• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Copyright
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Preface
 Shipping-point practices and...
 Relationship of handling practices...
 Prices, costs and margins of sweet...
 Summary and conclusions
 Literature cited






Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station - no. 638
Title: Long distance marketing of fresh sweet corn
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027515/00001
 Material Information
Title: Long distance marketing of fresh sweet corn
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 47 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Showalter, R. K
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1961
 Subjects
Subject: Sweet corn -- Marketing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 46-47.
Statement of Responsibility: R.K. Showalter ... et al..
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027515
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, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000927405
oclc - 18342295
notis - AEN8123

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Preface
        Page 4
    Shipping-point practices and distribution
        Page 5
        Introduction
            Page 5
            Page 6
        Interstate competition
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
        Sweet corn markets, 1953-54
            Page 10
        Shipping-point practices in marketing
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Grades of corn shipped, 1953-54
            Page 16
        Shipping-point prices and costs
            Page 16
            Relationship of f.o.b. price to grade and method of sale
                Page 16
                Page 17
                Page 18
            Relationship of f.o.b. prices to quantity of shipments
                Page 19
            Relationship of refrigeration to f.o.b. prices
                Page 20
            Shipping-point costs and grower prices
                Page 21
                Page 22
                Page 23
                Page 24
    Relationship of handling practices to quality of sweet corn offered to consumers in Baltimore, Maryland, april and may, 1955
        Page 25
        Introduction
            Page 25
        Collection of data
            Page 26
        Results
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Method of refrigeration and transportation
                Page 27
            Temperatures of wholesale samples
                Page 27
            Temperatures of retail samples
                Page 29
            Length of time from Florida fields to Baltimore receivers
                Page 30
            Handling practices at wholesale
                Page 31
            Length of time at retail
                Page 32
            Total age of sweet corn at retail
                Page 32
            Wholesale condition ratings
                Page 33
            Retail condition and taste panel ratings
                Page 33
            Objective quality tests at shipping points
                Page 34
            Quality of wholesale
                Page 34
                Page 35
            Quality at retail
                Page 36
                Page 37
            Effects of controlled laboratory handling practices on sweet corn quality
                Page 38
                Page 39
    Prices, costs and margins of sweet corn offered to Baltimore, Maryland, consumers, april and may, 1955
        Page 40
        Introduction
            Page 40
        Retail prices of Florida sweet corn in Baltimore
            Page 40
        Costs and margins
            Page 41
            Picking, packing and shipping-point marketing costs
                Page 41
            Transportation costs
                Page 41
            Wholesaling and retailing margins
                Page 42
            Breakdown of consumer's dollar for sweet corn
                Page 43
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Literature cited
        Page 46
        Page 47
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida





DISTANCE MARKETING


Of


Fresh Sweet

CORN


R. K. SHOWALTER, A. H. SPURLOCK,
W. SMITH GREIG, C. S. PARSONS,
K. D. DEMAREE


University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations 0 Gainesville, Florida
ULLETIN 638 J. R. BECKENBACH, DIRECTOR NOVEMBER 1961
In Cooperation with
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service


oe-.























R. K. Showalter, Horticulturist, and A. H. Spurlock, Agricultural Economist,
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Gainesville, Florida.

W. Smith Greig, Formerly with Marketing Economics Research Division,
Agricultural Marketing Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Wash-
ington, D. C. Now with Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michi-
gan.

C. S. Parsons and K. D. Demaree, Market Quality Research Division, Agri-
cultural Marketing Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville,
Maryland.











CONTENTS
Page
PREFACE ................ ........----- --- 4
PART 1. SHIPPING-POINT PRACTICES AND DISTRIBUTION .........-................ 5
Introduction ---.---- .....-..---- ............- ..---- 5
Interstate Competition .............. .... ..... -------- ....- .. 7
Sweet Corn Markets, 1953-54 ... ................ ........---- 10
Shipping-Point Practices in Marketing ..........--......----- -- 11
Grades of Corn Shipped, 1953-54 -----.................................... ... 16
Shipping-Point Prices and Costs ......-----.. ---.. ...................... ....... 16
Relationship of f.o.b. price to grade and method of sale .......... 16
Relationship of f.o.b. prices to quantity of shipments ................... 19
Relationship of refrigeration to f.o.b. prices .............................. 20
Shipping-point costs and grower prices ----......... ...-.... ........ 21
PART II. RELATIONSHIP OF HANDLING PRACTICES TO QUALITY OF SWEET
CORN OFFERED TO CONSUMERS IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND
MAY, 1955 .............-------------- --------.............----- 25
Introduction ...-- --. -.. ------ -.......... ............................... 25
Collection of Data ..---- ---- ---... ........................... ... 26
Results ............ ....................... -----...- .......... 27
Method of refrigeration and transportation ................................ 27
Temperatures of wholesale samples ................... ..-.......-- 27
Temperatures of retail samples .................--- ......................... ......-- 29
Length of time from Florida fields to Baltimore receivers ..... 30
Handling practices at wholesale ............ ... .. ............... .. 31
Length of time at retail ............-......-..--- -...... ................ 32
Total age of sweet corn at retail --..--............-..... ................ 32
W wholesale condition ratings ........-------.... -. --....................... 33
Retail condition and taste panel ratings ..--....-- ..... .. .....-...-.......... 33
Objective quality tests at shipping points .................... ................ 34
Quality at wholesale --.... ---.. --..........-.. ----.-- ................ 34
Quality at retail ....-- ........-- .........---.... ............... .............. ........ 36
Effects of controlled laboratory handling practices on
sweet corn quality ...........-.... ..........................-.... 38
PART III. PRICES, COSTS AND MARGINS OF SWEET CORN OFFERED TO
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, CONSUMERS, APRIL AND MAY, 1955................. 40
Introduction ....... ............ ................ ---------.... ........ 40
Retail Prices of Florida Sweet Corn in Baltimore ............................. 40
Costs and M margins .............----------------- --------------...... ........... 41
Picking, packing and shipping-point marketing costs ............. 41
Transportation costs -- -- .......-.......---------............. ...... 41
W holesaling and retailing margins --.-----..-----... ...- .......... ... 42
Breakdown of consumer's dollar for sweet corn .................. 43
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .................... -----.......... ... 44
LITERATURE CITED ......- ....... ......................- .. 46









PREFACE
Until recent years, sweet corn for the fresh market was pro-
duced mainly during summer months in Northern states, within
short distances of local markets. In the past 15 years, shipments
from Southern states have become of increasing importance and
are made every month of the year.
Sweet corn is one of the most perishable of all fresh vegeta-
bles. Quality maintenance through proper handling methods is
very important. A number of investigations (1, 6, 11, 17)* have
shown that consumers buy more top quality sweet corn and pay
more for it. Deterioration in quality and flavor are closely as-
sociated with changes in sweetness, tenderness and succulence.
In 1919, Appleman and Arthur (2) showed that sweet corn stored
one day lost 50 percent of its sugar at 860 F., but only 8 percent
at 32". A number of investigators (1, 6, 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21,
22) have emphasized the importance of refrigeration in main-
taining quality and increasing consumer acceptance of sweet
corn during the short periods required for local marketing from
nearby farms. If refrigeration is important in maintaining qual-
ity for local markets, it is even more important for distant mar-
kets.
Research on the economy of marketing and methods of han-
dling sweet corn for long-distance shipments began in 1953 and
continued until 1958 as a phase of the Southern Regional Vege-
table Marketing (SM-8) Project.
Purposes of this study were threefold:
1. To determine shipping point marketing practices, prices and
costs. To obtain information on the relationship of harvesting
methods, grades, methods of sale, season and quantity of ship-
ments to grower prices and costs.
2. To determine commercial handling practices for sweet corn
destined to a large northern market (Baltimore, Maryland) dur-
ing April and May, 1955. To measure differences in quality as-
sociated with different handling and procurement practices by
shippers, wholesalers, receivers, retailers and under controlled
laboratory conditions.
3. To determine prices, costs and margins of sweet corn in Balti-
more, Maryland, during April and May, 1955.
Results of these 3 phases of this study will be found in Parts
I, II and III of this bulletin.
Figures in parentheses refer to Literature Cited.







LONG DISTANCE MARKETING
OF FRESH SWEET CORN
R. K. SHOWALTER, A. H. SPURLOCK, W. SMITH GREIG,
C. S. PARSONS AND K. D. DEMAREE

PART I.
SHIPPING-POINT PRACTICES AND DISTRIBUTION

INTRODUCTION
Commercial production of sweet corn for fresh market be-
gan in the Southern states following World War II. Sweet corn
has now become one of the important vegetable crops in some
of the states. During the 10-year period 1951-1960, sweet corn
for fresh market in the South averaged 32 percent of the acreage
and 35 percent of the value of the U.S. crop of sweet corn (Table
1). In 1960 sweet corn represented 10.6 percent of the harvested
acreage and 6.6 percent of the value of all vegetable crops and
melons in the Southern states.
Florida is the leading state in production of sweet corn for
fresh market. It accounted for 62 percent of the South's acreage
in 1960. The trend in acreage in most Southern states has been
downward for the past decade but this has been compensated
regionally by the increasing acreage in Florida. In 1959-60,
41,900 acres were harvested in Florida and the value of the crop
was $13,475,000 (Table 2). Sweet corn ranked third among
Florida's vegetable crops (including melons, potatoes and straw-
berries) in harvested acreage and fourth in value of production,
and was 8.5 percent of the total value of all vegetable crops.
Sweet corn is produced mainly in 2 areas in Peninsular Flor-
ida (Table 3). Largest of these is the Everglades area in western
Palm Beach County, which had 33,400 acres for harvest-or 80
percent of the total State's acreage-in 1959-60. The crop here
is grown on the organic soils around Lake Okeechobee. Produc-
tion of corn has increased faster in this area of Florida than in
any other. Heaviest shipments are made during March, April
and May, though some are usually made each month, October
to June.
The second largest area of production is in central Florida.
It includes the counties of Lake, Orange, Seminole and Marion.
In 1959-60 this area had 14 percent of the acreage in the State
and 20 percent of the production. Production in this area is
increasing slowly, but is rapidly concentrating in the muckland







LONG DISTANCE MARKETING
OF FRESH SWEET CORN
R. K. SHOWALTER, A. H. SPURLOCK, W. SMITH GREIG,
C. S. PARSONS AND K. D. DEMAREE

PART I.
SHIPPING-POINT PRACTICES AND DISTRIBUTION

INTRODUCTION
Commercial production of sweet corn for fresh market be-
gan in the Southern states following World War II. Sweet corn
has now become one of the important vegetable crops in some
of the states. During the 10-year period 1951-1960, sweet corn
for fresh market in the South averaged 32 percent of the acreage
and 35 percent of the value of the U.S. crop of sweet corn (Table
1). In 1960 sweet corn represented 10.6 percent of the harvested
acreage and 6.6 percent of the value of all vegetable crops and
melons in the Southern states.
Florida is the leading state in production of sweet corn for
fresh market. It accounted for 62 percent of the South's acreage
in 1960. The trend in acreage in most Southern states has been
downward for the past decade but this has been compensated
regionally by the increasing acreage in Florida. In 1959-60,
41,900 acres were harvested in Florida and the value of the crop
was $13,475,000 (Table 2). Sweet corn ranked third among
Florida's vegetable crops (including melons, potatoes and straw-
berries) in harvested acreage and fourth in value of production,
and was 8.5 percent of the total value of all vegetable crops.
Sweet corn is produced mainly in 2 areas in Peninsular Flor-
ida (Table 3). Largest of these is the Everglades area in western
Palm Beach County, which had 33,400 acres for harvest-or 80
percent of the total State's acreage-in 1959-60. The crop here
is grown on the organic soils around Lake Okeechobee. Produc-
tion of corn has increased faster in this area of Florida than in
any other. Heaviest shipments are made during March, April
and May, though some are usually made each month, October
to June.
The second largest area of production is in central Florida.
It includes the counties of Lake, Orange, Seminole and Marion.
In 1959-60 this area had 14 percent of the acreage in the State
and 20 percent of the production. Production in this area is
increasing slowly, but is rapidly concentrating in the muckland








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

TABLE 1.-ACREAGE AND VALUE OF SWEET CORN FOR FRESH MARKET IN THE
SOUTHERN STATES AND IN THE UNITED STATES, AVERAGE 1951-60 AND 1960.*


State




Alabama ........
Arkansas .........
Florida ...........
Georgia .........
Kentucky ........
North Carolina
Oklahoma .... ....
South Carolina
Texas ........-......
Virginia .............


Total Southern States .... o,0


Total United States .-... 203,660


10-Year Average
1951-1960 1960
Value of Value of
Acres for Production Acres for Production
Harvest ($1,000.) Harvest ($1,000.)

3,410 464 3,200 382
1,180 141 1,100 155
37,330 11,733 39,600 13,324
2,120 259 2,100 238
810 165 1,100 241
6,350 979 5,500 939
1,640 81
1,500 219 1,000 231
7,780 1,106 6,900 914
3,860 802 3,200 678

uuiu Lp?171l0C


44,953
I


201,350


52,267


Percent Southern States
are of the United States


32.4


35.5


Adapted from annual summaries of acreage, production and value of vegetables-fresh
market, USDA, AMS, Crop Reporting Board.


TABLE 2.-ACREAGE, PRODUCTION AND VALUE OF SWEET CORN IN FLORIDA,
1947-48 TO 1959-60.*


Acreage Yield
Har- Per Acre
vested (Crates**)


6,000
14,700
28,500
25,700
32,900
30,400
36,800
33,000
37,500
42,700
39,200
48,900
41,900


Produc-
tion Average Total
of Value Price Value
(1,000 (Per ($1,000)
Crates) Crate)

480 $2.75 1,320
1,704 2.65 4,516
2,964 2.20 6,508
3,136 2.47 7,764
4,292 2.23 9,563
4,422 2.38 10,547
4,056 2.04 10,689
6,030 1.94 11,699
7,026 1.96 13,801
5,872 2.24 13,152
5,966 1.85 11,064
7,300 1.97 14,336
7,248 1.86 13,475


Source: Florida Vegetable Crops, Volumes XIII and XVI, Florida Crop and Livestock
Reporting Service, AMS, USDA, Orlando, Florida.
** Crates of 5-dozen equivalent contained approximately 50 pounds through 1955-56; 46
pounds 1956-57; 44 pounds 1957-58 and 42 pounds through 1959-60.


