 601 27,812
12,046 6,544,654 18,283 5,830,936


71 11,766
9,240 1,072,069

121 5,132
4,604 378,367

84 10,157
4,832 2,875,028


55 11,460
1,340 1,004,426

135 6,264
2,976 545,342

71 9,457
3,014 2,213,679


642 23,479 696 23,779
9,804 5,845,605 13,734 5,189,812


1,891 35,204
83,681 10,766,077
44 306


1,779 28,702
68,795 3,841,505

1,716 22,556
61,342 2,400,704

61 10,916
2,590 972,995

211 5,538
4,863 467,806

69 9,185
1,892 1,922,035

706 21,224
12,994 5,002,537


farms 503 7,749 885 11,657 1,078 10,550 1,195 11,981 1,418 13,500
acreage 44.469 1.558.735 48,930 1.991.068 47.819 1.585.080 53.158 1.622.750 52.363 1.782.680
Source: Census of Agriculture 1974, 1978, 1982, 1987, and 1992, Florida Edition, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census.








harvested cropland acreage over this time period increased by only 10 percent (from 55,730
acres in 1974 to 61,342 acres in 1992). The number of farms considered "all other land" more
than doubled between 1974 and 1987, from 328 farms to 706 farms, representing a 115
percent increase. At the same time however, acreage for this "all other land" category
increased by only 8 percent, from 12,046 acres in 1974 to 12,994 in 1992. The number of
irrigated farms almost tripled between 1974 and 1992, a 182 percent increase from 503 farms
to 1,418 farms. Irrigated acreage also increased during this time frame by almost 18 percent,
from 44,469 acres to 52,363 acres. However, irrigated acreage declined by nearly 800 acres
(1.5 percent) from 1987 to 1992.
Over the 1974-92 period, Dade County experienced large percentage increases in
numbers of orchards and grove acreage compared to generally declining numbers statewide
(Table 10). The number of Dade County farms in fruit production in 1974 totaled 448 and
steadily rose to 1,092 by 1987, more than doubling the county's number of groves. However,
after years of sustained increases, grove acreage in Dade County declined slightly (5.4 percent)
from 1987 to 1992. This decline is likely due to Hurricane Andrew.
Value of Production
Census of Agriculture (22) data also provide information on the value of agricultural
production in Dade County. Table 11 and Figure 1 show published farm gate values for
agricultural production from the census. Dollar values for all years are reported in current
(1996) dollars, constant dollars adjusted for inflation. Gross production values for vegetables
and commercial ornamental horticulture generally show upward trends over the reported
census years 1974 through 1987, but the value of fruit crops declined precipitously from 1987
to 1992, from $35.0 million to $20.6 million. This drop is attributable to the widespread
destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew. The farm value of vegetables rose by 85 percent
from 1987 to 1992. Commercial ornamental horticulture also showed a substantial gain in
gross sales; in 1987, gross sales were $151.5 million to $179.6 million in 1992, an increase
of about 19 percent. Since the 1974 census, the value of gross sales of ornamental horticulture
production more than quadrupled. On the negative side, Agricultural Census statistics show
a persistent, long-term decline in field crop production; in 1992 field crop acreage was only








8 percent of what it had been in 1974, and the Census did not estimate the relatively small
value of production (Table 11).
Despite the long-run decline in field crop production, some field corn, sorghum and
soybeans are grown for seed production every year, and on occasion, fairly large acreages are
produced. When growing seasons in other parts of the United States or other seed producing
countries result in shortages of these crops, acreage in Dade County increases. For example,
seed corn production in the county increased dramatically during the 1988-89 season to
compensate for drought and subsequent crop failure in the mid-west. In 1988-89, there were
an estimated 9,000 acres of seed corn planted for seed production, whereas during a normal
season there are approximately 700 to 800 acres planted.


Table 10. Total land in orchards (groves) for fruits and nuts, Dade County and the State of
Florida.
Dade County State of Florida
Year No. of Farms Acres No. of Farms Acres

1974 448 10,557 11,079 912,079
1978 721 14,920 13,441 938,036
1982 822 15,644 11,214 938,527
1987 902 17,452 9,965 762,066
1992 1,092 16,507 10,258 914,642

% change 1974-1992 143.8% 56.4% -7.4% 0.3%

% change 1987-1992 21.1% -5.4% 2.9% 20.0%


Source: Census of Agriculure, 1974, 1978, 1982,
Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census.


1987, 1982, Florida Edition. U.S.








Table 11. Acreage and gross sales by agricultural production subsector, Dade County,
1974, 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1992.
Subsectors a
Commercial
Year Fruits b Vegetables Field Crops Ornamental
Horticulture
(Acres) ($1,000) (Acres) ($1,000) (Acres) ($1,000) (Acres) ($1,000)

1974 10,612 n.a. 26,423 n.a. 19,099 n.a. 1,205 43,420
1978 14,970 30,080 29,498 75,117 18,535 20,119 2,269 79,085
1982 15,644 24,231 29,068 89,955 11,173 17,890 3,144 80,023
1987 17,452 35,006 42,356 107,773 6,739 16,502 5,107 151,483
1992 16,507 20,632 37,170 199,605 1,487 n.a. 7,084 179,565
' Dollar values are real. Base year= 1996.
b Fruit acres represent planted acreage.
c Vegetable and field Crop acreage represents harvested acres.


Geographic Shifts in Production Areas
Over the past three decades escalating environmental concerns have spawned changes
in policies and adoption of regulations that have adversely affected agriculture and forced
geographic relocation of much agricultural production in Dade County. For over sixty years,
there was continuous farming in Everglades National Park's Hole-in-the Donut on
approximately 6,200 acres. In 1975, farming activities in the Donut ceased and tomato and
other vegetable growers were forced to find other acreage (6). With new technology, land
previously believed to be submarginal was converted to agricultural use. During the late
1980s, the East Everglades, also known as "the other side of the dike", was farmed without
severe flood damage. Tree row trenches were back-filled and "bedded up", affording some
protection from flooding.
In 1988, land adjacent to the eastern boundary of Everglades National Park was
purchased for vegetable production by six farming enterprises. This area, known as "the Frog
Pond", was the largest contiguous area of farmland in Dade County, comprising eight and one
half square miles or approximately 5,400 acres when acquired by the farmers. In recent years






however, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has acquired 5,200 acres
of the entire Frog Pond area as part of the Everglades Restoration Program. According to
SFWMD, personnel half of the Frog Pond acreage has been leased back to private citizens for
agricultural purposes. The SFWMD is also attempting to purchase 5,400 acres of farmland
in the Rocky Glades area. To date the SFWMD has bought 1,723 acres, 922 acres of which
has been leased back to agricultural producers. Thus, approximately 9,600 acres of farmland
has been taken out of production in these three environmentally sensitive areas since 1975, and
even more agricultural land will be taken out of production when SFWMD achieves its land
acquisition goal in the Rocky Glades area.
Production of Selected Agricultural Commodities
Dade County's diversified commercial agricultural industry can be categorized into four
major subsectors: ornamental horticulture, traditional vegetables, tropical vegetables and
tropical fruits. The discussion which follows addresses each of the subsectors, identifying
principle commodities, production trends for selected commodities, and estimates of 1995-96
production and F.O.B. value of production.
Descriptive discussions of the various agricultural commodities produced in Dade
County which appeared in the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center's 1990 benchmark
study, Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Dade County. Florida are not
repeated here for the sake of brevity. Readers interested in basic attributes of the various
crops and general cultural practices are referred to the original study (18).
It should be noted that the total economic impact of agriculture was essentially based
upon new dollars that are generated by sales of production and embodied services sold outside
of Dade County. Thus, it was necessary to estimate sales of all commodities within and
outside of the county. In addition, the vast agricultural service industry which includes
landscaping, lawn care, tree surgeons, etc, in Dade County was not included in this study
because most of these services are performed within the county and thus do not generate "new"
dollars.