Season



1947-48
1948-49
1949-50
1950-51
1951-52
1952-53
1953-54
1954-55
1955-56
1956-57
1957-58
1958-59
1959-60


Acreage
Planted


8,200
16,500
34,000
29,300
35,300
34,900
42,100
37,500
43,200
47,800
50,900
51,900
48,300


- ~ ~ --11


I


I0,949


UO, IU I, LV


. . 1 ] r







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


areas of Lake, Orange and Marion counties. Shipments of corn
are made in May and June each year.

TABLE 3.-FLORIDA SWEET CORN ACREAGE AND PRODUCTION BY
AREAS, 1959-60.*

Acreage for Harvest Production Harvested
Area I Percent 1 Percent
Acres of Total Crates** of Total
North Florida ............. 425 1.0 53,750 .7
Central Florida ............ 6,000 14.3 1,483,700 20.5
Hillsborough-Manatee 350 .9 45,500 .6
Everglades ...... 33,400 79.7 5,430,300 74.9
Other South Florida 1,300 3.1 184,500 2.6
Other counties .............. 425 1.0 50,250 .7

Total ............ ............. 41,900 100.0 7,248,000 100.0

Source: Florida Vegetable Crops, Volume XVI, Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting
Service, AMS, USDA, Orlando, Florida.
** 5-dozen equivalent crate contains 42 pounds.

The other South Florida area consisting of Dade, Broward,
Collier, Lee and the eastern part of Palm Beach County, had 3
percent of the Florida sweet corn acreage and 2.6 percent of the
production in 1959-60. Shipments begin from this area in No-
vember each year, but the heaviest movement is usually in Jan-
uary, February and March.
Two smaller areas produced sweet corn, each of which had
about 1 percent of the State's acreage in 1959-60, and a still
smaller percentage of the total production. Scattered small acre-
age is produced also in several counties outside these areas.
Because of seasonal production, competition is keen between
some areas in the State. Shipments from the Everglades area
coincide to some extent with those from each of the other
areas. The other South Florida area moves the earliest corn.
The Hillsborough-Manatee area has heavy competition from both
the Everglades and the central areas since corn in the Hillsbor-
ough-Manatee area is harvested at the time of heavy shipments
from the other two areas. Movement from the North Florida
area of Alachua, Columbia and Bradford counties takes place at
the same time as shipments from the central Florida area.

INTERSTATE COMPETITION

The earliest shipments of sweet corn (Table 4), beginning in
the fall, come mostly from Florida and California in October and












TABLE 4.-WEEKLY SUMMARY OF CARLOT SHIPMENTS OF GREEN CORN BY STATES DURING THE FLORIDA SEASON 1959-60.*

Domestic
Week I I I Total
ending Florida California Idaho Wash. Texas Arizona Ala. Ga. N.C.I Do-
Truck Rail Total Truck Rail Total | Truck Rail Total Truck Rail Total Rail Rail Rail mestic

Oct. 10 9 6 15 10 6 16 4 1 36
17 64 35 99 10 20 30 3 1 133
24 137 98 235 22 15 37 272
31 139 60 199 23 4 27 1 1 _227
Nov. 7[ 106 72 178 12 1 13 6 2 8 199
14 111 24 135 8 1 9 6 6 150
21 66 32 98 9 9 18 2 2 118
28 72 20 92 5 5 1 1 2 _99
Dec. 5 40 3 43 3 3 46
12 26 26 -3 3 29
19 24 24 1 1 25
26 17 3 20 I_20
Jan. 2 33 33 33
9 18 18 18
16 2 1 3 3
23 44 8 52 |52
30 37 37 __37
Feb. 6 23 23 23
13 24 24 24
20 9 9 9
27 16 1 17 ____ __ 17









TABLE 4 (Continued)

Domestic
Week I I- I I Total
ending Florida California Idaho Wash. Texas Arizona Ala. Ga. N.C. Do-
Truck Rail |Total Truck Rail Total Truck Rail | Total Truck I Rail I Total Rail Rail Rail mestic
Mar. 5 26 2 28 28
12 36 11 47 47
19 50 19 69 69
26 61 18 79__ 79
April 2 62 9 71 -71
9 94 20 114 114
16 124 24 148 148
23 152 36 188 188
30 263 206 469 __469
May 7 481 303 784 4 4 1 1 i 789
14 549 309 858 17 17 I12 12 887
21 414 286 700 40 15 55 46 46 2 2 803
28 520 777 1297 47 4 51 127 84 211 6 6 1565
June 4 418 643 1061 35 28 63 141 36 177 10 10 1311
11 399 471 870 46 25 71 I 80 43 123 9 1 10 10 1084
18 326 267 593 31 44 75 14 14 21 7 28 29 739
25 229 459 688 36 66 102 1 1 22 13 35 79 8 913
July 2 217 236 453 34 42 76 17 13 30 52 8 619
9 89 27 116 38 23 61 21 2 200
__ __I I_ _
Ii I,


Total


5527


4486


10013


303


7


364


240


604


121


191 8 10 11693


Prepared by D. L. Brooke from Weekly Shipment Summary Reports, Fruit and Vegetable Division, AMS, USDA. Truck shipments not available in several of above
states; therefore competition late in Florida season is more significant than data indicate.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


November. In some years, Texas may have some fall ship-
ments.
From December to April, or sometimes May, Florida has no
competition in sweet corn from other states. Then shipments
from California and Texas begin and continue throughout the
remaining months of the Florida season. However, Florida corn
usually dominates the market until the middle of June.

SWEET CORN MARKETS, 1953-54

During 1954, sweet corn shipments from 4 marketing organi-
zations in Florida were analyzed. Shipments for 1953-54 from
3 of the firms were completely enumerated and a 20 percent sam-
ple was obtained from the fourth firm. Three of the firms were
large and 2 of them shipped corn from more than 1 area in Flor-
ida. These shipments represented about 2,200 lots, or 756,483
crates, of sweet corn. This was about 19 percent of the Florida
sweet corn production sold during 1953-54. The corn originated
in 3 areas: lower east coast, Everglades and central Florida.
Shipments were made to 34 states, the District of Columbia
and 4 Canadian provinces. Destinations included 144 cities
with receipts varying from 8 crates to 65,822 to New York City.
The cities, by volume groups, are shown in Table 5. More than
85 percent of the corn went to cities receiving 5,000 or more
crates each. Cities receiving less than 5,000 crates represented
73 percent of the number of cities, but took only 15 percent of
the total volume.

TABLE 5.-NUMBER OF CITIES, BY VOLUME GROUPS, RECEIVING
FLORIDA SWEET CORN FROM 4 FIRMS, 1953-54.
Total Percent of Average No.
Volume Number of Number | Total of Crates
Group Cities of Crates Volume Per City
(Crates) (Number) (Crates) (Percent) (Crates)
Under 500 .............. 47 8,144 1.1 173
500- 999 -.....-...... 18 12,557 1.6 698
1,000- 2,499 ............ 28 44,516 5.9 1,590
2,500- 4,999 ......-....... 13 46,026 6.1 3,540
5,000- 9,999 .............. 15 97,090 12.9 6,473
10,000-19,999 ............. 13 181,706 24.0 13,977
20,000-29,999 ............. 6 146,076 19.3 24,346
30,000-49,999 ............ 1 37,718 5.0 37,718
50,000 and over ........ 3 182,650 24.1 60,883

Total or Average- 144 756,483 100.0 5,253







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


Distribution of the shipments by cities is shown in Figure 1.
Largest shipments went to cities in the Northeast. The 5 states
-New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio-received
47 percent of the corn. A few cities in the South-such as At-
lanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama-because of their size
and relative proximity, took large quantities.
Cities in Florida showing large receipts of corn do not all
represent final distribution. Several of the Florida cities showing
large-volume receipts are in the corn-shipping areas, and sales
were first made to local buyers who later made shipments else-
where.

SHIPPING-POINT PRACTICES IN MARKETING
Sweet corn is usually graded and packed in the field as it is
harvested. In some places, however, it is transported to a cen-
tral grading and packing shed for this operation. When field
packed, 2 systems are in common use. Under 1 system tractors
and carts going through the fields are followed by about 5 men
who break off the ears and throw them into the cart. When
loaded, the cart moves to an assembly area in the field (Figure 2)
where the corn is unloaded into wooden bins for sorting. Packers
stand beside the bins and place the ears into wirebound crates,
giving each ear a final check for size and grade. Crates, when
full, are closed and stacked by grade, to be transported by truck
to the precooler and subsequently loaded for shipment to mar-
ket. A crew for this type of operation may consist of 30 to 60
or more people. For maximum efficiency crews should be care-
fully balanced so that each type of worker has a normal amount
of work continuously, with no idle time waiting on other workers.
The other system of packing sweet corn uses a large multi-
wheeled machine which goes through the field and enables work-
ers to harvest and pack the corn in 1 operation (Figure 3). Most
of the machines are self-propelled but some are drawn by a crawl-
er-type tractor. They cover 16 to 22 rows at a trip by having
conveyor belts which extend outward on either side at right
angles to the machine. One man walks along a row and places
the corn ears, as broken off, onto the conveyor belt over his row.
Corn ears travel down another conveyor belt in the center
of the machine beside which packers stand and sort and pack the
corn as it approaches them. Those packing the best grades stand
at the head of the belt. Crates are closed, when filled, and placed
in a truck which is towed backward by the machine. When load-































Each dot = 1 Market
Under 5,000 crates =.
5,000 9,999 crates =
10,000 19,999 crates =
20,000 49,999 crates = 0
50,000 and over =
Figure 1.-Sweet Corn Markets Used by 4 Florida Firms, 1953-54.








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn 13


Figure 2.-Sweet corn is hauled by tractor carts to bins in the field where
it is sorted and packed in wirebound crates and loaded onto trucks for trans-
porting to the precooler.


Figure 3.-Sweet corn is pulled and placed onto a conveyor belt of' a self-
propelled machine where it is sorted and packed.


f-1


~yc, r*


"tmb








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


ed, the truck is unhitched and the corn is transported to the pre-
cooler, and another empty truck is hitched on. Crates are sup-
plied from the top of the harvesting machine and move down a
chute to the packers. The machines are best adapted to large
fields and long rows, and are an efficient means of harvesting
except for small operations. They are suitable for no other farm
work. The crew usually consists of 50 to 60 people, and must be
balanced to evenly distribute the workload.

TABLE 6.-LABOR REQUIREMENT PER CRATE OF SWEET CORN HARVESTED BY
Two METHODS, 1953, LOWER EAST COAST AND EVERGLADES AREAS.


Item


Foreman .. ............----
Drive tractor or machine -------
Pull corn ........-------........----........
Graders and trimmers ..............
Pack in crates ......................
Close crates ...... --.......... ......-
Stack or move closed crates .......
Label crates ...................-....
Make up crates ............-...........:...
Distribute empty crates -------....
Other (rake down, check waste)
Load trucks ..................-----
Drive trucks -........


Tractors
and Carts


(Man Hours)
.007
.015
.067
.066
.056
.011
.001
.003*
.007
.005
.002
.007
.008


Total Labor Per Crate


Number of Observations .--
Number of Different Crews ..-
Average Number in Crew --...
Crates Per Hour Per Crew ....-
Crates Per Hour Per Worker


7
6
56.1
224
3.92


Machine
Harvesting


(Man Hours)
.006
.005
.088
.087
.011
.005
.004*
.009

.002
.009
.011


.237


11
5
56.3
246
4.22


This operation was often performed at the precooler.

In 1953, a limited number of time studies were made of sev-
eral crews using harvesting machines and tractor-carts in the
lower east coast and Everglades areas. Results of these studies
are shown in Table 6. Each operation utilized about the same
size crew. Total man-labor requirements per crate for harvest-
ing, packing and hauling to the precooler were not greatly differ-
ent between the tractor-carts and the harvesting machines on
the records obtained. There was a wider variation between indi-
vidual crews than between methods used. In one instance, a
machine was used in a small field with a poor yield where it


......mi







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


showed up unfavorably. The best machine operation observed
was more efficient than the best operation using tractor carts.
Average man-hour requirements for harvesting and hauling to
the precooler averaged 0.26 hours per crate for crews using trac-
tor carts, and 0.24 hours per crate for machine crews. At $0.75
per hour for labor, this would be a difference of about 11/2 cents
per crate in favor of machine harvesting. For an output of 2,500
crates per day, the machine would thus save about 50 man-hours
of labor.
Two types of hydrocoolers were used for precooling the crated
corn. Larger units used mechanical refrigeration and circulated
water over cooling coils and the crates of corn (Figure 4). Crates
were partially submerged while moving beneath the shower of
cold water on a conveyor belt running through a large rectangular
tank. Smaller units used cracked ice for refrigeration and the
crates of corn were showered with cold water but not partially
submerged. Both types usually maintained satisfactory water
temperatures of 310 to 340F. Effectiveness of precooling was
closely related to time in the hydrocoolers. There was inade-
quate precooling during shorter cooling cycles, but the shippers
depended upon additional temperature reduction during the trans-
it period.


Figure 4.-Precooling: Crates of sweet corn are conveyed through a
mechanically refrigerated hydrocooler beneath a shower of cold water.







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

GRADES OF CORN SHIPPED, 1953-54

Of the 2,224 sample lots of sweet corn analyzed in 1953-54,
73 percent was U.S. Fancy, 12 percent U.S. No. 1 and 13 percent
U.S. No. 2 (Table 7). Unclassified corn made up 2 percent of
the shipments. Not all the corn shipped had Federal-State in-
spection and grading. However the shippers' labels designated
the grades.

TABLE 7.-SHIPMENTS (NUMBER OF CRATES) OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN BY
GRADE AND MONTH, 1953-54 SEASON (All Methods of Sale).

Month U. S. U. S. U. S. Unclassi- Total
Fancy No. 1 No. 2 1 fled
November ........ 160 1,912 220 2,292
December ........ 3,040 3,193 820 -7,053
January ... 14,697 3,816 13,279 645 32,437
February .....--. 40,142 13,558 18,304 2,237 74,241
March ............. 124,199 24,318 28,490 1,760 178,767
April .............. 202,316 14,414 27,564 5,713 250,007
May ............... 132,229 25,262 9,684 2,650 169,825
June .................. 35,230 4,818 1,813 41,861

Total ...... 552,013 89,379 100,053 15,038 756,483

Percent ........... 73.0 | 11.8 13.2 2.0 100.0


The proportion of total shipments that was U.S. Fancy grade
increased each month of the season, except for May when there
was a slight decrease. Declining prices contributed to the higher
proportion of U.S. Fancy grade shipped, since under low prices
or weak markets most of the lower grades of corn were left in
the fields.
SHIPPING-POINT PRICES AND COSTS

Relationship of f.o.b. price to grade and method of sale.-
Monthly average f.o.b. price by grade and month of shipment
for the sample lots is shown in Table 8. Prices for most grades
declined steadily throughout the season. Prices of Fancy and
unclassified corn increased slightly in the last weeks of ship-
ment. Weighted average price of U.S. Fancy corn for the sea-
son was $2.17 per crate, f.o.b. This was 25 cents per crate above
the average U.S. No. 1 price and 88 cents per crate above U.S.
No. 2. Prices for unclassified corn were usually higher than
prices for U.S. No. 2 grade corn because unclassified lots, al-







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

GRADES OF CORN SHIPPED, 1953-54

Of the 2,224 sample lots of sweet corn analyzed in 1953-54,
73 percent was U.S. Fancy, 12 percent U.S. No. 1 and 13 percent
U.S. No. 2 (Table 7). Unclassified corn made up 2 percent of
the shipments. Not all the corn shipped had Federal-State in-
spection and grading. However the shippers' labels designated
the grades.

TABLE 7.-SHIPMENTS (NUMBER OF CRATES) OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN BY
GRADE AND MONTH, 1953-54 SEASON (All Methods of Sale).

Month U. S. U. S. U. S. Unclassi- Total
Fancy No. 1 No. 2 1 fled
November ........ 160 1,912 220 2,292
December ........ 3,040 3,193 820 -7,053
January ... 14,697 3,816 13,279 645 32,437
February .....--. 40,142 13,558 18,304 2,237 74,241
March ............. 124,199 24,318 28,490 1,760 178,767
April .............. 202,316 14,414 27,564 5,713 250,007
May ............... 132,229 25,262 9,684 2,650 169,825
June .................. 35,230 4,818 1,813 41,861

Total ...... 552,013 89,379 100,053 15,038 756,483

Percent ........... 73.0 | 11.8 13.2 2.0 100.0


The proportion of total shipments that was U.S. Fancy grade
increased each month of the season, except for May when there
was a slight decrease. Declining prices contributed to the higher
proportion of U.S. Fancy grade shipped, since under low prices
or weak markets most of the lower grades of corn were left in
the fields.
SHIPPING-POINT PRICES AND COSTS

Relationship of f.o.b. price to grade and method of sale.-
Monthly average f.o.b. price by grade and month of shipment
for the sample lots is shown in Table 8. Prices for most grades
declined steadily throughout the season. Prices of Fancy and
unclassified corn increased slightly in the last weeks of ship-
ment. Weighted average price of U.S. Fancy corn for the sea-
son was $2.17 per crate, f.o.b. This was 25 cents per crate above
the average U.S. No. 1 price and 88 cents per crate above U.S.
No. 2. Prices for unclassified corn were usually higher than
prices for U.S. No. 2 grade corn because unclassified lots, al-







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

GRADES OF CORN SHIPPED, 1953-54

Of the 2,224 sample lots of sweet corn analyzed in 1953-54,
73 percent was U.S. Fancy, 12 percent U.S. No. 1 and 13 percent
U.S. No. 2 (Table 7). Unclassified corn made up 2 percent of
the shipments. Not all the corn shipped had Federal-State in-
spection and grading. However the shippers' labels designated
the grades.

TABLE 7.-SHIPMENTS (NUMBER OF CRATES) OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN BY
GRADE AND MONTH, 1953-54 SEASON (All Methods of Sale).

Month U. S. U. S. U. S. Unclassi- Total
Fancy No. 1 No. 2 1 fled
November ........ 160 1,912 220 2,292
December ........ 3,040 3,193 820 -7,053
January ... 14,697 3,816 13,279 645 32,437
February .....--. 40,142 13,558 18,304 2,237 74,241
March ............. 124,199 24,318 28,490 1,760 178,767
April .............. 202,316 14,414 27,564 5,713 250,007
May ............... 132,229 25,262 9,684 2,650 169,825
June .................. 35,230 4,818 1,813 41,861

Total ...... 552,013 89,379 100,053 15,038 756,483

Percent ........... 73.0 | 11.8 13.2 2.0 100.0


The proportion of total shipments that was U.S. Fancy grade
increased each month of the season, except for May when there
was a slight decrease. Declining prices contributed to the higher
proportion of U.S. Fancy grade shipped, since under low prices
or weak markets most of the lower grades of corn were left in
the fields.
SHIPPING-POINT PRICES AND COSTS

Relationship of f.o.b. price to grade and method of sale.-
Monthly average f.o.b. price by grade and month of shipment
for the sample lots is shown in Table 8. Prices for most grades
declined steadily throughout the season. Prices of Fancy and
unclassified corn increased slightly in the last weeks of ship-
ment. Weighted average price of U.S. Fancy corn for the sea-
son was $2.17 per crate, f.o.b. This was 25 cents per crate above
the average U.S. No. 1 price and 88 cents per crate above U.S.
No. 2. Prices for unclassified corn were usually higher than
prices for U.S. No. 2 grade corn because unclassified lots, al-







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


though having no specific grades, probably were better in quality
than U.S. No. 2 grade. Price differences between U.S. Fancy
and U.S. No. 1 tended to become larger as the season progressed.
The f.o.b. price of all corn shipped averaged $2.02 per crate for
1953-54.

TABLE 8.-AVERAGE F.O.B. PRICE OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN PER CRATE BY
GRADE AND MONTH OF SALE, 1953-54 SEASON* (All Methods of Sale).

Month U. S. U. S. U. S. Unclas- Weighted**
Fancy No. 1 No. 2 sified Average

November --..... $3.75 $ $2.32 $2.00 $2.39
December ........... .. 3.01 2.78 1.45 2.72
January -............- .... .... 2.74 2.56 1.38 2.11 2.15
February ..................... 2.63 2.44 1.27 1.74 2.23
March .........-- ...-..-......-- 2.46 2.21 1.28 1.86 2.23
April ......................... 1.91 1.62 1.25 1.70 1.82
May --...... ... ..........- 2.12 1.44 1.21 1.58 1.96
June ........... ........ ...... 2.05 1.33 1.58 1.94
_ _ l~ -_ _


Weighted
Average** ...--.....


$2.17


Relative Price ....--...... 107


$1.92


$1.29


* Records on 756,483 crates of sweet corn.
** Weighted by number of crates each month and by grade.
I~ .- a


$1.71


$2.02


64 85 100


Figure o.-Federal-State inspectors grading sweet corn. Among the
factors considered are number of ears per crate, ear length, maturity, kernel
development, worm injury and husk characteristics.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


In Table 9, equivalent f.o.b. prices by months are shown for
the 3 methods of sale. The f.o.b. type of sale was used predom-
inantly, accounting for 88 percent of the total shipments. Sales
of only 4.7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively, were made on
a delivered or consignment basis. When all prices were converted
to an equivalent f.o.b. shipping-point basis, prices were highest
each month for the f.o.b. type of sale. On a season basis, prices
on f.o.b. sales were 31 cents per crate higher than delivered sales
and 77 cents higher than consigned sales. This is not necessarily
an indication that all delivered and consigned sales were unsatis-
factory. These 2 methods were often used when prices were low
or demand weak, and sometimes for cars which had been rejected.
A few shippers stated that they used some consignments regular-
ly with good results. However, most sales were made on an
f.o.b. basis when possible.

TABLE 9.-EQUIVALENT F.O.B. PRICES OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN BY
TYPE OF SALE AND MONTH, 1953-54 SEASON.*

F.O.B. Sales Delivered Consigned Total**
Sales Sales
Month I I Avg.
No. of Price No. of Price No. of Price No. of Price
Crates Per Crates Per Crates Per Crates Per
Crate I Crate | Crate Crate

(1000) (1000) (1000) (1000)
November ...... 1.6 $3.20 $ 0.7 $0.10 2.3 $2.40
December .... 6.4 2.79 0.6 2.03 7.0 2.72
January ....... 24.7 2.33 1.3 2.19 6.4 1.46 32.4 2.15
February ...... 60.2 2.39 1.0 2.12 12.9 1.50 74.1 2.23
March .---- 160.7 2.29 3.3 1.84 14.1 1.60 178.1 2.22
April .... 225.0 1.86 15.5 1.81 9.5 1.05 250.0 1.82
May .--------. 150.3 2.03 10.5 1.78 8.5 1.00 169.3 1.96
June ............... 35.7 2.05 2.9 1.80 3.2 0.94 41.8 1.94

Total or
Average ...... 664.6 $2.09 35.1 $1.78 55.3 $1.32 755.0 $2.03

All prices converted to f.o.b. basis.
** Not included are 196 crates sold price arrival and 1,216 crates sold joint account.

Equivalent f.o.b. prices by grade are compared for different
types of sales in Table 10. For each group the f.o.b. type of sale
resulted in the highest average price-except for the small quan-
tity of combination and unclassified corn sold on a delivered basis.
U.S. Fancy corn averaged $2.21 per crate for the 1953-54-season
when sold f.o.b. but only $1.94 when sold on a delivered basis and








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


$1.66 when consigned. Seasonal factors affect this comparison
to some extent, but the same general relationship exists in every
analysis.

TABLE 10.-EQUIVALENT F.O.B. PRICES OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN PER CRATE
BY GRADE AND TYPE OF SALES, 1953-54 SEASON.*


F.O.B. Sales Delivered
Sales


Grade
No. of Price
Cratesi Per
Crate

(1000)
U. S. Fancy 499.6 $2.21
U. S. No. 1 72.4 2.08
U. S. No. 2 80.7 1.37
Combination 6.4 1.70
Unclassified 5.5 2.05


664.6


No. of Price
Crates Per
Crate

(1000)
25.4 $1.94
6.2 1.30
2.5 1.24
.6 1.76
.4 2.19


$2.09 i 35.1 i $1.78


Consigned
Sales
I


No. of
Crates


Price
Per
Crate


(1000)
25.7 $1.66
10.8 1.23
16.8 .97
.6 .58
1.4 .71


Total**
Avg.
No. of Price
Crates Per
Crate

(1000)j
550.8 $2.17
89.4 1.92
100.1 1.30
7.5 1.62
7.3 1.79


55.3 $1.32 755.1 1 $2.01


All prices converted to f.o.b. basis.
** Not included are 196 crates sold price arrival and 1,216 crates sold joint account.

Relationship of f.o.b. prices to quantity of shipments.-
F.O.B. prices of sweet corn varied inversely with the monthly
carlot shipments. This is shown graphically in Figures 6 and 7.
In Figure 6, the f.o.b. price of U.S. Fancy, and of all grades of
sweet corn determined from the sample sales invoices in 1953-54,
is compared with the monthly volume of shipments.(16) Dur-
ing the early months of the season, there was a wide difference
in the U.S. Fancy price and the weighted average price received
for all grades. This difference decreased as the season progressed
since a larger proportion of the corn shipped was U.S. Fancy
grade in the later months. When prices decreased, shipment of
lower grades also decreased (Tables 7 and 8).
The price of U.S. Fancy corn decreased each month in the
season through April, but rose to a slightly higher average in
May and June. On the average, an increase in monthly ship-
ments of each 100 cars in 1953-54 caused a decrease in the month-
ly f.o.b. price of U.S. Fancy corn of about 51/2 cents per crate.
Increasing shipments depressed the price much more than this
in the early part of the season, and less than this in the latter
part.


Total or
Average


1








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Total Florida
Shipments (Carlots)
S-- 2,600


2,400

2,200
Shipments
2,000

$4.50 1,800

4.00 1,600

3.50 \ Price, U.S. Fancy 1,400

3.00. I. 1,200

2.50. 1,000

2.00 Avg. Price, All Grades 80
2.00 800

1 .50 600

1.00. 400

.50. 200


November December January February March April May June
Figure 6.-Relationship between monthly volume of Florida shipments
and F.O.B. price per crate for Florida sweet corn-fancy and all grades-
during the 1953-54 season.

Florida carlot shipments for 1956-57 are shown in Figure 7
with the range of f.o.b. prices, as reported by the Market News
Service. (15) This is a more nearly normal seasonal variation of
prices than found in 1953-54, since prices are usually higher for
winter corn than for fall.
Relationship of refrigeration to f.o.b. prices.-Since adequate
refrigeration has been held necessary to maintain quality in
sweet corn, a comparison was made to determine the f.o.b. price
of corn when sold under different methods of refrigeration. Re-
frigeration cost, when borne by the seller, was deducted in ar-
riving at the f.o.b. price of the corn. Rail shipments only were
used, and none were found without precooling or some type of
refrigeration at the time of sale. On f.o.b. sales, the buyer often
added ice at the shipping point.