Commercial Ornamental Horticulture
The very nature of Dade County's sub-tropical environment encourages a diverse,
complex horticultural industry. The nursery industry in Dade County has grown from 492
nurseries and flower growers in 1957-58 (4) to about 761 nurseries registered with Florida's
Department of Plant Inspection (DPI) in 1996 (13). Considering that some of these nurseries
have multiple locations, it is currently estimated that there are between 1,000 and 1,200
nursery sites in Dade County. This represents an increase of about 55 percent in the number
of nurseries in the county in four decades. The number of nurseries is only up about 1.5
percent since 1989 when DPI registered 750 nurseries in the county, but dollar volume of sales
has increased by 55 percent.
In addition to plant nurseries, the commercial ornamental horticulture sector also
includes landscape and interiorscape maintenance services, landscape contractors and
architects, suppliers of nursery equipment and materials, a cut flower industry with nearly
100 importers, some of which are multi-million dollar import-export establishments, and a
vast array of businesses such as golf courses, condominium complexes, cemeteries, parks, etc.
that employ various types of horticultural experts .
Types of nursery operations
There are basically three types of nurseries in Dade County. They are "field",
"container", and "greenhouse". A number of Dade nursery owners having varied acreage
combinations of the three. Field nurseries are always grown on marl soil because it is
prohibitively expensive to harvest trees grown on rockland soils. They generally range in size
from one to two acres to several hundred acres depending on the type of production. Field
nurseries usually have trees in the ground from a minimum of 1.5 years to 4 years and planting
densities between 500 and 1,000 trees per acre depending upon the type of tree.
Field nurseries in Dade County supply trees to malls and various indoor establishments
throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since these trees have been grown in full sun, nurseries
must, depending on the final destination point, transfer the trees to large shade houses for a
period of time appropriate for acclimation. Similarly, shade houses are also used in container
nurseries. Landscape plants destined for South Florida can be grown in full sun; however, for








those plants shipped to other destinations or grown for interiorscape purposes, shade houses
are used to reduce the amount of sunlight under which the plant in grown, thereby adapting
plants to a variety of conditions.
In addition to field nurseries and container nurseries, there are also nurseries that specialize
in liners, starter plants grown from tissue culture or seed, and supplied to growers in South
Florida from growers located within the county as well as other parts of the U.S., Europe, the
Caribbean, and Central America. Some larger nursery businesses have their own off-shore
operations that supply liners and smaller plant material to their Dade County operation.
Survey Analyses
It is important to stress that the survey, analyses, and conclusions provided as part of
this study do not include the service sector of the ornamental horticultural industry. This
service sector includes landscape maintenance firms, landscape architects, lawn equipment
dealers, and so forth. Restricted by time, resources, and the industry's diversity and
complexity, this study only surveyed the Dade County nurseries registered with the Florida
Department of Agriculture's Division of Plant Inspection (DPI), and this survey determined
the aggregate economic impact of plant nurseries. Data on nurseries' production practices,
acreages, sales volumes and location of sales activity (in county vs. out-of-county) were
obtained through a mail survey with an intensive telephone follow-up effort to interview non-
respondents to the mail survey.
The mail survey, requesting nursery information for calendar year 1996, was conducted
during the spring of 1997. DPI provided its most current computer listing of all registered
Dade County nurseries (13). However, services that were provided by the DPI inspected
nurseries that were incidental to their plant production operations are included. The DPI
mailing list included a total of 761 nurseries. As completed questionnaires were returned to
FARMC, research assistant conducted follow-up calls to clarify information if necessary.
Non-respondents were contacted by telephone to obtain data. At least five attempts were made
to reach each number on the DPI list. Searches of Internet phone directories were made to
find telephone numbers that had changed. In total, the survey effort yielded information on
390 DPI listings. Of the 390 cooperating respondents, 314 provided usable economic
information, while the remaining 76 were hobbyists, recently established firms with no sales
activities during the 1996 period, or firms that had gone out of business. Attempts were made








to interview the other 371 firms on the DPI list, but many were unreachable, some telephone
numbers were unlisted, and others refused to cooperate. The 390 cooperating nurseries
represent a 51 percent response rate to the survey effort. The 314 questionnaires providing
usable economic data represent a 41 percent usable response rate for the economic portion of
the survey. It is not unusual for agricultural mail surveys of this type to have only a 10 to 15
percent response rate.
Information obtained from the 390 cooperating businesses was used to estimate the
economic activity among the 371 unreachable or uncooperative nurseries. The 371 were
distributed as the 390 across categories of active nurseries, out of business, hobbyists, or
recently started with no 1996 sales activity. All subsequent discussion of the economic data
refers to 592 commercial nurseries estimated to be active in Dade County that had sales in
1996. This number excludes 72 nurseries estimated to be small-scale hobbyists, 88 operations
that have been acquired by or merged with other Dade County nurseries, and 9 recently
established nurseries that had no sales during calendar 1996.
Container acreage was estimated to be about 2,661 (30.7 percent), field acreage was 5,547
(64.0 percent) and greenhouse acreage was 459 (5.3 percent) (Figure 6). According to DPI
records, nursery acreage in Dade County totaled 8,700.3 acres in 1996. This figure was
adjusted to remove non-commercial and startup acreage, resulting in a commercial acreage
estimate of 8,667 acres.
With respect to production systems, 31.5 percent specialized solely in container
production, 7.6 percent were solely in field production, and 6.4 percent only used greenhouses
(Figure 7). The remaining 54.5 percent had some combination of container, greenhouse,
and/or field operations. Almost 100 percent of all gross sales were from the wholesale trade
(Figure 8), 96.7 percent of gross sales were from plant sales and 3.3 percent from sales of
related services (Figure 9). Foliage sales accounted for 34.4 percent of the total value of
production, followed by woody ornamentals with 29.4 percent. Flowering plants generated
25.9 percent of total value, followed by fruit and nut trees with 9.0 percent and bedding plants
with 1.3 percent (Figure 10). Seventy-four percent of gross sales were made to buyers outside
Dade County (Figure 11).







Figure 6. Major nursery production systems and acreages.


Field
5,547 acres 64.0%


Greenhouse
459 acres 5.3%


Containers
2,661 acres 30.7%


Figure 7. Production system specialization.


Field only
7.6% Container
Greenhouse nlY31.5%
only 6.4%


Combination
54.5%








Figure 8. Percentages of wholesale and retail nursery sales.


Wholesale
99.9%


Retail
0.1%


Figure 9. Percentages of gross sales comprised of plants and related services.


Plant Sales
96.7%


Related Services
3.3%







Figure 10. Percentages of sales of various types of nursery crops grown in
Dade County.


Foliage
34.4%



Woody
29.4%
Fruit & Nut trees
9.0%

Sit, "Bedding plants
1.3%

Flowering plants
25.9%



Figure 11. Percentages of gross sales inside and outside Dade County.


Outside Dade County
74.0%


Inside Dade County
26.0%








Gross sales per acre.-Generally, field nurseries show the lowest overall gross income
per acre, then container, and the greatest income per acre from greenhouses. Survey results
indicated that the average gross income over all types of operations was $30,649 per acre.
Therefore, it is estimated that the total value of Dade County's nursery production was $265.7
million in 1996 (Table 2, Figure 4).
Traditional Vegetables
Dade County is known for its winter vegetable production due to the commodities
grown in winter months, when much of the U.S. vegetable production is dormant. Traditional
vegetables produced in Dade County include tomatoes, potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, pole
beans, bush beans, sweet corn, seed corn, and soybeans, strawberries, cucumbers, pickles,
okra, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, southern field peas, and turnips. Corn and soybeans grown
for seed are technically agronomic crops, but are included in this section for lack of a more
appropriate classification within the report. This list represents those vegetables grown in
Dade County for which there were published data (11), official but unpublished data (10), data
collected from local growers, or data that could be estimated by using local information on
acreage and yield and using published prices. Therefore, this list is not considered exhaustive;
there may be other vegetables grown in Dade but are not itemized here because production is
either very small or is unreported.
During the 1995-96 season, traditional vegetables grown in Dade County accounted for
approximately one-third of the value of all agricultural production. Traditional vegetables
were estimated to have an aggregate total gross production value of $174.2 million of which
98 percent or $171.1 million were sales outside the county (Table 12). The distinction made
between the proportions of commodity sales within the county vs. sales outside of Dade
County is necessary for economic impact analysis and is explained in greater detail in the first
major section of this report. Tomatoes, bush beans, potatoes, squash and peppers accounted
for about 90 percent of the total value of traditional vegetable crops in the 1995-96 season.