F.O.B.
Price Per Cr








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn 21


FLORIDA
SHIPMENTS
(CARLOTS)
-4200

-3900

-3600
F.O.B.
PRICE
PER -3300
CRATE
$5.00- -3000
PRICE RANGES
4.50. 2700

4.00. -2400
3.50 '2100


3.00 1800

2.50 1500

2.00- 1200

1.50. U 900

1.'000 CARLOT SHIPMENTS/- I I 600

.50- 300


Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. March April May June
Figure 7.-Weekly shipping-point price ranges of yellow sweet corn in
South Florida, and Florida Sweet Corn shipments monthly, 1959-60 season.

There seems to be no relation between the amount of refrig-
eration used in transporting sweet corn and the f.o.b. price re-
ceived (Table 11). F.O.B. prices were slightly higher when corn
was precooled only before sale, but this may have been an area
differential. During the period of more critical daily tempera-
tures, refrigeration practices among shippers were rather uni-
form insofar as quantity of ice was concerned.
The limited number of observations available indicated that
the grower received a slightly better return from his corn when
sold precooled only than when it was precooled and top iced. In
some areas of the State, the top ice in cars was paid for by the
grower, out of the quoted f.o.b. price.
Shipping-point costs and grower prices.-Local marketing
charges to growers, as indicated by shipping invoices from 3








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


areas, averaged 97 cents per crate for 1953-54. These charges in-
cluded harvesting, grading and packing, containers, hauling to
the shipping point, precooling and top ice and local selling
charges. Some growers performed certain of these services
themselves, such as harvesting, packing and hauling. Their
costs might differ from the custom rate, depending upon the
grower's circumstances with regard to available equipment and
labor. Costs from the shipping point to the terminal market,
such as freight and ice paid for by the buyer, were not included.

TABLE 11.-COMPARISON OF PRICES OF U. S. FANCY SWEET CORN WHEN
PRECOOLED ONLY WITH 2 OTHER METHODS OF REFRIGERATION, FLORIDA,
APRIL-JUNE, 1954.
F.O.B. Marketing Price
Shipping Costs to
Item Point Included in Grower
Price F.O.B. Price I
(Cents Per (Cents Per (Cents Per
Crate) Crate) Crate)

Refrigeration When Sold:*
Precooled only ..............I...... 224.5 94.6 129.9
Precooled plus
standard refrigeration** -... 220.6 99.3 121.3

Difference in Price or Costt .... 3.9 4.7 8.61

Precooled only .. ......... 212.3 93.0 119.3
Precooled plus top
and/or bunker ice ...... ~... 209.8 100.3 109.5


Difference in Price or Costtt .... 2.5 7.3 9.8$T

A minimum of 300 crates with each type of refrigeration on the same day was used
for each comparison.
** Standard Refrigeration Rule 225.(14)
t Based on 61 comparisons using 54,725 crates.
$ Significant at the .01 level.
tt Based on 29 comparisons using 42,649 crates.
ft Significant at the .05 level.

Total marketing charges incurred at the shipping point and
paid by the grower out of f.o.b. prices are shown in Table 12.
These are monthly average costs by type of sale. Costs were
usually a little higher on consigned sales, even though the charges
were reduced to an equivalent f.o.b. sales basis by eliminating
freight and terminal costs. There was a variation in charges








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


between firms and between areas. This largely accounts for
the monthly variation.
A breakdown of typical charges per crate for the Belle Glade
area for 1953-54 is as follows:

Container ....... ............................ $0.35
Grading, packing, hauling .......... .30
Precooling ..........-................. ......... .10
Top ice ........- ...................... ...... ... .12
Shipping point inspection ............. .02
Local selling charge ........................ .07
Other ...............-... .... ...... ........ .. .01
TOTAL .................................. $0.97

TABLE 12.-LOCAL MARKETING CHARGES FOR FLORIDA SWEET CORN
PER CRATE BY TYPE OF SALE AND MONTH, 1953-54.*

Local Marketing Charges
Month oi Weighted**
F.O.B Deliv- Con- Price Joint Average
ered signed Arrival Account

November .... $0.92 $ $0.83 $ $ $0.89
December ... .98 1.06 .98
January ....... 1.01 1.15 1.11 1.04
February .... 1.02 1 .90 1.11 1.06 1.03
March ............ 1.02 1 .90 1.08 1.17 1.01
April ....-.... .93 .94 .97 .93
May ............. .94 1.00 1.01 1.23 .95
June .............. 1.05 .94 1.09 1.04

Weighted**
Average ... $0.98 $0.97 $1.06 $1.06 $1.20 $0.97

Marketing charges are those included in f.o.b. shipping-point price. Records on 756,483
crates of sweet corn.
** Weighted by number of crates each month and by type of sale.

Container costs were about the same in all areas. The con-
tract rate for packing and hauling corn to the precooler was high-
er than the amount given above, but some growers were able to
perform this function for less than the contract price. Precool-
ing costs were $0.10 to $0.11 per crate at Belle Glade, $0.12 at
Pompano, but considerably higher in Dade County.
The grower usually paid for 8 tons of top ice at $8.00 per ton
on each car of sweet corn in the Everglades. On a car of 560
crates, this would be equivalent to 11.4 cents per crate. Trucks
were iced with a lower initial amount proportionately than freight
cars in order to reduce total truck weight, and also because they
spent less time in transit. Any additional top ice and all bunker
ice charges were paid by the buyer.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Inspection charges varied from 21/4 to 4 cents per crate, but
not all the corn was government inspected. Local selling charges
ranged from 5 cents to 11 cents per crate, averaging 7 cents for
the firms studied at Belle Glade. This does not include any
amount paid brokers in terminals for making sales.
Deducting local marketing charges for sweet corn from f.o.b.
prices, as given in Table 9, gives the average price to the grower
by months and by type of sale. These prices for 1953-54 are
given in Table 13. It should be pointed out that this is the price
to the grower for corn after harvesting and packing costs have
been paid. To be comparable with farm prices, as reported by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, harvesting and packing costs
of about 75 cents per crate should be added to this price.

TABLE 13.-AVERAGE NET PRICE PER CRATE TO THE GROWER FOR
FLORIDA SWEET CORN BY TYPE OF SALE AND MONTH, 1953-54.*

Month F.O.B. Deliv- Con- Price Joint Weighted**
ered signed Arrival Account Average

November .... $2.29 $ -$0.73 $ $ $1.50
December .. 1.81 0.97 1.74
January ........ 1.31 1.05 .36 1.11
February ....-. 1.36 1.21 .39 0.83 1.19
March ............ 1.27 .94 .52 1.06 1.21
April.............. .92 .86 .09 .88
May .............. 1.09 .79 .01 .43 1.02
June ............. 1.03 .85 .15 .93

Weighted** I
Average .... $1.11 $0.82 $0.26 $0.83 $0.91 $1.04

Records on 756,483 crates of sweet corn.
** Weighted by number of crates each month and by type of sale.

Prices to the grower averaged higher when corn was sold
f.o.b.; but as previously pointed out (Table 10), most sales were
made on this basis, with other methods being used only when
demand was weak or quality below normal.
The grower received $1.11 per crate from f.o.b. sales in 1953-
54. Delivered sales brought 29 cents less, or $0.82 per crate.
Consigned sales averaged 26 cents per crate for the season and
showed losses in 3 of the 7 months.







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


PART II. RELATIONSHIP OF HANDLING PRACTICES
TO QUALITY OF SWEET CORN OFFERED TO
CONSUMERS IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
APRIL AND MAY, 1955

INTRODUCTION
To determine the commercial handling practices for southern-
grown sweet corn shipped to distant markets, and to measure
the differences in quality associated with these handling prac-
tices, samples of sweet corn were purchased daily for an 8-week
period during April and May, 1955. The corn was bought from
shippers in Florida and wholesalers and retailers in Baltimore,
Maryland. Five wholesale receivers and 6 retail stores, which
represented a variety of commercial handling and procurement
practices, were selected in Baltimore. Wholesale receivers in-
cluded 3 chain stores and 2 independent receivers on the Camden
Street market. One chain store warehouse received its supplies
of corn primarily by direct shipment from Florida. The other 2
chains obtained their supplies largely from the wholesale market
in Baltimore, with some direct shipments from Florida. One of
the independents received a large volume of Florida sweet corn,
and the fifth source was any other independent receiver who had
Florida sweet corn on the days wholesale samples were obtained.
The 6 retail stores included 3 chain stores serviced by the 3
chain store warehouses and 3 independents which obtained most
of their corn from the selected independent wholesale receivers
and the remainder from other independent wholesalers.
Alternate days of the week were used for sample purchases at
wholesale and at retail. Each day that wholesale purchases were
made, 3 samples were obtained from the chain store warehouses
and 2 from the independent wholesale market. A total of 100
one-crate samples were obtained at wholesale during the 8-week
sampling period. At retail, on alternate days, 1 sample of 12
ears was purchased from each of the 6 stores, with a total of
120 samples during the 8-week period.
Identifying and tracing the origins of lots of sweet corn mar-
keted in Baltimore was more feasible than trying to sample spe-
cific lots at shipping point, then again at wholesale and again at
retail. The latter method was impracticable because the destina-
tion of specific lots at shipping points was not generally known







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


PART II. RELATIONSHIP OF HANDLING PRACTICES
TO QUALITY OF SWEET CORN OFFERED TO
CONSUMERS IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
APRIL AND MAY, 1955

INTRODUCTION
To determine the commercial handling practices for southern-
grown sweet corn shipped to distant markets, and to measure
the differences in quality associated with these handling prac-
tices, samples of sweet corn were purchased daily for an 8-week
period during April and May, 1955. The corn was bought from
shippers in Florida and wholesalers and retailers in Baltimore,
Maryland. Five wholesale receivers and 6 retail stores, which
represented a variety of commercial handling and procurement
practices, were selected in Baltimore. Wholesale receivers in-
cluded 3 chain stores and 2 independent receivers on the Camden
Street market. One chain store warehouse received its supplies
of corn primarily by direct shipment from Florida. The other 2
chains obtained their supplies largely from the wholesale market
in Baltimore, with some direct shipments from Florida. One of
the independents received a large volume of Florida sweet corn,
and the fifth source was any other independent receiver who had
Florida sweet corn on the days wholesale samples were obtained.
The 6 retail stores included 3 chain stores serviced by the 3
chain store warehouses and 3 independents which obtained most
of their corn from the selected independent wholesale receivers
and the remainder from other independent wholesalers.
Alternate days of the week were used for sample purchases at
wholesale and at retail. Each day that wholesale purchases were
made, 3 samples were obtained from the chain store warehouses
and 2 from the independent wholesale market. A total of 100
one-crate samples were obtained at wholesale during the 8-week
sampling period. At retail, on alternate days, 1 sample of 12
ears was purchased from each of the 6 stores, with a total of
120 samples during the 8-week period.
Identifying and tracing the origins of lots of sweet corn mar-
keted in Baltimore was more feasible than trying to sample spe-
cific lots at shipping point, then again at wholesale and again at
retail. The latter method was impracticable because the destina-
tion of specific lots at shipping points was not generally known







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


far enough in advance to permit sampling, and the following of
lots in transit and through marketing channels was very difficult.
Origins of a large proportion of the sweet corn samples pur-
chased in Baltimore were traced back to the shipping points
through labels on the crates and information from receivers. In
general, the same shipper did not ship the same label to 2 differ-
ent receivers in the same market at the same time.
In Florida, one-crate samples were purchased daily from 2
or 3 shippers in the Belle Glade and Sanford-Zellwood areas. A
total of 90 samples were obtained from 13 shippers whose han-
dling methods were representative of current commercial prac-
tices, and most of whom were shipping to the Baltimore whole-
salers sampled during these tests.

COLLECTION OF DATA

When samples were purchased from the shippers, wholesalers
or retailers, they were rated for appearance and the cob tempera-
tures were taken. When shipping-point samples were collected
at the packinghouses, data were obtained on the grade, variety,
corn temperatures before and after precooling and the operation
of the precooler. These crates of corn were taken to the Ever-
glades and Central Florida Experiment Stations at Belle Glade
and Sanford, respectively, where ear count and maturity were
determined in addition to objective quality measurements for suc-
culence, moisture, pericarp and sugar content.
In Baltimore, data were collected on the age and condition of
the corn at wholesale and retail. The railroads provided informa-
tion on icing and time from shipment until the rail cars were
released. Samples were taken, in an ice-refrigerated box, to the
USDA Plant Industry Station at Beltsville, Maryland, where
quality was measured by the same objective methods as used at
shipping points. In addition, taste panel evaluations were made
on 42 individual samples obtained at retail.
Moisture, pericarp and succulometer tests have been shown
to be fairly accurate objective measures of sweet corn quality
(3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12). Kramer, Guyer and Ide (9) found that
moisture content and succulometer values decreased and pericarp
content increased after harvest, and these changes were affected
by duration and temperature of storage. It was thought that 1
or more of these objective quality measurements might be cor-
related with handling practices used in marketing Florida sweet
corn in Baltimore. In this study succulence was measured as







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


the volume of juice extractable from 100 grams of kernels.
Pericarp, or kernel hull, remaining on a 30-mesh screen was
weighed after shredding with a Waring blender, washing and
drying.
RESULTS
Method of refrigeration and transportation.-All sweet corn
from the 13 shippers was precooled before shipment. Before
precooling, the cob temperatures averaged 840F. (range 80-
910). After 10 to 45 minutes in the ice or mechanically refrig-
erated hydrocoolers, the cob temperatures averaged 60' (range
46-730).
During April and May, 140 carlot equivalents of Florida sweet
corn were received in Baltimore. Of these, 114 were by rail and
26 by truck. Rail shipments of corn were nearly equally divided
by chain store and independent receivers, but, of the 26 ship-
ments by truck, only 2 were received directly by chain stores.
Icing and refrigeration records were obtained on 109 of the
114 rail loads received in Baltimore. Car icings were fairly con-
stant, 80 cars had 9 tons of top ice (Figure 8) and standard re-
frigeration and 20 cars had 10 tons or more of top ice and
standard refrigeration. Only 5 cars did not use standard refrig-
eration, and only 5 cars had less than 9 tons of top ice.
Winston (20) found that corn loaded at about 590F. in fan
cars, top iced and moving under standard refrigeration, averaged
40 F. by midnight of the day after loading. In nonfan cars, the
rate of cooling after loading was slower. When fan cars are pre-
iced, top iced and moved under standard refrigeration, the re-
frigeration service cannot be readily improved except to add
salt to the bunkers. The amount of top ice remaining at destina-
tion varied from scattered "islands" of ice to a load well covered
with ice.
Temperatures of wholesale samples.-Temperatures of the
100 samples of sweet corn obtained at wholesale averaged 50F.
Although there were wide variations among individual samples,
there were no consistent differences among wholesale sources
(480-530). Temperatures of the samples obtained from inde-
pendent receivers were about the same as temperatures of the
samples from chain store warehouses (Table 14). There were
no differences in temperatures of the samples as the season pro-
gressed.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


i't

4.