Table 12. Estimated value of traditional vegetables sold outside of and within Dade County,
1995-96.
Value of crop sold Value of crop
Commodity outside Dade sold within Dade Total crop value
(--------------- -Dollars------------------)

Tomatoes 68,197,140 688,860 68,886,000
Bush and pole beans 40,974,888 413,888 41,388,776
Potatoes 23,525,964 237,636 23,763,600
Squash, yellow and zucchini 12,818,047 261,593 13,079,640
Sweet corn 9,704,683 98,027 9,802,710
Seed, corn & soybeans 2,904,000 0 2,904,000
Peppers, bell 2,057,652 228,628 2,286,280
Strawberries 762,080 762,080 1,524,160
Eggplant 1,443,314 14,579 1,457,893
Cucumbers (slicers) 860,740 87,212 947,952
Other' a 7,880,048 300,323 8,256,960

Total 171,128,556 3,092,825 174,297,971
a Other includes estimated data for cabbage, pickling cucumbers, okra, and Southern field peas.
Source: Published, unpublished and estimated data. All itemized listings are public information
estimates. Confidential data have been aggregated.








Tomatoes accounted for about 40 percent of the total value of traditional vegetables.
Dade County tomato producers fared quite well compared to growers in other parts of the state
in 1995-96 with respect to prices. The average F.O.B. price per 25 pound box was $11.56,
compared with only $7.28 for all other districts covered by the Federal Market Order (14).
Although Dade County growers did well in the 1995-96 season, the situation has not been as
favorable in recent seasons. Economic changes in Mexico, stimulated by the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the major devaluation of the peso, resulted in a flood
of Mexican tomatoes to U.S. markets, seriously reducing prices. Low tomato prices and the
uncertainties of Mexican competition have greatly impacted the entire Florida tomato industry.
From the 1992-93 season to the 1995-96 season, statewide harvested tomato acreage has
declined by 12 percent and Dade County acreage has dropped by nearly 36 percent (Table 13).
Statewide shipments under the tomato marketing order declined by 25 percent during this
period, and shipments from Dade County dropped 19 percent. Despite favorable yields and
prices in 1995-96, the F.O.B. value of Dade county's tomato production was far less than it
was during the late 1980s and early 1990s (Table 14).
Snap beans
During the 1995-96 season, estimated total gross sales for bush and pole beans
produced in Dade County were over $41 million. Bush and pole beans were the second most
important traditional vegetable crop in terms of total revenues (Table 12).
Over the past 10 seasons, snap bean acreage in Dade County has been erratic, ranging
from a low of 12,000 acres in 1989-90 to a high of 20,800 acres in the 1992-93 season. Over
the past four years, however, acreage has trended downward, reaching 14,300 acres in the
1995-96 season, the smallest acreage since the 10 year low in 1989-90. Production for the
state as a whole has been variable as well, showing no discernable trends during the past
decade (Table 15). Dade County typically accounts for a substantial portion of the state's total
snap bean acreage. Over the 1986-87 through 1995-96 seasons, Dade County's proportion of
the state's snap bean acreage ranged from over 76 percent in 1992-93 to a low of 54 percent
in 1994-95. It amounted to about 56 percent of the state's total in 1995-96 (Table 15).









Table 13. Tomato acreage, Dade County and the State of Florida, 1980-81 to 1995-96.
Dade Acreage as a proportion
Season Dade County Floridaa of total Florida acreage
(Acres) (Acres) (Percent)

1980-81 13,403 44,801 29.9
1981-82 10,898 39,095 27.9
1982-83 12,892 43,386 29.7
1983-84 12,787 45,400 28.2
1984-85 11,180 44,729 25.0
1985-86 11,602 45,530 25.5
1986-87 11,113 50,908 21.8
1987-88 9,135 53,939 16.9
1988-89 8,015 57,663 13.9
1989-90 5,742 49,306 11.6
1990-91 5,580 45,597 12.2
1991-92 5,048 46,255 10.9
1992-93 5,690 44,477 12.8
1993-94 5,030 45,189 11.1
1994-95 4,345 43,735 9.9
1995-96 3,650 39,144 9.3
' Lost or abandoned acreage from each district removed.
Source: Florida Tomato Committee Annual Reports, 1980 to 1996.








Table 14. Tomato prices, production and total sales, Dade County, 1982-83
through 1995-96.
Season Price Productiona Total Sales 1996 Dollars
(Dollars) (1,000 cartons) ($1,000)

1982-83 8.15 9,194 74,931 89,493
1983-84 9.24 10,665 98,545 114,237
1984-85 9.15 9,618 88,005 113,175
1985-86 7.77 8,025 62,354 82,087
1986-87 7.02 8,650 60,723 77,764
1987-88 7.46 11,294 84,253 98,229
1988-89 9.86 11,333 111,743 123,230
1989-90 11.98 4,816 57,696 62,889
1990-91 9.25 7,950 73,538 85,086
1991-92 13.92 10,390 144,629 170,735
1992-93 7.55 7,395 55,832 63,756
1993-94 7.06 6,762 47,740 54,925
1994-95 8.27 5,889 48,702 55,459
1995-96 11.56 5,959 68,886 68,886
a One carton weighs 25 pounds.
Source: Florida Tomato Committee Annual Report, 1982-1996.








Potatoes
The Pre dominant type of potatoes grown for winter harvest in south Florida are the
"red-skinned" varieties, with most of the winter crop sold for table stock. During the 1995-96
season, Dade County's potato crop was estimated to have total gross sales of about $23.8
million, down from $30 million recorded in 1988-89. Over the past decade, potato acreage
in Dade County trended slightly lower, from just over 5,000 acres in the late 1980s to slightly
under 5,000 acres in the early 1990s. After a significant dip to only 3,100 acres in the 1994-
95 season, acreage rebounded to 4,600 acres in 1995-96. Although prices remained relatively
low, good yields and larger plantings boosted total crop value to $23.8 million (Tables 12 and
15).
Squash
Squash production in Dade County includes both yellow crookneck and zucchini,
although zucchini is grown on a much smaller scale. Total acreage of both types for 1995-96
for Dade County was approximately 4,600 acres. Total estimated gross sales for the 1995-96
season were approximately $13.1 million (Table 12).
Over the 10 year period from 1986-87 through 1995-96, squash acreage in Dade
County has fluctuated between 5,250 and 3,400 acres. Acreage in 1995-96 was 4,600 acres.
Squash acreage in Dade County has been quite variable over the last decade, there have been
no discernable trends, but statewide, squash acreage has been trending downward. In the
1980s, Dade County typically accounted for about one-fourth to one-third of the state's
acreage. However, over the past few seasons, Dade has accounted for about 40 percent of the
total, and in 1995-96 Dade's acreage was nearly half of the state's.
Sweet corn
In 1995-96, gross sales of sweet corn were estimated at $9.8 million, up from about
$8.0 million in 1988-89. Acreage in 1990-91 was only 1,030 acres, but there was an upward
trend in acreage during the early to mid 1990s. By 1995-96, sweet corn acreage had increased
to 4,500 acres. This represented an increase of nearly 17 percent over the acreage reported
in 1988-89 (Table 18).








Seed corn, sorghum and soybeans
Dade County seed production during the 1995-96 crop year was slightly higher than
normal production years, with an estimated combined acreage of 1,320 for corn, sorghum and
soybeans. Seed production acreage in Dade County is extremely variable, depending on
growing conditions in other parts of the U.S. and other countries where seed production
occurs. As many as 50 different companies and research institutions involved in plant
breeding and seed production maintain a presence in Dade County as insurance against
unfavorable growing conditions in the U.S. and abroad. As recently as 1988-89, acreage in
Dade County seed corn acreage was 9,000 acres, the result of a severe drought in the mid-
west. Most Dade County seed production is used as foundation stock for breeding purposes
rather than for crop production.







Table 15. Bush and pole bean acreage, Dade County and Florida, 1976-77 to 1993-94.
Dade Acreage as a proportion of
Season Dade County Florida total Florida acreage
(Acres) (Acres) (Percent)

1976-77 5,530 40,000 13.8
1977-78 7,250 51,000 14.2
1978-79 7,400 54,100 13.7
1979-80 9,750 54,300 18.0
1980-81 12,500 42,600 29.3
1981-82 16,300 48,300 33.7
1982-83 20,000 46,400 43.1
1983-84 21,100 44,000 48.0
1984-85 21,800 45,700 47.7
1985-86 23,000 37,900 60.7
1986-87 20,950 34,000 61.6
1987-88 20,200 29,400 68.7
1988-89 18,500 25,900 71.4
1989-90 12,000 19,700 60.9
1990-91 14,600 20,950 69.7
1991-92 18,500 29,450 62.8
1992-93 20,800 27,200 76.5
1993-94 17,700 25,500 69.4
1994-95 17,200 31,600 54.4
1995-96 14,300 25,300 56.5
Source: Florida Agricultural Statistics, Vegetable Summary, (1977-96).








Table 16. Harvested acres of potatoes, Dade County and Florida 1976-77 to 1995-96
Dade Acreage as a proportion
Season Dade County Florida of total Florida acreage


(Acres)


(Acres)


(Percent)


1976-77 6,950
1977-78 7,350
1978-79 6,000
1979-80 6,750
1980-81 6,400
1981-82 5,200
1982-83 5,100
1983-84 5,400
1984-85 5,500
1985-86 5,000
1986-87 5,000
1987-88 5,200
1988-89 5,100
1989-90 4,800
1990-91 4,800
1991-92 4,900
1992-93 4,700
1993-94 4,300
1994-95 3,100
1995-96 4,600
Source: Florida Agricultural Statistics,


30,100
32,300
28,000
27,300
29,900
31,900
31,300
33,600
35,100
32,600
35,700
36,100
42,600
44,700
43,000
40,100
41,900
46,400
42,900
44,300
Vegetable Summary, (1977-96).


23.1
22.8
21.4
24.7
21.4
16.3
16.3
16.1
15.7
15.3
14.0
14.4
12.0
10.7
11.2
12.2
11.2
9.3
7.2
10.4








Table 17. Harvested acres of squash, Dade County and the State of Florida, 1972-73 to
1995-96.
Dade Acreage as a proportion
Season Dade County Florida of total Florida acreage
(Acres) (Acres) (Percent)

1972-73 2,970 9,800 30.3
1973-74 3,730 10,100 36.9
1974-75 3,000 11,200 26.8
1975-76 3,400 11,400 29.8
1976-77 3,500 12,000 29.2
1977-78 3,600 11,850 30.4
1978-79 3,400 13,350 25.5
1979-80 3,600 13,500 26.7
1980-81 3,900 14,800 26.4
1981-82 4,550 16,600 27.4
1982-83 4,550 16,100 28.3
1983-84 5,600 16,800 33.3
1984-85 5,300 16,500 32.1
1985-86 4,800 15,800 30.4
1986-87 5,000 15,200 32.9
1987-88 5,250 14,000 37.5
1988-89 4,018 13,650 29.4
1989-90 3,400 11,700 29.1
1990-91 4,600 11,800 39.0
1991-92 5,400 13,300 40.6
1992-93 3,700 10,500 35.2
1993-94 5,300 13,300 39.9
1994-95 5,150 11,900 43.3
1995-96 4,600 9,600 47.9
Source: Florida Agricultural Statistics, Vegetable Summary, (1977-96).








Bell peppers
Bell peppers generated about $2.3 million in sales in 1995-96. For most of the 1990s,
bell pepper acreage in Dade County could not be reported because of confidentiality
restrictions, so recent trends cannot be analyzed. However, in 1995-96, there were 250 acres
of bell peppers, down slightly from the 300 acres recorded in the 1994-95 season. Even so,
the 1995-96 acreage is almost five times greater than that recorded in the 1988-89 season, and
two to three times greater than reported in most seasons of the 1980s (Tables 12 and 18).
Strawberries
Strawberries are a relatively minor crop in Dade County, accounting for only 80 acres
of production in the 1995 season. Yet, strawberries generated a total value of over $1.5
million. Acreage has slowly, but steadily increased during the 1990s (Table 18). Most
strawberry producers have relatively small acreages, and many of the berries are sold directly
to consumers through u-pick operations or roadside stands.
Eggplant
Eggplant sales for the 1995-96 season were almost $1.5 million, about double the value
in the 1988-89 season (Table 12). Acreage in 1995-96 was estimated at 280 acres, up
considerably from the 124 acres reported in 1988-89. For the past few seasons, eggplant
acreage has been in the 275-300 acre range (Table 18).
Cucumbers (Fresh market)
The value of cuke sales was approximately $948,000 in the 1995-96 season, compared
with $3.7 million in the 1988-89 season. Lower prices and considerably lower acreage
contributed to this drop in value. Acreage of fresh market cukes was 400 acres in 1988-89,
but only 200 acres in 1995-96. During the early 1990s, fresh market acreage ranged from 500
to 900 acres (acreage for 1992-93 and 1994-95 could not be reported due to confidentiality
restrictions. The 1995-96 fresh market acreage was the lowest reported since the 1985-86 and
1986-87 seasons (Table 18). Meanwhile, acreage of pickling cucumbers remained relatively
strong. Because of confidentiality restrictions, acreage and market value of pickling
cucumbers is not published here, however their value is included in the "Other" category.








Table 18. Published acreage estimates of selected traditional vegetables, Dade County,
1979-80 to 1995-96.
Fresh Market Bell
Season Okra Cucumbers Eggplant peppers Cabbage Sweet corn Strawberries

1979-80 190 a 120 100 200 3900 100
1980-81 1000 a 100 75 200 1700 100
1981-82 700 a 100 55 275 1100 35
1982-83 875 a 120 75 180 2570 50
1983-84 875 a 90 80 1400 50
1984-85 900 a 110 120 2900 a
1985-86 950 200 110 90 2900 a
1986-87 900 200 150 230 530 3400 a
1987-88 a a a a a a a
1988-89 800 400 124 53 400 3859 a
1989-90 a a a a a a a
1990-91 a 650 0 0 0 1030 34
1991-92 a 900 0 a 305 2460 56
1992-93 471 a 275 a 360 2400 61
1993-94 a 500 290 a 180 3360 67
1994-95 a a 305 300 a 3640 78
1995-96 a 200 280 250 a 4500 80
a No published estimates not available.
Sources: Dade-IFAS Cooperative Extension Service, Homestead, Florida, 1970-80 to 1988-89, Florida
Agricultural Statistics Service, 1990-1996.








Other traditional vegetables
This category includes cabbage, pickling cucumbers, okra and southern field peas,
cherry tomatoes and plum tomatoes. Some of these crops represent substantial acreage and
sales, however they cannot be reported separately because of confidentiality restrictions. In
total, the "other" category included approximately 3,500 acres (unofficial estimates) for these
crops, with a combined F.O.B. market value of about $8.3 million in the 1995-96 season
(Table 12).
Tropical Vegetables
Vegetables included in this section are those that are generally grown in the tropics but
grown in Dade County due to favorable tropical growing conditions. Scientific names are
indicated below for these vegetable crops because of the confusion sometimes associated with
identifying them.
Based upon grower interviews, Dade County tropical vegetables were estimated to have
aggregate gross sales of approximately $25.0 million during the 1995-96 season, about $1.0
million below sales in 1988-89. Boniato, malanga, calabaza and cassava are the most widely
planted tropical vegetables in Dade County. In the 1995-96 season, these four "Cuban"
vegetables accounted for over 96 percent of the tropical vegetable acreage. The Miami and
Tampa Bay areas are the main points of consumption within Florida, and out-of-state
shipments are primarily destined for New York City and Philadelphia markets (11). Growers
and shippers estimate that 90 percent of the Cuban vegetables are shipped outside of Dade
County. Boniato and malanza were by far the most important in 1995-96, accounting for about
92 percent of the total harvested acreage of about 8,800 acres. Calabaza and cassava
accounted for just over four percent of the tropical vegetable acreage. "Asian" vegetables,
various herbs and spices accounted for just under 4 percent of total harvested acreage.
Boniato
Ipomoea batatas is the scientific name for boniato, which is also known as the tropical
sweet potato. Acreage in 1995-96 was estimated at 4,200, down 30 percent from the 6,000
acres reported in 1988-89. Despite the decline from the 1988-89 levels, the 1995-96 acreage
reflects a significant increase over most seasons in the early 1990s when intense competition







from imports drastically reduced Dade County acreage. In the 1991-92 season, acreage dipped
to only 1,925, and gradually increased in the 1992-93 through 1994-95 seasons (Table 20).
The total value of boniato in the 1995-96 season was estimated at approximately $11.8 million,
90 percent of which was sold outside of Dade County (Table 19).
Malanga
There are two types of malanga grown in Dade County: (1) malanga (blanca and
amarilla) scientifically known as Xanthosoma sp. and commonly called tannier, yautia, or
cocoyam and (2) malanga islefia with a scientific name of Colocasia esculenta Schott
commonly known as taro, dasheen, tannier, eddoe, or cocoyam (18). Malanga blanca is a
starchy tuber with a shaggy brown skin and a beige colored flesh. Malanga islefia or taro has
been grown as a specialty crop in Florida since the early 1900s and has been a basic food plant
in the Orient for over 2,000 years. Taro is a brown, barrel-shaped shaggy tuber with varying
flesh colors of white, beige, and light grey. Malanga can be used as a potato substitute (18).
In the 1995 season, harvested malanga acreage in Dade county was approximately
3,900 acres. While this acreage is nearly 25 percent lower than the 5,100 acres reported in
the 1988-89 benchmark study, it represents acreages nearly double those reported in the early
1990s (Table 20). The total value of malanga production was estimated at $11.7 million, with
$10.5 million shipped outside of Dade County (Table 19).
Calabaza
The scientific name for calabaza is Cucurbita moschata, and it is commonly known as
the Cuban pumpkin, tropical pumpkin, or simply as "pumpkin". The calabaza is thought to
have been cultivated by the Mayan and Aztec Indians when the first explorers stepped ashore
in the New World. It is frequently round, more commonly pear shaped, and varies in color
from solid green to traditional orange to a striped variation of the two (18).