9,


F ig 8. -r i Is IT ticbrhi



r9I tI H ^







L

Figure 8.-Truck and rail loads of sweet corn are top-iced before shipment.


I31.


Isc=-~



5
3
't;l


"
;


'ItIja







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


the volume of juice extractable from 100 grams of kernels.
Pericarp, or kernel hull, remaining on a 30-mesh screen was
weighed after shredding with a Waring blender, washing and
drying.
RESULTS
Method of refrigeration and transportation.-All sweet corn
from the 13 shippers was precooled before shipment. Before
precooling, the cob temperatures averaged 840F. (range 80-
910). After 10 to 45 minutes in the ice or mechanically refrig-
erated hydrocoolers, the cob temperatures averaged 60' (range
46-730).
During April and May, 140 carlot equivalents of Florida sweet
corn were received in Baltimore. Of these, 114 were by rail and
26 by truck. Rail shipments of corn were nearly equally divided
by chain store and independent receivers, but, of the 26 ship-
ments by truck, only 2 were received directly by chain stores.
Icing and refrigeration records were obtained on 109 of the
114 rail loads received in Baltimore. Car icings were fairly con-
stant, 80 cars had 9 tons of top ice (Figure 8) and standard re-
frigeration and 20 cars had 10 tons or more of top ice and
standard refrigeration. Only 5 cars did not use standard refrig-
eration, and only 5 cars had less than 9 tons of top ice.
Winston (20) found that corn loaded at about 590F. in fan
cars, top iced and moving under standard refrigeration, averaged
40 F. by midnight of the day after loading. In nonfan cars, the
rate of cooling after loading was slower. When fan cars are pre-
iced, top iced and moved under standard refrigeration, the re-
frigeration service cannot be readily improved except to add
salt to the bunkers. The amount of top ice remaining at destina-
tion varied from scattered "islands" of ice to a load well covered
with ice.
Temperatures of wholesale samples.-Temperatures of the
100 samples of sweet corn obtained at wholesale averaged 50F.
Although there were wide variations among individual samples,
there were no consistent differences among wholesale sources
(480-530). Temperatures of the samples obtained from inde-
pendent receivers were about the same as temperatures of the
samples from chain store warehouses (Table 14). There were
no differences in temperatures of the samples as the season pro-
gressed.







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


the volume of juice extractable from 100 grams of kernels.
Pericarp, or kernel hull, remaining on a 30-mesh screen was
weighed after shredding with a Waring blender, washing and
drying.
RESULTS
Method of refrigeration and transportation.-All sweet corn
from the 13 shippers was precooled before shipment. Before
precooling, the cob temperatures averaged 840F. (range 80-
910). After 10 to 45 minutes in the ice or mechanically refrig-
erated hydrocoolers, the cob temperatures averaged 60' (range
46-730).
During April and May, 140 carlot equivalents of Florida sweet
corn were received in Baltimore. Of these, 114 were by rail and
26 by truck. Rail shipments of corn were nearly equally divided
by chain store and independent receivers, but, of the 26 ship-
ments by truck, only 2 were received directly by chain stores.
Icing and refrigeration records were obtained on 109 of the
114 rail loads received in Baltimore. Car icings were fairly con-
stant, 80 cars had 9 tons of top ice (Figure 8) and standard re-
frigeration and 20 cars had 10 tons or more of top ice and
standard refrigeration. Only 5 cars did not use standard refrig-
eration, and only 5 cars had less than 9 tons of top ice.
Winston (20) found that corn loaded at about 590F. in fan
cars, top iced and moving under standard refrigeration, averaged
40 F. by midnight of the day after loading. In nonfan cars, the
rate of cooling after loading was slower. When fan cars are pre-
iced, top iced and moved under standard refrigeration, the re-
frigeration service cannot be readily improved except to add
salt to the bunkers. The amount of top ice remaining at destina-
tion varied from scattered "islands" of ice to a load well covered
with ice.
Temperatures of wholesale samples.-Temperatures of the
100 samples of sweet corn obtained at wholesale averaged 50F.
Although there were wide variations among individual samples,
there were no consistent differences among wholesale sources
(480-530). Temperatures of the samples obtained from inde-
pendent receivers were about the same as temperatures of the
samples from chain store warehouses (Table 14). There were
no differences in temperatures of the samples as the season pro-
gressed.







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


TABLE 14.-TEMPERATURES OF SWEET CORN FROM 5 WHOLESALE SOURCES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Average* Cob Temperatures in Degrees F.


Source Average ......


Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples. Temperature differences
between sources and between time periods were not significant.

Temperatures of retail samples.-Types of storage and dis-
play facilities in the 6 retail stores sampled in Baltimore are
shown in Table 15. Temperatures of sweet corn from these re-
tail stores are shown in Table 16. Average cob temperature of
the 120 retail samples was 570F. This was 7 degrees higher than
the average of the wholesale samples. Store 2, with refrigerated
storage and chipped ice display (Figure 9), had the corn with the
lowest average temperature (530F.), and Store 5, without refrig-
erated storage and a mechanically refrigerated display, had the
corn with the highest average temperature (600F.). Corn tem-
peratures at retail depended upon the type of display equipment,
the volume of corn displayed, the period of time on display and
whether the store had refrigerated storage. As at wholesale,
there were no significant changes in temperatures as the season
progressed.

TABLE 15.-TYPES OF STORAGE AND DISPLAY FACILITIES IN THE 6 RETAIL
STORES SAMPLED, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.


Item


1 2


Store Number*
3 4 5 I 6


Type of Unre-
storage ...... Cooler Cooler Cooler Cooler friger- Cooler
ated
Type of
display ..... Dry Chipped Dry Dry Me- Dry
Rack Ice Rack Rack chanical Rack
and
Me-
chanical I
These numbers will be used in the text to designate the various stores and their
facilities.







30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

TABLE 16.-TEMPERATURES OF SWEET CORN FROM 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.


Time
Period


Store 1


Average* Cob Temperatures in Degrees F.
Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 Store 6


Average


April
4-15 .... 57 55 61 50 58 57 56
April
18-29 .-- 57 53 54 55 55 55 55
May
2-13 .-. 57 51 56 55 66 60 58
May
16-27 .. 54 52 58 58 63 62 58


Average**


57


Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples.
** Temperature differences between stores were significant at
L.S.D. = 3'.


the 5 percent level.


Figure 9.-Display of Sweet Corn on chipped ice in a retail store.

Length of time from Florida fields to Baltimore receivers.-
The sweet corn harvesting period for many large growers in
Florida extended over a period of several weeks or months. Ma-
chine or bin harvesting was continuous throughout the day.
After the packed crates of corn were loaded on a field truck they
were hauled to the precooler, usually within an hour after har-







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


vest. The crates were unloaded directly into the hydrocooler or
stacked on an open platform in the shade when the hydrocooler
was not operating or could not handle the volume as fast as it
was harvested. Five or 6 hours may have elapsed after harvest
before the corn was hydrocooled. After hydrocooling, the crates
were conveyed to an iced car or truck within a few minutes. The
trucks were usually top iced and left the shipping point soon
after loading. Rail cars were loaded, top iced and usually not
moved until evening when all cars loaded that day could be picked
up.
Sweet corn shipped by truck was in the Baltimore stores in a
minimum of 3 days after it left Florida. Third-day delivery by
rail to the original receiver in Baltimore was common. For
chain store receivers, third-day arrival put the corn in stores on
the fourth day if the cars arrived and were placed at their ware-
houses in time for loading trucks going to their retail stores.
For the independent wholesale receivers, cars arriving on the
third day were available for the wholesale market opening at
11:00 p.m. The earliest delivery to independent retail stores was
also 4 days after leaving Florida.
Total length of time from shipment until the rail cars were
released back to the railroads was strikingly different between
chain store receivers and independent receivers. This time period
averaged 41/2 days for the chain store receivers and 9 days for
the independent receivers. These time periods indicate the age
of the last lots of corn removed from the cars, rather than aver-
age age of the sweet corn sold at wholesale. It should not be
assumed that chain stores always handled sweet corn twice as
fast as independent wholesalers. Chain stores sometimes stored
corn in their warehouses for a considerable length of time. Two
chains in Baltimore also purchased a large proportion of their
sweet corn from the open wholesale market.
Handling practices at wholesale.-Rail space at chain ware-
houses was scarce; therefore, the cars of corn were not brought
to the warehouse until it was convenient to handle them. They
were placed and generally unloaded within 24 hours. The rail
cars served as refrigerated storage on track until placed. After
being placed, the corn was often unloaded directly into the trucks
for retail delivery.
For independent wholesale receivers, the cars of corn were
placed on tracks near the wholesale market within a few hours
after arrival in Baltimore. These cars also served as refrigerated







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


storage for a week or longer. The corn was moved by truck or
pushcart to the receivers' places of business on the market where
it was sold to retailers.
Partially counterbalancing the time differences in unloading
rail shipments between chain stores and independent receivers
were the rapidly handled truck shipments. Independent whole-
salers received 24 of the 26 truck shipments to supplement their
rail receipts.
Length of time at retail.-The length of time sweet corn re-
mained in retail stores was important because of the relatively
high temperatures to which the corn was exposed. Stores 1 and
2 had sweet corn delivered every day or every other day. Inde-
pendent stores purchased corn 2 to 3 times per week. Sweet corn
remained in the 6 retail stores for significantly different lengths
of time, as shown in Table 17. Average age in Store 1 was 0.6
day, compared with 3.1 days in Store 5.

TABLE 17.-RETAIL AGE OF SWEET CORN FROM 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time _Average* Number Days in Stores
Period Store Store I Store Store Store Store Aver-
1 2 3 4 5 6 age

April 4-15.... 0.8 1.0 1.6 3.2 5.0 2.8 2.6
April 18-29 ... 0.4 0.2 1.6 2.4 2.4 1.2 1.4
May 2-13 .... 0.6 0.8 2.0 2.2 2.6 1.6 1.5
May 16-27 -... 0.6 1.0 2.2 2.2 2.4 0.6 1.5

Store
Average** 0.6 0.8 1.8 2.5 3.1 1.6 1.7

Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples.
** Age differences between stores were significant at the 1 percent level. L.S.D. =
1.3 days

Most stores purchased their supplies for the week-end trade.
The average length of time any sample had been at retail was
much less on Thursday and Friday than on Monday, Tuesday or
Wednesday. In many cases, corn available on Monday or Tues-
day had been left over from the week end. Average retail age of
the corn during the first 2 weeks of the study was significantly
greater than for the last 6 weeks. This was probably due to in-
creased production and accompanying lower prices during the
final 6 weeks of the study.
Total age of sweet corn at retail.-The total time from Florida
shipping points until offered for retail sale in Baltimore ranged







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


storage for a week or longer. The corn was moved by truck or
pushcart to the receivers' places of business on the market where
it was sold to retailers.
Partially counterbalancing the time differences in unloading
rail shipments between chain stores and independent receivers
were the rapidly handled truck shipments. Independent whole-
salers received 24 of the 26 truck shipments to supplement their
rail receipts.
Length of time at retail.-The length of time sweet corn re-
mained in retail stores was important because of the relatively
high temperatures to which the corn was exposed. Stores 1 and
2 had sweet corn delivered every day or every other day. Inde-
pendent stores purchased corn 2 to 3 times per week. Sweet corn
remained in the 6 retail stores for significantly different lengths
of time, as shown in Table 17. Average age in Store 1 was 0.6
day, compared with 3.1 days in Store 5.

TABLE 17.-RETAIL AGE OF SWEET CORN FROM 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time _Average* Number Days in Stores
Period Store Store I Store Store Store Store Aver-
1 2 3 4 5 6 age

April 4-15.... 0.8 1.0 1.6 3.2 5.0 2.8 2.6
April 18-29 ... 0.4 0.2 1.6 2.4 2.4 1.2 1.4
May 2-13 .... 0.6 0.8 2.0 2.2 2.6 1.6 1.5
May 16-27 -... 0.6 1.0 2.2 2.2 2.4 0.6 1.5

Store
Average** 0.6 0.8 1.8 2.5 3.1 1.6 1.7

Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples.
** Age differences between stores were significant at the 1 percent level. L.S.D. =
1.3 days

Most stores purchased their supplies for the week-end trade.
The average length of time any sample had been at retail was
much less on Thursday and Friday than on Monday, Tuesday or
Wednesday. In many cases, corn available on Monday or Tues-
day had been left over from the week end. Average retail age of
the corn during the first 2 weeks of the study was significantly
greater than for the last 6 weeks. This was probably due to in-
creased production and accompanying lower prices during the
final 6 weeks of the study.
Total age of sweet corn at retail.-The total time from Florida
shipping points until offered for retail sale in Baltimore ranged







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


from 3 to 15 days on individual samples. Store averages ranged
from 5 days for Store 1 to 10 days for Store 5, with an over-all
average of about 7 days for all retail samples which could be
traced back to the shipping date.
Wholesale condition ratings.-When each sample of sweet
corn was purchased, it was rated for condition or appearance.
A rating of 5, for excellent, to 1, for very poor, was used to indi-
cate the amount of deterioration after harvest as shown by color
and freshness of the husk. Most sweet corn obtained from the
5 different wholesale sources appeared to be in good to excellent
condition (Table 18). Husks generally had a good green color
and were seldom wilted or water-soaked. There were no signifi-
cant differences in condition among wholesale sources. Differ-
ences between handling methods of the chain store and inde-
pendent receivers, and length of storage, did not affect appear-
ance of the corn. Handling practices in transit and storage were
effective in preserving the external appearance of good quality.