Table 19. Estimated value of tropical vegetables sold outside of and within Dade
County, 1995-96.
Value of crop sold Value of crop sold Total crop
Commodity outside Dade within Dade value
(---------------- -Dollars----------------)

Boniato 10,584,000 1,176,000 11,760,000
Malanga 10,530,000 1,170,000 11,700,000
Calabaza 242,000 198,000 440,000
Thai & Chinese eggplant 244,530 12,870 257,400
Cassava 126,016 84,011 210,026
Tindora 80,750 4,250 85,000
Bitter melon 76,995 777 77,773
Long beans 75,058 758 75,816
Other 416,325 22,671 438,996

Total 22,375,674 2,669,337 25,045,011


'Other includes winged beans, luffa,
long squash, mint, dill and chives.


bela melon, lemongrass, Thai spice, basil,


Chinese okra,


Source: Published, unpublished and estimated data. All itemized listings are public information
and estimates. Confidential data have been aggregated.







Table 20. Acreage for selected tropical vegetables, Dade County.

Season Malanga Boniato Calabaza Cassava
(------------------- Acres- ----------------)

1979-80 4,100 5,500 1,100 200
1980-81 4,000 5,500 900 200
1981-82 2,500 6,000 400 300
1982-83 1,690 3,375 975 560
1983-84 2,155 3,600 900 750
1984-85 2,400 4,000 1,000 850
1985-86 2,500 5,000 1,200 1,900
1986-87 2,500 2,000 800 1,000
1987-88 a a a a
1988-89 5,100 6,000 1,000 1,000
1989-90 a a a a
1990-91 2,310 2,750 100 50
1991-92 1,620 1,925 100 35
1992-93 2,080 2,475 100 45
1993-94 2,310 2,750 100 50
1994-95 2,500 5,000 20 25
1995-96 3,900 4,200 220 150
a Estimates were not available for these years.
Source: Dade County Agriculture Statistical Report, 1979-80 to 1988-89, Dade/IFAS
Cooperative Extension Service, Homestead, Florida, and interviews with growers, processors and
extension service personnel.








Acreage of calabaza in 1995-96 was estimated by growers at 220 acres, down from
1,000 in 1988-89. As with boniato and malanga, calabaza acreage has suffered major
reductions because of import competition. Through most of early 1990s calabaza production
was only 100 acres per season (Table 20). Although acreage rebounded in the 1995-96 season,
it is too early to tell if further increases will follow. The calabaza sales were estimated at
$440,000 for 1995-96, compared with $2 million in 1988-89. Slightly over half, 55 percent,
was estimated to have been shipped outside of Dade County (Table 19).
Cassava
Manihot esculanta is the scientific name for cassava or yuca. Cassava is a bark
covered root vegetable with a white flesh and is grown only in tropical climates. Its foliage
forms a green lacy canopy about six feet over its roots. Its high starch content makes it useful
as a thickener and it is also the source of tapioca. The outer bark and underskin of the root
must be peeled before using In addition to the root, the cassava foliage is consumed as a
legume in some Third World countries where cassava is a food staple (18).
Cassava production in Dade County has followed the same general patterns as boniato,
malanga and calabaza: from peak acreage in the late 1980s, acreage plummeted in the early
1990s due to import competition. In 1988-89, cassava acreage was estimated at 1,000 and the
value of production was approximately $1.4 million. However, in the 1990-91 season acreage
dropped to 50 acres, and by 1994-95 only 25 acres of cassava were grown in Dade County.
In 1995-96, acreage rebounded to an estimated 150 acres, with a value of about $210,000
(Tables 19 and 20).
Other specialty vegetables
In addition to the four "Cuban" vegetables discussed above, there are at least 16 other
specialty vegetables, herbs and spices grown in Dade County. Of these, only Thai and
Chinese eggplant, tindora, bitter melon and long beans are reported separately because of
confidentiality restrictions. Winged beans, luffa, bela melon, lemongrass, Thai spice, basil,
Chinese okra, long squash, mint, dill and chives are all included in the "other" category to
avoid disclosure of confidential data.







These specialty vegetables are grown on a much smaller scale than the tropical
vegetables listed above and are destined primarily for New York and Chicago but some are
also shipped to other major U.S. cities. Grower acreage of any one crop is usually quite
small. It is estimated that 90 to nearly 100 percent of these vegetables are shipped out of Dade
County.
Thai and Chinese eggplant.--These eggplant are similar to the varieties normally
available in the supermarket but differ in size and shape. Thai eggplant (Solanum
macrocarpon) is quite small and round while Chinese eggplant (Solanum melongena) is long
and cylindrical and is purplish in coloration. Thai eggplant is purple, white, green, or white
with green netting (18).
Acreage of Thai and Chinese eggplant increased from an estimated 44 acres in 1988-89
to 60 acres in 1995-96. The total value of production was approximately $145,000 in 1988-
89, but over $257,000 in 1995-96 (Table 19).
Tindora.--Tindora (Coccinia cordifolia) looks like a tiny cucumber but is grown as a
perennial vine, like grapes. It is planted in February and harvested from May through October.
Yields average about 8,500 pounds per acre. Approximately 95 percent of production is
shipped out of Dade County to major metropolitan areas, particularly New York and Chicago.
During the 1988-89 season tindora gross sales for the county totaled an estimated $59,500.
Total sales increased to about $85,000 in 1995-96, and about 95 percent was shipped out of
Dade County (Table 19). From 1988-89 to 1995-96, acreage increased from about 7 acres to
10.
Bitter melon.--There are several varieties of bitter melon; the one grown in Dade
County (Momordica charantia) is a mild, Indian variety with a smooth exterior. These are
shaped like a long, slightly curved zucchini; some varieties are much more bitter than others.
Bitter melon can be grown on a trellis or can be left to crawl along the ground (18). Yields
are generally about 3,000 pounds per acre, but they were slightly lower in 1995-96. There
were an estimated 18 harvested acres of bitter melon in the county during 1988-89 and 40
acres in 1995-96. For the 1995-96 season, gross sales of bitter melon for the county were
estimated at approximately $78,000, up from $40,000 in 1988-89 (Table 19).








Long beans. --Long beans, Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis, are also referred
to as yardlong beans or asparagus beans. These are similar to black-eyed peas in taste, cuisine
preparation, and appearance except that they grow to be two to three feet in length, hence the
name yardlong beans. There are two types of long beans, pole long beans and bush long
beans; the former requires support by trellis or fence (18). About 90 percent of production
is shipped to major out-of-state markets such as New Orleans, New York, and Chicago.
During 1988-89, there were 54 acres of long beans grown in Dade county, but acreage
dropped to about 25 acres in 1995-96. Yields also decreased, from 4,200 pounds per acre to
3,800 pounds while the price remained the same. As a result, the value of production declined
from about $181,000 in 1988-89 to approximately $76,000 in 1995-96 (Table 19).
Other specialty vegetable crops.--The "other" category includes winged beans, luffa,
bela melon, lemongrass, Thai spice, basil, Chinese okra, long squash, mint, dill and chives.
Inclusion in this category does not mean they are inconsequential, because some acreages are
relatively large; they are included here because of confidentiality restrictions.
Total acreage in the other category was estimated at 202 acres in 1995-96, and the
value of production was about $439,000 (Table 19). Approximately 95 percent of the
production was shipped to destinations outside Dade County.
Tropical Fruit
Dade County's climate encourages tropical fruit experimentation and production. As
a result, over 35 different tropical fruits are grown in the county, 20 on a commercial scale.
Total tropical fruit acreage in 1996 was estimated at 13,291 acres, about 6,800 acres less than
reported for the 1990 economic impact study (Table 21). Hurricane Andrew was the major
factor responsible for this drastic acreage loss. Although recent tree censuses have shown
steady increases in acreage of most major tropical fruits the rate of increase has been relatively
slow. Competitive pressures from Mexico, particularly from limes and mangos, have
adversely affected replanting of these crops.
In addition to the very large total losses in fruit crop acreages caused by Hurricane
Andrew, lingering effects of the storm continued to affect productivity of many tree crops
during the 1995-96 season. Many avocado and mango trees were blown over, requiring








resetting. Severe pruning was also required on reset trees and on those with significant
damage to major branches and limbs. These "hat-racked" trees had not regained full
productivity by 1995-96. This reduced productivity resulted in a 25 percent drop in the total
value of production compared with the 1988-89 season, the focus of the previous economic
impact study. Total fruit crop sales declined from $74 million in 1988-89 to $56.1 million in
1995-96 (Figure 3).
In terms of acreage, avocados, Persian (Tahiti) limes, mangos, carambola, lychee,
papaya, longan, mamey sapote, specialty banana (including plantain) and guava are the most
important, accounting for 98 percent of total acreage in 1996 (Table 21). Acreage trends and
estimates of the value of production of these and other imported tropical fruit crops appear
below.
Avocados
Avocados have been cultivated in tropical America since pre-Columbian times; they
arrived in Florida in 1833 (16). Currently, there are 58 varieties of avocados grown and
marketed commercially in Florida (12). In 1996, Dade County had 6,305 acres of avocados,
nearly 90 percent of the state's total (8). Within Dade County, avocados constitute slightly
over 47 percent of the total tropical fruit acreage (Table 21).
Examination of long-term acreage trends for avocados in Dade County shows rapid
expansion in the late 1970s and early 1980s when acreage increased from nearly 7,300 acres
in 1976 to nearly 11,000 acres in 1984 (Table 22, Figure 12). After several years of modest
declines, avocado acreage was approximately 9,000 acres in 1990. The tropical fruit census
in March, 1993 showed that avocado acreage had dropped to less than 6,000 in the aftermath
of Hurricane Andrew. The 1996 census confirmed a modest rebound in avocado acreage.
Nevertheless, 1996 avocado acreage was still about 2,700 acres (nearly 30 percent) below that
reported in the 1990 economic impact study (18). Despite the reduced acreage, recovering
yields and reasonably good prices resulted in a total avocado crop value (F.O.B. basis) of
about $15.5 million in 1995-96, of which an estimated 95 percent ($15.2 million) was sold
outside Dade County (Table 23).







Figure 12. Dade County acreage of avocados, Persian limes and mangos,
1976 -1996.
Acres
12,000

10,000 Avocados

8,000
Limes
69000 ................""..... .


49000 ..................
6,000 -

4,000
Mangos
2,000 ..-...--.--.-...-.-.... "' ...





Census Year


* The October 1992 Census was delayed until March 1993
to capture the effects of Hurricane Andrew.







Persian (Tahiti) Limes
Persian limes, as differentiated from key limes or Spanish limes, have long been one
of the leading tropical fruit crops in Dade County. Throughout the following discussions
"limes" will refer to Persian (also called "Tahiti") limes. Long term trends for lime
production in Dade County tend to parallel those for avocados. Lime acreage generally
increased in the late 1970s and early 1980s, reaching a peak in 1982 with 6,783 acres (Table
22, Figure 11). From 1982 to 1990, acreage gradually declined by about 700 acres.
However, limes were particularly hard hit by Hurricane Andrew, and the March 1993 tropical
fruit census indicated that only 1,668 acres of limes remained (15). Subsequent acreage
estimates show that limes have rebounded to nearly 2,800 acres. Even so, this is 3,279 acres
(54 percent) below the 1990 acreage (Table 21). Despite the lower figure, limes still constitute
21 percent of all tropical fruit crop acreage in Dade County and just over 88 percent of the
state's lime acreage.
During the 1995-96 season, Dade County's lime production was still very limited
because of the effects of Hurricane Andrew. Reduced total acreage and limited production
from trees set after the storm resulted in a total crop that was only about 20 percent as large
as that recorded prior to Andrew. As a result, the total F.O.B. value of lime production in
Dade County was only $4.48 million, of which approximately $4.3 million was shipped to
markets outside Dade County (Table 23).
Mangos
For several decades, mangos have been one of Dade County's most important tropical
fruit crops, consistently ranking third in acreage and value of production behind avocados and
limes. Mangos currently comprise about 11 percent of the tropical fruit acreage in Dade
County, maintaining its relative importance despite the losses caused by Hurricane Andrew
(Table 21).








Table 21. Dade County tropical fruit acreage. 1990 and 1996.
Change,
Fruit 1990 1996 1990 to 1996
(acres) (percent) (acres) (percent) (acres) (percent)

Avocados 8,987 44.6 6,305 47.4 -2,682 -29.8
Persian limes 6,071 30.2 2,792 21.0 -3,279 -54.0
Mangos 2,424 12.0 1,505 11.3 -919 -37.9
Carambola 600 3.0 532 4.0 -68 -11.3
Lychee 200 1.0 511 3.8 311 155.5
Papaya 375 1.9 250 1.9 125 -33.3
Longan 72 0.4 310 2.3 238 330.6
Mamey sapote 267 1.3 308 2.3 41 15.4
Banana (all types) 580 2.9 302 2.3 -278 -47.9
Guava 77 0.4 199 1.5 122 158.4
Pummelo 20 0.1 45 0.3 25 125.0
Passion fruit 100 0.5 15 0.1 -85 -85.0
Kumquat 25 0.1 26 0.2 1 4.0
Sugar apple 75 0.4 25 0.2 -50 -66.7
Atemoya 120 0.6 15 0.1 -105 -87.5
Miscellaneousa 13 0.7 151 1.1 13 9.4
Totalsb 20,131 100.0 13,291 100.0 -6,840 -34.0

aThe miscellaneous category includes sapodilla, Barbados cherries, wax jambu, jackfruit, key lime,
canistel, black sapote, persimmons, white sapote, coconuts, assorted citrus fruits other than Persian
limes and pummelos, tamarind, wampee, ambarella, jaboticaba, loquat, macadamia, monstera, Spanish
lime and star apple. The acreages of these fruits are combined to prevent disclosure of individual
firms' operations. Acreage estimates for these fruits were not available for 1990, so estimates from
1992 (pre-hurricane) were used.

bTotal percentages may not sum to 100.0 due to rounding.

Sources: Avocado, Persian lime and mango acreage estimates were obtained from "Tropical Fruit:
Acres and Trees," Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, 1996. Other acreage estimates are based
upon survey data collected by the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center and p-lXconsultations with
Dr. Carlos Balerdi, Dade County Extension agent, and Dr. Jonathan Crane, Professor, Tropical
Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead.








Table 22. Dade County acreages of avocados. Persian limes and mangos. 1976-1996.
Census
years Avocados Limes Mangos
(----------------------acres------- -------

1976 7,286 4,346 1,534
1978 8,239 4,277 1,376
1980 9,338 5,641 1,449
1982 10,554 6,783 1,937
1984 10,986 6,592 2,273
1986 10,598 6,577 2,394
1988 10,076 6,290 2,527
1990 8,987 6,071 2,424
1993" 5,965 1,668 1,398
1994 6,040 2,618 1,550
1996 6,305 2,792 1,505

'The October 1992 census was delayed until March 1993 to capture the effects of Hurricane Andrew
in August, 1992.

Source: Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, "Tropical Fruit: Acres and Trees," various issues.








Table 23. Estimated value of tropical fruits sold within and outside of Dade County,
1995-96.
Value of crop sold Value of crop sold
Commodity outside Dade within Dade Total crop value
(--------------------------- 1,000 Dollars----------------------------

Carambola 17,089.1 348.8 17,437.9
Avocados 15,178.3 326.5 15,504.8
Limes 4,338.5 141.5 4,480.0
Mamey Sapote 2,879.9 720.0 3,599.9
Longan 2,732.0 482.1 3,214.1
Guava 2,398.9 599.7 2,998.6
Banana 1,279.0 1,279.0 2,558.0
Mangos 1,379.3 344.8 1,724.1
Papaya 796.9 796.9 1,593.8
Lychee 623.4 32.8 656.2
Passion Fruit 447.8 9.1 456.9
Pummelo 413.2 X21.8 435.0
Kumquat 254.9 28.3 283.2
Atemoya 194.6 10.2 204.8
Sugar Apple 5.4 48.6 54.0
Miscellaneous a 537.4 396.9 934.3

Total 50,548.6 5,587.0 56,135.6
"The miscellaneous category includes sapodilla, wax jambu, jackfruit, key lime, canistel, black
sapote, persimmon, white sapote, Barbados cherries, coconuts, ambarella, jaboticaba, loquat,
macadamia monstera, Spanish lime, star apple, tamarind, wampee and assorted citrus fruits other
than Persian limes and pummelos. The value of these fruits are combined to prevent disclosure of
individual firms' sales.