TABLE 18.-CONDITION RATINGS OF SWEET CORN AT WHOLESALE AND
RETAIL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Average* Ratings** at Wholesale
Period Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source 5

April 4-15 ........... 4.8 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.6
April 18-29 ........... 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.7
May 2-13 --.........--.- 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 4.9
May 16-27 .........---..- 4.9 4.6 4.5 4.6 4.5

Source Averaget ...... 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.6

Time Average* Ratings** at Retail
Period Store 1 Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 Store 6

April 4-15 ......-. 4.2 4.0 3.6 3.0 2.6 3.3
April 18-29 ........ 4.2 4.2 3.7 3.4 3.1 4.1
May 2-13 ......... 4.3 4.2 3.5 3.9 3.3 3.6
May 16-27 .......... 4.2 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.1 3.5

Store Averaget 4.2 4.0 3.6 3.5 3.0 3.6

Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples.
** Ratings of condition from 5 for excellent to 1 for very poor.
t Rating differences between wholesale sources were not significant.
$ Rating differences between retail sources were significant at the 1 percent level.
L.S.D. = 0.5.

Retail condition and taste panel ratings.-Ratings of condi-
tion at retail were considerably different from those at whole-







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


from 3 to 15 days on individual samples. Store averages ranged
from 5 days for Store 1 to 10 days for Store 5, with an over-all
average of about 7 days for all retail samples which could be
traced back to the shipping date.
Wholesale condition ratings.-When each sample of sweet
corn was purchased, it was rated for condition or appearance.
A rating of 5, for excellent, to 1, for very poor, was used to indi-
cate the amount of deterioration after harvest as shown by color
and freshness of the husk. Most sweet corn obtained from the
5 different wholesale sources appeared to be in good to excellent
condition (Table 18). Husks generally had a good green color
and were seldom wilted or water-soaked. There were no signifi-
cant differences in condition among wholesale sources. Differ-
ences between handling methods of the chain store and inde-
pendent receivers, and length of storage, did not affect appear-
ance of the corn. Handling practices in transit and storage were
effective in preserving the external appearance of good quality.

TABLE 18.-CONDITION RATINGS OF SWEET CORN AT WHOLESALE AND
RETAIL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Average* Ratings** at Wholesale
Period Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source 5

April 4-15 ........... 4.8 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.6
April 18-29 ........... 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.7
May 2-13 --.........--.- 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 4.9
May 16-27 .........---..- 4.9 4.6 4.5 4.6 4.5

Source Averaget ...... 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.6

Time Average* Ratings** at Retail
Period Store 1 Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 Store 6

April 4-15 ......-. 4.2 4.0 3.6 3.0 2.6 3.3
April 18-29 ........ 4.2 4.2 3.7 3.4 3.1 4.1
May 2-13 ......... 4.3 4.2 3.5 3.9 3.3 3.6
May 16-27 .......... 4.2 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.1 3.5

Store Averaget 4.2 4.0 3.6 3.5 3.0 3.6

Each entry in the table is the average of 5 individual samples.
** Ratings of condition from 5 for excellent to 1 for very poor.
t Rating differences between wholesale sources were not significant.
$ Rating differences between retail sources were significant at the 1 percent level.
L.S.D. = 0.5.

Retail condition and taste panel ratings.-Ratings of condi-
tion at retail were considerably different from those at whole-







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


sale. Store 1 had corn with an average rating of 4.2, between
good and excellent, while Store 5 had corn with the lowest average
rating of 3.0, or fair (Table 18). Ratings of individual samples
at retail varied from 5.0 to 1.5.
Seven representative samples of sweet corn from each of the
stores were rated by a taste panel of 6 judges. Panels were con-
ducted on 7 different dates, and judges rated the eating qualities
from 10 for excellent to 1 for very poor. Panel ratings showed
highly significant differences with Store 1 again the highest,
5.6, and Store 5 was again the lowest with a 3.8 average (Table
19). No one store had the highest rating all the time, but Store
1 was highest in 4 out of 7 samples. Quality of the corn in
Store 1 averaged higher chiefly because of the shorter marketing
period, while longer storage periods without refrigeration re-
sulted in the poorest quality corn in Store 5.
Objective quality tests at shipping points.-In the quality
tests made at shipping points, differences in moisture, pericarp
content and succulometer values were associated with maturities
(Figure 10) and grades of sweet corn. When ears had not grown
to their maximum diameter the kernels were plump, milky and
tender. At this maturity, 5 to 6 dozen ears filled a crate and they
were usually graded U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2, or "percentage"
grade. These grades averaged 77.0 percent moisture, 1.12 per-
cent pericarp content and 12.7 succulometer value. When the
ears grew larger with more mature and tougher kernels, 41/2
to 5 dozen ears filled a crate. More mature lots which were
graded U.S. Fancy by the Federal-State inspectors averaged 74.7
percent moisture, 1.25 percent pericarp content and 13.1 succu-
lometer value. Nearly all samples were Golden Security variety,
which was the predominant variety shipped from Florida.
Sugar content of the corn at shipping points was affected most
by maturity at harvest. Sugars in the 56 crates sampled ranged
from 4.1 percent in very young ears to 2.6 percent in overmature
ears. Average sugar content at the shipping points was 3.2 per-
cent.
Quality at wholesale.-There were no significant differences in
moisture content, succulometer values or pericarp content among
samples from the different wholesale receivers. Average mois-
ture content and succulometer values at wholesale were slightly
higher than those of the separate samples taken at shipping
points. Moisture content averaged 75.3 percent at shipping
points and 77.0 percent at wholesalers. Succulometer values







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


sale. Store 1 had corn with an average rating of 4.2, between
good and excellent, while Store 5 had corn with the lowest average
rating of 3.0, or fair (Table 18). Ratings of individual samples
at retail varied from 5.0 to 1.5.
Seven representative samples of sweet corn from each of the
stores were rated by a taste panel of 6 judges. Panels were con-
ducted on 7 different dates, and judges rated the eating qualities
from 10 for excellent to 1 for very poor. Panel ratings showed
highly significant differences with Store 1 again the highest,
5.6, and Store 5 was again the lowest with a 3.8 average (Table
19). No one store had the highest rating all the time, but Store
1 was highest in 4 out of 7 samples. Quality of the corn in
Store 1 averaged higher chiefly because of the shorter marketing
period, while longer storage periods without refrigeration re-
sulted in the poorest quality corn in Store 5.
Objective quality tests at shipping points.-In the quality
tests made at shipping points, differences in moisture, pericarp
content and succulometer values were associated with maturities
(Figure 10) and grades of sweet corn. When ears had not grown
to their maximum diameter the kernels were plump, milky and
tender. At this maturity, 5 to 6 dozen ears filled a crate and they
were usually graded U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2, or "percentage"
grade. These grades averaged 77.0 percent moisture, 1.12 per-
cent pericarp content and 12.7 succulometer value. When the
ears grew larger with more mature and tougher kernels, 41/2
to 5 dozen ears filled a crate. More mature lots which were
graded U.S. Fancy by the Federal-State inspectors averaged 74.7
percent moisture, 1.25 percent pericarp content and 13.1 succu-
lometer value. Nearly all samples were Golden Security variety,
which was the predominant variety shipped from Florida.
Sugar content of the corn at shipping points was affected most
by maturity at harvest. Sugars in the 56 crates sampled ranged
from 4.1 percent in very young ears to 2.6 percent in overmature
ears. Average sugar content at the shipping points was 3.2 per-
cent.
Quality at wholesale.-There were no significant differences in
moisture content, succulometer values or pericarp content among
samples from the different wholesale receivers. Average mois-
ture content and succulometer values at wholesale were slightly
higher than those of the separate samples taken at shipping
points. Moisture content averaged 75.3 percent at shipping
points and 77.0 percent at wholesalers. Succulometer values









TABLE 19.-MARKETING PRACTICES AND QUALITY OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN IN 6 RETAIL STORES, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.


Item


Store storage .........


Store display ..........



U.S. Fancy grade ...

Retail temperature*

Moisture content* ...

Succulometer* .........

Pericarp increase*

Retail age** ............-

Total age ..............

Condition t** .-.........

Eating quality* .-


Unit


Percent

oF.

Percent

Ml.

Percent

Days

Days

Rating

Rating


Store 1


Cooler


Dry Rack



95-100

56.2

t 76.8

17.1

t 62

.60

5

4.2

5.6


Store 2


Cooler


Chipped Ice


35-50

52.8

78.3

18.2

71

.75


Store 3 Store 4


Cooler Cooler
|I


Dry Rack


SDry Rack
and
Mechanical

70-90

54.7

77.2

17.4

73

2.5


* Stores significantly different at the 5 percent level.
** Stores significantly different at the 1 percent level.
t Percent increase in pericarp content between shipping points and retail stores.
$ Rating based on amount of deterioration since harvest. Rating = 5 for excellent to 1 for very poor.
Flavor rating by panel of 6 judges. Rating = 10 for excellent to 1 for very poor.


Store 5


Unrefrig-
erated

mechanical



35-50

60.4

77.3

17.6

84

3.1


Store 6


Cooler


Dry Rack


35-50

58.4

79.3

18.8

78

1.6


Average


56.6

77.5

17.6

74

1.7

7

3.7

4.5


M







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


averaged 13.0 in Florida and 17.1 at the Baltimore wholesalers.
These slight increases may have been due to added moisture from
melting ice in transit.
Pericarp content at shipping points averaged 1.21 percent
and at wholesalers 2.07 percent. The increase in pericarp content
of 71 percent from the average at shipping points indicated a very
marked increase in toughness.
Sugar samples from only 1 wholesale receiver were analyzed.
Total sugars in the corn from this chain store receiver ranged
from 2.3 percent to 1.6 percent, with an average of 2.0 percent
(Table 20). This was a decrease of 38 percent from the shipping
point average obtained on separate samples.
Quality at retail.-Quality of the sweet corn from the 6 re-
tail stores was different, as measured objectively by moisture and
succulometer tests. Stores 1, 3 and 4 had corn with lower aver-
age moisture and succulometer values than Stores 2, 5 and 6.
When these data were compared with amounts of U.S. Fancy
grade corn handled by these stores (Table 19), it was apparent
that some of the differences in moisture and succulence at retail
could be attributed to initial differences in the grades of corn
purchased.
Store 1 purchased 95-100 percent U.S. Fancy grade corn
which averaged 74.7 percent moisture at shipping points and
76.8 percent at retail. Store 6 purchased 50-65 percent of the
"percentage" grades of corn. "Percentage" grades averaged 77.0
percent moisture at shipping points and the mixture of grades
in Store 6 averaged 79.3 percent. Thus, the quality of sweet
corn offered to consumers may be affected by purchasing prac-
tices as well as by handling practices.
Sugar samples from only 2 retail stores were analyzed. Total
sugars in the corn averaged 2.0 percent from Store 1 and 1.3 per-
cent from Store 5 (Table 20). Average sucrose of the corn from
Store 5, 0.6 percent, was only one-half of that from Store 1-
1.2 percent. The wholesale receiver whose corn averaged 2.0
percent sugar supplied Store 1. The averages of 40 random sam-
ples-20 each at wholesale and retail-showed that no further
decrease in total sugars and only a 4 percent decrease in sucrose
occurred during the average of 0.6 day required for retailing
in Store 1. Total sugars in the corn from Store 5 had decreased
59 percent from the average at shipping points.
As a measure of quality in sweet corn, pericarp content ranged
from 2.0 percent in Store 1 to 2.2 percent in Store 5, and averaged








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn 37

















































Figure 10.-These 4 ears represent the range in maturity of sweet corn
shipped for fresh markets. The larger, more mature ears graded U. S.
Fancy and packed 41/2 to 5 dozen ears per-crate. The smaller, less mature
ears are graded U. S. No. 1, U. S. No. 2 or "percentage" grade and packed
5 to 6 dozen ears per crate.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


2.1 percent. However, day-to-day variation in pericarp content
was large, and the amount present was not as good an index of
previous handling practices as the increase in pericarp content
between shipping points and retail stores. This pericarp increase
averaged 62 percent in Store 1 and 84 percent in Store 5.

TABLE 20.-SUGAR CONTENT OF SWEET CORN AT SHIPPING POINTS IN FLOR-
IDA AND AT WHOLESALE AND RETAIL LEVELS, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
APRIL AND MAY, 1955.
PERCENT TOTAL SUGARS*

Time Shipping Wholesale I Retail
Period Point Source 1 1 Store 1 Store 5

April 4-15 -.......... 3.0 1.9 2.5 1.3
April 18-29 ............ 3.4 2.3 1.7 1.1
May 2-13 ........ 3.2 2.1 2.0 1.4
May 16-27 ............ 3.1 1.6 1.6 1.2

Average ..... 3.2 2.0 2.0 1.3

Percent Loss -. 38 38 59

PERCENT SUCROSE*

April 4-15 ............ 2.2 1.3 1.6 0.5
April 18-29 ......... 2.5 1.6 0.9 0.4
May 2-13 .-.........- 2.5 1.5 1.4 0.7
May 16-27 ........... 2.4 1.0 1.0 0.6

Average ...... 2.4 1.3 1.2 0.6

Percent Loss .... 46 50 75

Each shipping point entry is the average of 14 samples; other entries are averages
of 5 samples.