Source: Published, unpublished, and estimated data. All itemized listings are public information
and estimates. Confidential data have been aggregated.







Acreage trends over the past 20 years have generally followed the same patterns as
those of avocados and limes. Plantings and total acreage steadily increased from the late 1970s
through most of the 1980s, going from 1,376 in 1978 to a maximum of 2,527 acres in 1988
(Table 22, Figure 11). The tropical tree census of 1990, the last before the hurricane, showed
a slight decline in total acreage. The 1993 census, however, showed a post-hurricane acreage
of only 1,398 acres, a loss of more than a thousand acres from 1990. The 1996 tropical fruit
inventory showed a slight increase in acreage to 1,505. However, this acreage was still about
38 percent below pre-hurricane levels (Tables 21 and 22). Despite the sizeable decrease in
mango acreage, Dade County still accounts for over 82 percent of the state's total mango
acreage (8).
Dade County's mango production in 1995 was still for below pre-hurricane levels,
amounting to less than 30 percent of the 1991 crop. Limited production was not only due to
smaller total bearing acreage, but also the result of poor tree recovery from hurricane damage,
bloom problems, and disease (9). Further, low prices prevailed during much of the 1995
season, and as a consequence, the total F.O.B. value of the Dade County mango crop was only
$1.7 million. An estimated 80 percent of total sales, about $1.3 million, were made outside
of Dade County (Table 23).
Carambola
Carambola, also called star fruit, is one of Dade County's most successful tropical
fruits of the 1980s and 1990s. Native to tropical Asia, carambola were first grown in Florida
over 100 years ago. However, until the 1970s, the fruit was grown primarily as a dooryard
curiosity because of its tart, sour taste (7, 18). Improved, sweeter varieties developed in the
1970s by USDA, private breeders, and University of Florida horticulturists at the Tropical
Research and Education Center in Homestead stimulated interest in carambolas as a
commercial crop. Aggressive marketing programs by J. R. Brooks and Sons, Inc. and other
shippers helped foster rapid expansion of carambola production. In the early 1980s, carambola
acreage stood at 40 acres, but by the end of the decade, acreage had increased to 600 acres
(Table 24). A significant portion of this acreage was severely damaged or destroyed, but by
1996, Dade County's total acreage was estimated at 532 acres. This represents about 80








percent of the state's total carambola plantings.
In the 1995-96 season, yields of nearly 40,000 pounds per acre, packouts of about 60
percent and season average F.O.B. prices approaching $1.40 per pound resulted in F.O.B.
revenues of about $17.4 million. Total revenues for carambola were greater than any of the
other tropical fruit crops grown in Dade County (Table 23). An estimated 98 percent of all
carambola shipments go to destinations outside of the county.
Mamey Sapote
Mamey sapote, originating in the Mexican and Central American lowlands, is a football
shaped fruit that can measure up to nine inches in length and usually weighs from one to three
pounds, although it can weigh up to eight pounds. The main mamey sapote crop matures from
May through September in Florida, but fruit can be found any time of the year. Trees may
have flowers, immature fruits, and mature fruits on their branches all at the same time.
Depending on the weather, an individual fruit can require up to two years to mature in Florida
(18).
Mamey sapote acreage steadily increased from 200 to 350 acres in the early 1980s, then
dropped to 226 acres in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. By the 1988-89 season, acreage
had increased to 267 acres (Table 24). By the time Hurricane Andrew hit, mamey sapote
acreage had once again increased to about 300 acres, and in the ensuing seasons, increased
ever-so-slightly to 308 acres. Although the total acreage of mamey sapotes had recovered,
many trees still had not reached their full production potential during the 1995-96 season due
to young trees and older trees that were still recovering from storm damage. As a result,
average yields were estimated at 4,870 pounds per acre. Despite the relatively low yields,
favorable prices ($2.40 per pound, F.O.B.) resulted in a total value of nearly $3.6 million.
Approximately 80 percent of mamey sapote sales went to destinations outside Dade County
(Table 23).






Table 24. Acreage of selected tropical fruits in Dade County 1982-83 to 1995-96.'

Year Carambola Lychee Papaya Mamey Banana Longan Guava Pummelo Passion Kumquat Sugar Atemoya
sapote fruit apple
(----------------------------------- Acres---------------------------------)

1982-83 40 150 350 200 350 30 90 n.a. n.a. n.a. 70 n.a.
1983-84 40 200 350 300 350 40 35 n.a. n.a. n.a. 50 20
1984-85 40 200 350 300 350 30 40 n.a. n.a. n.a. 50 20
1985-86 140 170 350 350 350 40 40 n.a. n.a. n.a. 50 20
1986-87 411 145 350 226 275 64 37 n.a. 22 n.a. 59 44
1987-88 411 145 350 226 275 64 37 n.a. 22 n.a. 59 44
1988-89 475 195 350 267 300 72 77 n.a. n.a. n.a. 49 52
1989-90 600 200 375 267 580 72 77 20 100 25 75 120
1990-91 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
1991-92 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
1992-93 400 100 n.a. 300 600 100 80 40 10 25 25 75
1994" 532 511 394 307 300 294 197 35 62 26 23 41
1994-95 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
1995-96c 532 511 250 308 302 310 199 45 15 26 25 15
1995-96d 532 200 250 308 302 124 149 45 10 26 20 10
SIn addition to the fruits listed in this table and in Table 21, sapodilla, Barbados cherries, wax jambu, jackfruit, key limes, canistel, black sapote, persimmons, white sapote,
coconuts, ambarella, jaboticaba, loquat, macadamia, monstera, Spanish lime, star apple, tamarind, wampee and assorted citrus other than Persian limes, pummelo and
kumquats are produced in Dade County. Combined acreage was approximately 151 acres in 1996. Time series data for this group of tree crops are not available.
b These estimates do not correspond with a production "season", but reflect acreage as of December 31, 1994. Also, these estimates are based upon growers' statements as
to actual planted acreage and planting intentions; some of the intended plantings may not have occurred.
SThe first estimates for 1995-96 reflect total acreage.
d The second set of estimates for 1995-96 show bearing acreage.
Souces: Marketing Florida Tropical Fruits and Vegetables, Federal-State Market News Service, Winter Park, FL Annual summary 1982-83-1992-93. Estimates for 1994
were made on the basis of a grower survey conducted by the Florida Agricultural Market Reasearch Center, and estimates for 1995-96 were made by IFAS horticulturists in
Homestead.








Longan
The longan, also known as "Dragon's eye", is native of India (20). It is a close relative
to the lychee but the longan fruit has a milder flavor than the lychee. These two crops bear
about a month apart in South Florida. One of the problems of both the longan and lychee is
their tendency towards alternate or erratic seasonal production. However, the longan is a
tougher (withstands slightly lower temperatures) and is a less fussy crop than the lychee (2,
18).
The longan has several additional advantages over the lychee. Unlike the lychee, the
longan, growing in clusters of 3 to 20 or more fruits, can be sold in picked clumps rather than
individually packed fruits. The longan can also remain a saleable item for a longer time
because the naturally brown longan does not suffer from color change (2). In Dade County
the longan is generally harvested from mid July through mid August.
After slowly increasing from about 30 acres in the early 1980s to 72 acres in the late
1980s, longan acreage in Dade County increased rapidly after Hurricane Andrew. By 1995-
96, total longan plantings were estimated at 310 acres, of which 124 were bearing (Table 24)
average yields were estimated at 8,000 pounds per acre, well below anticipated yields for fully
mature groves. Packout was estimated to be 90 percent. F.O.B. prices in the 1995-96 season
were very favorable, averaging about $3.60 per pound. Thus, despite relatively low yields,
the total value of the crop was estimated to be over $3.2 million. Approximately 85 percent
of the longan crop was shipped to destinations outside of Dade County (Table 23).
Guava
Guava is primarily used for jelly-making or other culinary purposes. Native to tropical
America, it is said to have been introduced into Florida from Cuba in 1847. A heavy fruit
bearer, the guava tree ripens its fruit practically all year round, although the bulk of Florida
production occurs during the summer months (17, 18). Throughout most of the 1980s, guava
acreage in Dade County fluctuated from 35 to 40 acres. However, in the late 1980s and early
1990s, acreage increased to approximately 80 acres. Interest in guava production escalated
after the hurricane, and by the end of 1994 acreage was estimated to be 197 acres.








During the 1995-96 season, total planted acreage approached 200 acres, of which about
three-fourths was of bearing age (Table 24). For this season, yields were estimated at 25,000
pounds per acre, packout at 70 percent, and F.O.B. prices at $1.15 per pound, resulting in a
total crop value of nearly $3 million (Table 23).
Plantain and banana
Plantains and bananas grown in Dade County are Musa spp. which are tropical
specialty bananas. Compared to the dessert banana generally found in the supermarket,
plantains are much larger, less sweet, more starchy, and are cooked before eating. Other
bananas grown in Dade County tend to be smaller and thicker than dessert bananas but are
sweet tasting (18).
Throughout'the early 1980s, banana acreage in Dade County was fairly stable at 350
acres. After dropping down to about 275 to 300 acres in the late 1980s, acreage rebounded
to about 600 acres in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Following the hurricane, growers have
experienced disease problems, and acreage has not regained pre-hurricane levels. As a result,
acreage has remained at about 300 acres and yields have been about 12,000 pounds per acre.
Demand has remained strong, however, and in 1995-96, season average F.O.B. prices were
conservatively estimated at 70 cents per pound. Thus, the total F.O.B. value of banana
production was slightly over $2.5 million in 1995-96, with half of the sales made outside of
Dade County.
Papaya
Papaya acreage in Dade County remained constant at 350 acres throughout most of the
1980s. However, in the 1989-90 season, acreage increased to 375 acres. After Hurricane
Andrew, interest in papayas increased, and by the end of 1994, acreage was estimated to be
nearly 400 acres (Table 24). However, total acreage during the 1995-96 production season
was estimated to be down to 250 acres. Average yields during the 1995-96 season were about
25,000 pounds per acre, packout about 85 percent, and the season average F.O.B. price 30
cents per pound. Thus, the total value of papaya production was estimated at $1.6 million,
with half the sales outside the county (Table 23).








Lychee
The lychee or litchi originated in southern China. It has been introduced widely in the
tropical and subtropical world, but has proved to be well-adapted in relatively few places.
There is commercial production in the U.S. (Florida and Hawaii), southern China, Taiwan,
India, South Africa, and Australia. In southern Asia, lychee cultivation dates back at least two
thousand years. While the lychee is believed to have been planted in Florida as early as 1886,
it was not until 1916 that the first fruits were produced (2).
The greatest constraint to commercial production of lychee in Florida has been its
erratic flowering and fruiting. However, in recent years, improved cultural practices have
helped to overcome these problems. These advances, coupled with favorable prices, have
stimulated greater plantings in Dade County. Throughout the 1980s, lychee acreage ranged
between 145 and 200 acres. Hurricane Andrew reduced lychee acreage to about half of pre-
storm levels. However, significant plantings have been made in the post-hurricane period.
Total lychee acreage in 1995-96 was estimated at 511 acres, of which only 200 were bearing
(Table 24). Of the bearing acreage, about 100 acres were mature, yielding about 8,750 pounds
per acre and 100 acres were young trees bearing about 1,000 pounds per acre. With an
average packout of 70 percent and extremely favorable prices (estimated at $3.75 per pound),
the F.O.B. value of the Dade County lychee crop was over $650,000 in 1995-96,
approximately 95 percent of which was shipped out of the county (Table 23).
Passion fruit
Passion fruit originated in the American tropics. It is now grown in most tropical and
subtropical parts of the world, but is particularly important commercially in Australia, Hawaii,
South Africa, and Brazil (24). In Dade County, passion fruit acreage increased rapidly in the
late 1980s, going from 22 acres in the 1987-88 season to 100 acres in 1989-90. Official
acreage estimates after the hurricane reported only 10 acres of passion fruit (Table 24). In the
1995-96 season, bearing acreage of passion fruit was 10 acres, and yields were estimated at
21,500 pounds per acre. With a packout rate of 85 percent and a season average F.O.B. price
of $2.50 per pound, the total value of production was nearly $457,000 (Table 23).








Pummelo
Pummelo, also called Chinese grapefruit, represents a small, but growing segment of
the tropical fruit industry in Dade County. In the 1989-90 season, there were 20 acres of
pummelo, and by the 1992-93 season there were 40 acres. Although acreage declined slightly
as a result of Hurricane Andrew, by 1995-96 there were an estimated 45 acres in production
(Table 24). Of these, approximately 20 acres are older, mature trees yielding about 25,000
pounds per acre, and 25 acres are younger, producing about 10,000 pounds per acre. In the
1995-96 season, the season average F.O.B. price was nearly 60 cents per pound, resulting in
a total crop value of $435,000, of which 95 percent was sold outside of the county (Table 23).
Kumquat
Kumquats originated in China and were introduced into the U.S. in the last century
(18). A specialty citrus item, the tart fruit is frequently included in gift packs, and is in high
demand during major holiday seasons in the fall and winter. Dade County kumquat acreage
has been very stable at about 25 acres over the past few years, before and after the hurricane
(Table 24). In the 1995-96 season, yields averaged about 8,300 pounds per acre, and packout
was estimated at 95 percent. Estimates of season average prices ranged between $1.25 and
$1.50 per pound, resulting in a total crop value of about $283,000.
Atemoya
The atemoya's scientific name is Annona cherimola x A. squamosa indicating that it
is a cross of the cherimoya and the sugar-apple. Other common names for the atemoya are
custard apple and anon. In Florida, the atemoya is best adapted to frost-free areas (18).
Virtually all of the state's commercial production is in Dade County. Atemoya acreage
steadily increased throughout the 1980s, going from 20 acres in 1982-83 to 120 acres in 1989-
90. Following the hurricane, acreage dropped precipitously, and by the 1995-96 season, there
were only 10 acres in production (Table 24). The estimated yield was 6,400 pounds per acre,
and the packout was about 80 percent. Although the quantity shipped was just over 51,000
pounds, the F.O.B. price of $4.00 per pound generated nearly $205,000 in sales, of which 95
percent were made outside of Dade County (Table 23).








Sugar apple
The sugar apple is a type of annona, and it is also called sweetsop. Throughout the
1980s, sugar apple acreage fluctuated from about 50 to 75 acres (Table 24). Since the
hurricane, however, acreage has been estimated to be 25 acres or lower. In the 1995-96
season, bearing acreage was only 20 acres, and yield 1,000 pounds per acre. Given a packout
of 90 percent and a reported season average F.O.B. price of $3.00 per pound, the total crop
value was $54,000. Because of the fragile nature of the sugar apple, it does not ship very
well; it was estimated that only 10 percent of the crop is shipped out of the county (Table 23).
Miscellaneous Tropical Fruit
Approximately 20 tropical fruits have been combined into the miscellaneous category
to maintain the confidentiality of data obtained from individual firms. Fruits included are
sapodilla, Barbados cherries, wax jambu, jackfruit, key limes, canistel, black sapote,
persimmons, white sapote, coconuts, ambarella, jaboticaba, loquat, macadamia, monstera,
Spanish lime, star apple, tamarind, wampee, assorted citrus such as oranges, tangerines and
grapefruit. Acreage of these fruits ranged from about one acre to about 30 acres; the
combined total acreage for the 1995-96 season was 151 acres, up from 138 acres in 1989-90
(Table 21). Yields and prices for these fruits vary considerably, but most of the "exotics"
typically sold for $1.50 to $2.50 per pound F.O.B. Homestead in the 1995-96 season, although
more common types of fruit sold for considerably less. Overall, the market value of the fruits
in the miscellaneous category totaled over $934,000. Because of limited quantities of some
items and heavy local demand, slightly over 40 percent of the "miscellaneous" sales were made
within Dade County (Table 23). According to growers and professional horticulturists, a
number of the fruits in their category have the potential for much greater economic
importance.






REFERENCES


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REFERENCES, continued.


13. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant
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Cooperative Extension Service, FC-3, Gainesville, Florida.

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20. Popenoe, Wilson. Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. A Facsimile of the 1920
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21. Sales and Marketing Management. 1996 Survey of Buying Power. Bill
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22. U.S. Bureau of Census. Census of Agriculture. Washington, D.C., 1974, 1978, 1982,
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24. World Almanac. The World Almanac & Book of Facts. 1990. An imprint of Pharo
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