Ranking the retail stores according to average values ob-
tained by various quality measurements illustrated how the fac-
tors fit together, as shown in Table 21. Taste panel ratings and
pericarp increase ranked the same among the stores.
Effects of controlled laboratory handling practices on sweet
corn quality.-Since sweet corn quality determinations at Balti-
more and at Florida shipping points were made on a sampling
basis and not on the same lots, additional studies were made un-
der laboratory conditions where the same lots were sampled be-
fore and after storage during the 1956-57-58 seasons. Moisture







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


content increased in top iced ears during storage, decreased in
ears stored at low humidity and remained nearly constant at high
humidity with low or high temperatures.

TABLE 21.-RANK, BY STORE NUMBER, OF HANDLING PRACTICES AND QUALITY
MEASUREMENTS OF SWEET CORN IN 6 RETAIL STORES, BALTIMORE, MARY-
LAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.


Handling
Practice
or
Quality
Measurement

Retail age* ....
Total age* ......
Condition** ....
Moisture
Content** ..
Succulome-
ter** ...........
Increase in
pericarp* ....
Eating
quality** ....


1st I 2nd


Store 1
Store 1
Store 1
Store 6

Store 6

Store 1

Store 1


* Lowest values ranked first.
** Highest values ranked first.


Rank

3rd 41
I


5th


Store 2 I Store 6 I Store 3 Store
Stores 2, 3 and 6 Store
Store 2 1Stores 3 and 6 Store

Store 2 Store 5 Store 4 Store

Store 2 Store 5 I Store 4 Store

Store 2 Store 4 Store 3 Store

Store 2 I Store 4 Store 3 Store


Pericarp content did not change during 1 to 20 days when
ears were stored in cracked ice or at 350 to 400F. At 80 to 900F.,
pericarp content increased 12 percent in 1 day and 103 percent in
7 days. The increase in pericarp at 600F. was much slower, and
amounted to 4 percent after 1 day, 7 percent after 2 days and 11
percent after 3 days.
At 400F. total sugars decreased 22 percent in 5 days, 42 per-
cent in 10 days and 65 percent in 15 days. When held at 600F.
for 1 day, after 6 days at 400F., the total sugars had decreased
54 percent. After 6 days at 400F. and 3 days at 600F., total
sugars had dropped 64 percent and sucrose 77 percent.


Store
Store
Store

Store

Store
Store

Store







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


PART III. PRICES, COSTS AND MARGINS OF SWEET
CORN OFFERED TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
CONSUMERS, APRIL AND MAY, 1955

INTRODUCTION
One purpose of this study of sweet corn marketing was to de-
termine costs and margins involved in getting sweet corn from
the field to consumers. Data were collected on prices of the corn
at wholesale and retail in Baltimore, Maryland, and labels were
obtained to trace samples back to the shippers. Shippers pro-
vided information on shipping-point prices, grades, precooling
and refrigeration. Railroads provided information on icing and
transportation costs. The Market News Service furnished whole-
sale prices, and the 6 sample stores supplied retail prices.

RETAIL PRICES OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN
IN BALTIMORE
A record was kept of sweet corn prices of the 6 sample stores.
Prices varied considerably among the 6 stores at a particular
time, but over the 8 weeks of sampling average retail prices
among the stores were not significantly different. The highest
price of corn in any of the stores during the 8-week period was
3 ears for $0.33 for prepackaged corn early in the season, or
$1.32 per dozen; the lowest price was observed later in the same
store when bulk corn on a large dry-rack display was priced at
$0.50 per dozen.
To illustrate the wide differences among the sample stores at
a particular time, on May 13, 1955, the following prices per dozen
ears were in effect: Store 1-$0.58; Store 2-$0.87, prepackaged,
$1.16; Store 3-$0.78; Store 4-$0.50, prepackaged, $0.58; Store
5-$1.00 and Store 6-$0.87. A summary of average prices for
corn in the 6 stores is given in Table 22.
Average price per dozen ears of corn ranged from $0.82 in
Store 1 to $0.94 in Store 5. These average differences were not
significant due to the wide day-to-day variation among stores.
However, the difference in prices among stores during the last
2 weeks was significantly greater than the difference among stores
during the second 2 weeks of the study. In other words, Store
1's price dropped more than did the price in Stores 2, 5 and 6
during the peak of the corn season.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


PART III. PRICES, COSTS AND MARGINS OF SWEET
CORN OFFERED TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
CONSUMERS, APRIL AND MAY, 1955

INTRODUCTION
One purpose of this study of sweet corn marketing was to de-
termine costs and margins involved in getting sweet corn from
the field to consumers. Data were collected on prices of the corn
at wholesale and retail in Baltimore, Maryland, and labels were
obtained to trace samples back to the shippers. Shippers pro-
vided information on shipping-point prices, grades, precooling
and refrigeration. Railroads provided information on icing and
transportation costs. The Market News Service furnished whole-
sale prices, and the 6 sample stores supplied retail prices.

RETAIL PRICES OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN
IN BALTIMORE
A record was kept of sweet corn prices of the 6 sample stores.
Prices varied considerably among the 6 stores at a particular
time, but over the 8 weeks of sampling average retail prices
among the stores were not significantly different. The highest
price of corn in any of the stores during the 8-week period was
3 ears for $0.33 for prepackaged corn early in the season, or
$1.32 per dozen; the lowest price was observed later in the same
store when bulk corn on a large dry-rack display was priced at
$0.50 per dozen.
To illustrate the wide differences among the sample stores at
a particular time, on May 13, 1955, the following prices per dozen
ears were in effect: Store 1-$0.58; Store 2-$0.87, prepackaged,
$1.16; Store 3-$0.78; Store 4-$0.50, prepackaged, $0.58; Store
5-$1.00 and Store 6-$0.87. A summary of average prices for
corn in the 6 stores is given in Table 22.
Average price per dozen ears of corn ranged from $0.82 in
Store 1 to $0.94 in Store 5. These average differences were not
significant due to the wide day-to-day variation among stores.
However, the difference in prices among stores during the last
2 weeks was significantly greater than the difference among stores
during the second 2 weeks of the study. In other words, Store
1's price dropped more than did the price in Stores 2, 5 and 6
during the peak of the corn season.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


PART III. PRICES, COSTS AND MARGINS OF SWEET
CORN OFFERED TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND,
CONSUMERS, APRIL AND MAY, 1955

INTRODUCTION
One purpose of this study of sweet corn marketing was to de-
termine costs and margins involved in getting sweet corn from
the field to consumers. Data were collected on prices of the corn
at wholesale and retail in Baltimore, Maryland, and labels were
obtained to trace samples back to the shippers. Shippers pro-
vided information on shipping-point prices, grades, precooling
and refrigeration. Railroads provided information on icing and
transportation costs. The Market News Service furnished whole-
sale prices, and the 6 sample stores supplied retail prices.

RETAIL PRICES OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN
IN BALTIMORE
A record was kept of sweet corn prices of the 6 sample stores.
Prices varied considerably among the 6 stores at a particular
time, but over the 8 weeks of sampling average retail prices
among the stores were not significantly different. The highest
price of corn in any of the stores during the 8-week period was
3 ears for $0.33 for prepackaged corn early in the season, or
$1.32 per dozen; the lowest price was observed later in the same
store when bulk corn on a large dry-rack display was priced at
$0.50 per dozen.
To illustrate the wide differences among the sample stores at
a particular time, on May 13, 1955, the following prices per dozen
ears were in effect: Store 1-$0.58; Store 2-$0.87, prepackaged,
$1.16; Store 3-$0.78; Store 4-$0.50, prepackaged, $0.58; Store
5-$1.00 and Store 6-$0.87. A summary of average prices for
corn in the 6 stores is given in Table 22.
Average price per dozen ears of corn ranged from $0.82 in
Store 1 to $0.94 in Store 5. These average differences were not
significant due to the wide day-to-day variation among stores.
However, the difference in prices among stores during the last
2 weeks was significantly greater than the difference among stores
during the second 2 weeks of the study. In other words, Store
1's price dropped more than did the price in Stores 2, 5 and 6
during the peak of the corn season.







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


TABLE 22.-BASIC PRICE OF SWEET CORN IN 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Basic Price Per Dozen Ears*
Period I Aver-
Store 1 Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 1Store 6 age**
April 4-15 .. $1.13 $1.16 $1.13 $1.11 $0.83 $0.95 $1.05
April 18-29 .. .95 .86 .97 .98 .94 .97 .95
May 2-13 .... .59 .74 .76 .74 1.13 .85 .80
May 16-27.... .59 .89 .78 .75 .84 .87 .79

Store
Averaget.... .82 .91 .91 .90 .94 .91 .90

Basic prices were offerings of nonprepackaged corn only. Each entry in the table is
the average of 5 sampling days.
** Price differences were significant in time at the 1 percent level. L.S.IY. = $.076.
t Average prices among stores were not significantly different.

As the season progressed average prices asked dropped con-
siderably, from an average of $1.05 per dozen the first 2 weeks
to $0.79 per dozen the last 2 weeks. Over-all average price for
the 6 sample stores for the 8 weeks was $0.90 per dozen ears
of sweet corn.
It should be noted that the difference among stores in per-
cent of U.S. Fancy corn handled (Table 19) was not reflected in
prices asked at retail, except in Stores 5 and 6 during the first
2 weeks of the study.

COSTS AND MARGINS
Picking, packing and shipping-point marketing costs.-Anal-
ysis of records at shipping point for the Belle Glade area for the
1953-54 season showed that cost of the corn crate was approxi-
mately $0.35, and charges for picking and packing were approx-
imately $0.30 per crate. Average marketing charges at shipping
point were approximately $0.32 per crate in the Belle Glade area
during April and May, 1954. These included precooling and top
icing $0.22, inspection $0.02, selling commissions $0.07 and other
charges $0.01 per crate. These charges were probably about the
same in 1955 as they were in 1954.
Transportation costs.-Records were obtained on transporta-
tion charges for 90 cars of sweet corn shipped from Florida to
Baltimore during April and May, 1955. These charges varied
with the amount of top and bunker ice and with the size of the
car (Table 23).







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


TABLE 22.-BASIC PRICE OF SWEET CORN IN 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Basic Price Per Dozen Ears*
Period I Aver-
Store 1 Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 1Store 6 age**
April 4-15 .. $1.13 $1.16 $1.13 $1.11 $0.83 $0.95 $1.05
April 18-29 .. .95 .86 .97 .98 .94 .97 .95
May 2-13 .... .59 .74 .76 .74 1.13 .85 .80
May 16-27.... .59 .89 .78 .75 .84 .87 .79

Store
Averaget.... .82 .91 .91 .90 .94 .91 .90

Basic prices were offerings of nonprepackaged corn only. Each entry in the table is
the average of 5 sampling days.
** Price differences were significant in time at the 1 percent level. L.S.IY. = $.076.
t Average prices among stores were not significantly different.

As the season progressed average prices asked dropped con-
siderably, from an average of $1.05 per dozen the first 2 weeks
to $0.79 per dozen the last 2 weeks. Over-all average price for
the 6 sample stores for the 8 weeks was $0.90 per dozen ears
of sweet corn.
It should be noted that the difference among stores in per-
cent of U.S. Fancy corn handled (Table 19) was not reflected in
prices asked at retail, except in Stores 5 and 6 during the first
2 weeks of the study.

COSTS AND MARGINS
Picking, packing and shipping-point marketing costs.-Anal-
ysis of records at shipping point for the Belle Glade area for the
1953-54 season showed that cost of the corn crate was approxi-
mately $0.35, and charges for picking and packing were approx-
imately $0.30 per crate. Average marketing charges at shipping
point were approximately $0.32 per crate in the Belle Glade area
during April and May, 1954. These included precooling and top
icing $0.22, inspection $0.02, selling commissions $0.07 and other
charges $0.01 per crate. These charges were probably about the
same in 1955 as they were in 1954.
Transportation costs.-Records were obtained on transporta-
tion charges for 90 cars of sweet corn shipped from Florida to
Baltimore during April and May, 1955. These charges varied
with the amount of top and bunker ice and with the size of the
car (Table 23).







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


TABLE 22.-BASIC PRICE OF SWEET CORN IN 6 RETAIL STORES,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.

Time Basic Price Per Dozen Ears*
Period I Aver-
Store 1 Store 2 Store 3 Store 4 Store 5 1Store 6 age**
April 4-15 .. $1.13 $1.16 $1.13 $1.11 $0.83 $0.95 $1.05
April 18-29 .. .95 .86 .97 .98 .94 .97 .95
May 2-13 .... .59 .74 .76 .74 1.13 .85 .80
May 16-27.... .59 .89 .78 .75 .84 .87 .79

Store
Averaget.... .82 .91 .91 .90 .94 .91 .90

Basic prices were offerings of nonprepackaged corn only. Each entry in the table is
the average of 5 sampling days.
** Price differences were significant in time at the 1 percent level. L.S.IY. = $.076.
t Average prices among stores were not significantly different.

As the season progressed average prices asked dropped con-
siderably, from an average of $1.05 per dozen the first 2 weeks
to $0.79 per dozen the last 2 weeks. Over-all average price for
the 6 sample stores for the 8 weeks was $0.90 per dozen ears
of sweet corn.
It should be noted that the difference among stores in per-
cent of U.S. Fancy corn handled (Table 19) was not reflected in
prices asked at retail, except in Stores 5 and 6 during the first
2 weeks of the study.

COSTS AND MARGINS
Picking, packing and shipping-point marketing costs.-Anal-
ysis of records at shipping point for the Belle Glade area for the
1953-54 season showed that cost of the corn crate was approxi-
mately $0.35, and charges for picking and packing were approx-
imately $0.30 per crate. Average marketing charges at shipping
point were approximately $0.32 per crate in the Belle Glade area
during April and May, 1954. These included precooling and top
icing $0.22, inspection $0.02, selling commissions $0.07 and other
charges $0.01 per crate. These charges were probably about the
same in 1955 as they were in 1954.
Transportation costs.-Records were obtained on transporta-
tion charges for 90 cars of sweet corn shipped from Florida to
Baltimore during April and May, 1955. These charges varied
with the amount of top and bunker ice and with the size of the
car (Table 23).








Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


TABLE 23.-FREIGHT CHARGES BY NUMBER OF CARS, CRATES PER CAR AND
REFRIGERATION USED FOR FLORIDA SWEET CORN SHIPPED BY RAIL TO
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 1955.*


Num-
ber of Crates Top Ice
Cars Per Car


Other Freight and
Refrigeration(14) Refrigeration
Per Car Per Crate


(Tons) (Cents)
1 560 5 Rule 240 and bunker ice $408.54 72.95
4 560 9 Rule 240 and bunker ice 427.26 76.29
4 600 8 Standard refrigeration 471.88 78.65
16 600 9 Standard refrigeration 471.88 78.65
53 560 9 Standard refrigeration 451.88 80.69
9 560 10+ Standard refrigeration 458.35 81.85
1 600 10+ Standard refrigeration 484.38 80.73
2 560 10+ Standard refrigeration 518.10 92.52

Aver- |
Total age Weighted Average
90 51,240 9.2 $457.23 80.31

Cost of top ice is not included as a freight charge. This is furnished by the shipper.
Freight is charged on top ice in excess of 10,000 pounds, the charge being standard for in-
crements of 5,000 pounds. There is a tolerance of 20 percent for meltage of the top ice.

Typical rail transportation and service charges were as fol-
lows for a 560 crate car with 9 tons of top ice: Freight $327.49;
tax $28.90; standard refrigeration $63.48; freight on top ice
(14,400 pounds) $18.85; other taxes $13.16; total $451.88 per
car or $0.81 per crate.
The weighted average cost for rail transportation of Florida
sweet corn to Baltimore during April and May, 1955, was $0.80
per crate.
No data were obtained on costs of truck transportation to
Baltimore.
Wholesaling and retailing margins.-No data were obtained
on costs of wholesaling and retailing Florida sweet corn in Balti-
more. However, tracing retail samples to the shipper provided
a breakdown of costs or margins included in the retail price of
the sweet corn. Retail prices per dozen ears were converted to a
crate basis (with adjustments for different sizes and for waste
or spoilage) and these prices were compared with the shipping-
point price for that particular lot. Shipping-point prices were
estimated for untraced samples from reports issued by the Mar-
ket News Service.
The average wholesaling and retailing margin of $1.55 per
crate was about equal to the farm price of the sweet corn (Table
24). In other words, the wholesaler and retailer together re-








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


ceived as much for handling the sweet corn as the farmer received
to grow, pick and pack it. Of the average $4.25 per crate Balti-
more consumers paid for sweet corn, $1.55 was for wholesaling
and retailing, $0.81 for transportation, $0.32 for precooling, icing,
shipping-point selling and miscellaneous charges, $0.65 for pick-
ing and packing; and the grower received $0.92 for growing the
corn.

TABLE 24.-COSTS AND MARGINS OF FLORIDA SWEET CORN RETAILED,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955

Costs or Prices (Dollars Per Crate)
S Gross
for Shipping Point Farm
Time Whole- Trans- Costs
Period Retail saling porta- Market- of Gross
Price* and tion Price ing !Pricet Har- Re-
S Retail- Costs Costst vest- turns
ing** I ing

April 4-16 $5.00 $1.80 $0.81 $2.39 $0.32 $2.07 $0.65 $1.42
April 18-29 4.61 1.74 .81 2.06 .32 1.74 .65 1.09
May 2-13 3.69 1.26 .81 1.62 .32 1.30 .65 .65
May 16-27 3.70 1.38 .81 1.51 .32 1.19 .65 .54


Average 4.25 1.55 0.81 1.89 0.32 1.57 0.65 0.92

Allowances for size, waste and spoilage. A 5-dozen ear crate billed at 56 ears, 51/ dozen
ear crate billed at 60 ears.
** Retail price minus shipping-point price plus transit charges.
SAverage costs as follows: Precooling, 10 cents; top ice, 12 cents; selling commission,
7 cents; inspection, 2 cents and other charges, 1 cent.
$ Shipping point price minus cost of ice, precooling, selling and miscellaneous charges.
Average cost of container, 35 cents; picking and packing, 30 cents.
Farm price minus cost of picking and packing. Return to farmers for growing the
sweet corn.

On a dollar and cents per-crate basis, wholesaling and retail-
ing margins fell considerably during the season, from a high of
$1.80 per crate the first 2 weeks to $1.26 per crate for the third
2-week period of the study. During the third 2-week period,
sweet corn was moving in heavy volume. Five of the 6 retail
stores ran at least 1 "special" on Florida sweet corn during this
2-week period.
Breakdown of consumer's dollar for sweet corn.-On a basis
of percent of the consumer's dollar spent for sweet corn, whole-
saling and retailing margins changed only slightly during the
8-week study (Table 25). Average margin for wholesaling and
retailing combined was 36.4 percent of the consumer's dollar;
this varied only from 37.8 percent to 34.2 percent. Average per-







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


cent of the consumer's dollar which went for growing, picking
and packing the sweet corn (farm price) varied from 41.4 percent
early in the season to 32.2 percent during the peak of the corn
season, with an over-all average of 37.0 percent.

TABLE 25.-BREAKDOWN OF CONSUMER'S DOLLAR (PERCENT) FOR
SWEET CORN, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL AND MAY, 1955.
Transportation and
Time Retailing and Shipping-Point Farm
Period | Wholesaling Marketing Costs* Price**

April 4-16 ...... 36.0 22.6 41.4
April 18-29 ...... 37.8 24.5 37.7
May 2-13 ..... 34.2 30.6 35.2
May 16-27 ..... 37.3 30.5 32.2

Average ........ 36.4 26.6 37.0

Transit charges, 81 cents; shipping-point marketing charges, 32 cents.
** Shipping-point price minus shipping-point marketing charges. Farm price includes
cost of crate, picking and packing.

Transportation and shipping-point marketing costs, although
constant on a dollar and cents basis ($1.13 per crate), ranged
from 22.6 percent to 30.6 percent of the consumer's dollar with
an average of 26.6 percent.
Of the consumer's dollar spent for sweet corn in Baltimore
from April 4 to May 27, approximately 36.4 percent went to the
wholesaler and retailer, 26.6 percent for transportation and ship-
ping-point marketing costs and 37.0 percent to the farmer for
growing, picking and packing the sweet corn.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Sample invoices representing over 2,200 lots of sweet corn
sold from 4 areas of Florida in 1953-54 indicated shipments prin-
cipally to large cities in the North and East. Twenty-three cities
took 72 percent of the total shipments and 10 cities received 48
percent.
Seventy-three percent of the sweet corn shipped was U.S.
Fancy and 12 percent U.S. No. 1. As prices became lower during
the season, a larger proportion of the shipments was U.S. Fancy.
Shipping-point price differentials between U.S. Fancy and U.S.
No. 1 also became larger as the season progressed. However,
differences in amount of U.S. Fancy corn handled among the
stores did not show up in retail prices except in Stores 5 and 6
during the first 2 weeks of the study.







Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


F.O.B. sale was the predominant type, accounting for 88 per-
cent of all sales. Prices averaged highest for this type of sale.
Prices of sweet corn varied inversely with carlot shipments.
On the average, an increase in monthly shipments of 100 cars
resulted in a decrease in the f.o.b. price of 51/2 cents per crate.
Increasing shipments depressed the price much more than this in
the early part of the season and less in the latter part.
There seemed to be no relation between the amount of refrig-
eration used in transporting sweet corn and the f.o.b. price re-
ceived. All corn shipped was precooled and top iced. However,
some was sold at a price which excluded the ice.
Typical marketing charges on corn sold f.o.b. at Belle Glade
were about 97 cents per crate, including harvesting, packing,
precooling, top ice and selling.
The consumer's dollar spent for sweet corn in Baltimore,
Maryland, during April and May, 1955, was divided approximate-
ly as follows: farmer, 37 percent; transportation and shipping-
point marketing costs, 27 percent and wholesaler and retailer,
36 percent.
A study of handling practices and quality of sweet corn at
Florida shipping points and Baltimore wholesalers and retailers
showed that maturity at harvest, duration of the marketing pe-
riod, temperature of the corn and handling in the retail stores
had the greatest effects on quality.
Since temperature of the sweet corn varied from 460 to 730F.
at the time of loading for shipment and the time in marketing
channels varied from 3 to 15 days, conditions were often favorable
for a large increase in pericarp and a large decrease in sugars.
These changes which affected the eating quality often did not
affect the appearance of the corn. Condition of the corn at whole-
sale was consistently good. Precooling and refrigeration in
transit were effective in preserving the external appearance of
good quality. However, a 71 percent average increase in peri-
carp and 38 percent decrease in sugars occurred between harvest-
ing and wholesaling.
Condition of the corn in retail stores varied from excellent
to very poor. Other significant differences between stores were
measured by corn temperatures, retail age, moisture content,
succulometer values and taste panel ratings. Although the in-
creases in pericarp during retailing were not as great as during
the previous handling, total pericarp increases best reflected the
differences in handling practices. Moisture and succulence levels







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


at retail were an indication of purchasing practices such as grade
and maturity of the corn.
When the 6 stores were ranked according to quality of their
sweet corn-on the basis of pericarp increase and eating quali-
ties-Store 1 was best, Store 2 was second, Store 4 was third,
Store 3 was fourth, Store 6 was fifth and Store 5 had the poorest
quality. Longer storage periods without refrigeration caused
Store 5 to have the poorest quality corn. Corn in Store 5 had
lost an average of 75 percent of the original sucrose compared
with a loss of only 50 percent in Store 1. Store 2 used an iced
display and corn temperatures were lower than in Store 1 with
a dry rack; yet the quality in Store 1 averaged higher chiefly
because of the 2-day shorter marketing period.
Data indicated that quality of sweet corn offered to consum-
ers could have been improved by harvesting only at optimum ma-
turity, shortening the marketing period, precooling to lower tem-
peratures before shipping and providing more adequate refrig-
eration facilities in the stores.

LITERATURE CITED
- 1. ALBAN, E. K., and R. C. SCOTT. Post harvest handling and marketing
of garden fresh sweet corn. Ohio Agr. Expt. Sta. Res. Circ. 23.
1954.
S2. APPLEMAN, CHARLES O., and JOHN M. ARTHUR. Carbohydrate metab-
olism in green sweet corn during storage at different temperatures.
Jour. Agr. Res. 17: 137-152. 1919.
3. BARTON, D. W. Quality, maturity and yield measurements of twelve
sweet corn varieties, 1951 to 1953. New York Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull.
No. 765. 1954.
4. GEISE, C. E. Influence of objective quality factors on subjective evalu-
ation of canned sweet corn. Food Tech. 7: 15-20. 1953.
5. GOULD, W. A., F. A. KRANTZ, JR., and J. MAVIS. Quality evaluation of
fresh, frozen and canned yellow sweet corn. Food Tech. 5: 175-179.
1951.
6. HARTLINE, B. F. Precooling (hydro-cooling) and package icing Illinois
sweet corn. Illinois Dept. Agr. Mimeo. Report. 1951.
7. JENKINS, R. R., and C. B. SAYRE. Chemical studies of yellow sweet
corn in relation to the quality of the canned product. Food Re-
search 1: 199-216. 1936.
8. KRAMER, AMIHUD, G. J. BURKHARDT, and H. B. ROGERS, JR. The shear-
press, an instrument for measuring the quality of foods. The Can-
ner 112: 5, 34. 1951.








Long Distance Marketing of Fresh Sweet Corn


9. R. B. GUYER, and L. E. IDE. Factors affecting the objective
and organoleptic evaluation of quality in sweet corn. Proc. Amer.
Soc. Hort. Sci. 54: 342-356. 1949.

10. and H. R. SMITH. The succulometer. Food Packer 27:
8, 56-60. 1946.

11. LUKE, G. W. Marketing New Jersey sweet corn in a wet strength
paper bag with ice. New Jersey Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. No. 768.
1953.

12. McARDLE, F. J., and N. W. DEROSIER. A rapid method for determining
the pericarp content of sweet corn. The Canner. May 31, 1954.

13. MORRIS, L. L. Sweet corn tests indicate the value of keeping sweet corn
ice cold by packing in ice. Western Grower and Shipper, No. 16.
Aug., 1945.

14. NATIONAL PERISHABLE FREIGHT COMMITTEE. Perishable Protective
Tariff 17. 113-122. 1957.

15. RHODES, NEILL. F.O.B. shipping point prices. For Sale, Want and
Exchange Bull. 12: No. 6, 2. July 15, 1955.

16. SCHOOLCRAFT, C. D., and J. L. BUNTIN. Fresh fruit and vegetable
shipments by commodities, states and months, calendar years 1953
and 1954. Market News Branch. U. S. Department of Agriculture.

17. SCOTT, I. W. Consumers will pay more for top quality corn. Market
Growers Journal 80: 6, 28-29. 1951.

18. SCOTT, L. E., and C. H. MAHONEY. Quality changes during the storage
of consumer packages of sweet corn and lima beans: progress re-
port. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 47: 383-386. 1946.

19. SCOTT, R. C., and R. C. HARDENBURG. Handling and merchandising
sweet corn. New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell Uni-
versity, A. E. 699. April, 1949.

20. WINSTON, J. R., RANDALL CUBBEDGE, and JACOB KAUFMAN. Effect of
hydrocooling and of top icing on temperature reduction in carlot
shipments of crated green sweet corn. H. T. and S. Office Report
No. 270. U. S. Department of Agriculture. April, 1952.

21. WINTER, J. D., R.E. NYLAND, and R. W. Cox. Marketing fresh sweet
corn in the midwest. Minn. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. 427. 1954.

22. R. E. NYLAND and A. F. LEGUN. Refrigeration is the key
to corn quality. Refrig. Eng. 59: 354-357, 398, 406. 1951.




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