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Costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027604/00017
 Material Information
Title: Costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
Series Title: <1971-72-> Economics report
Portion of title: Cost of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station. -- Dept. of Agricultural Economics
University of Florida -- Food and Resource Economics Dept
Publisher: Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: 1962
Publication Date: -1974
Frequency: annual
regular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Citrus fruits -- Harvesting -- Costs -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Citrus fruits -- Transportation -- Costs -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Citrus fruit industry -- Costs -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: -1972-73.
Issuing Body: Vols. for <1967-68-> issued by the Department of Agricultural Economics, Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; <1971-72-> by the Food and Resource Economics Department, Aggricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
General Note: Some issues have title: Cost of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits.
General Note: Description based on: 1967-68 season.
Funding: Agricultural economics mimeo report.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 03583885
lccn - 74641566
issn - 0093-6553
System ID: UF00027604:00017
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Estimated costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Costs of picking and hauling, 1962-63
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Variation in cost among firms
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Comparison of 1962-63 costs with previous seasons
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Other mimeographed publications available on citrus costs
        Page 13
Full Text

April 1964


COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING

FLORIDA CITRUS FRUITS


1962-63 SEASON

By
A. H. Spurlock
Agricultural Economist


Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
,Gainesville, Florida
*. .' ..*;
.,, -- ''-'-



A Study Conducted with Funds Provided by the
Research and Marketing Act



Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Gainesville, Florida


Agricultural Economics
Mimeo Report EC 64-8









COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING FLORIDA
CITRUS FRUITS, 1962-63 SEASON


CONTENTS

Page

Introduction . . . . . . 1

Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1962-63. . . .. .. 2

Variation in Cost Among Firms. .. . . . .. 6

Comparison of 1962-63 Costs with Previous Seasons. . ... 10





Introduction

This is the 13th annual summary of costs of picking and hauling

citrus fruits, prepared from a sample of citrus dealers, packinghouses,

and processors. Other handling and marketing costs in the citrus indus-

try are released in separate publications as indicated inside the back

cover.

Costs of handling citrus fruits from the tree to the packinghouse

or processing plant for the 1962-63 season were summarized by type of

fruit for 32 firms. However, several firms did not haul fruit and sev-

eral others did not pick all the fruit hauled by their trucks. Seven of

the firms furnishing data were citrus dealers specializing in the pro-

curement, sale, and delivery of fruit to the processing plant, 22 were

principally packers of fresh fruit and 3 were processors. Most of the

dealers also contracted with other operators to pick and haul some of

their volume. Contracting with other operators to pick and haul part or

all of their volume also was common among the fresh packers and processors.









COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING FLORIDA
CITRUS FRUITS, 1962-63 SEASON


CONTENTS

Page

Introduction . . . . . . 1

Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1962-63. . . .. .. 2

Variation in Cost Among Firms. .. . . . .. 6

Comparison of 1962-63 Costs with Previous Seasons. . ... 10





Introduction

This is the 13th annual summary of costs of picking and hauling

citrus fruits, prepared from a sample of citrus dealers, packinghouses,

and processors. Other handling and marketing costs in the citrus indus-

try are released in separate publications as indicated inside the back

cover.

Costs of handling citrus fruits from the tree to the packinghouse

or processing plant for the 1962-63 season were summarized by type of

fruit for 32 firms. However, several firms did not haul fruit and sev-

eral others did not pick all the fruit hauled by their trucks. Seven of

the firms furnishing data were citrus dealers specializing in the pro-

curement, sale, and delivery of fruit to the processing plant, 22 were

principally packers of fresh fruit and 3 were processors. Most of the

dealers also contracted with other operators to pick and haul some of

their volume. Contracting with other operators to pick and haul part or

all of their volume also was common among the fresh packers and processors.










The number of firms included by location was Polk County, 10; Orange

County, 7; Lake County, 4; Pinellas County, 3; Indian River County, 2; Pasco

County, 2; and one each in Hillsborough, Seminole, Hernando, and Highlands

Counties,

Total volume of fruit handled varied widely among firms. Only one

firm had less than 100,000 boxes, 6 firms picked more than 1,000,000 boxes

and 7 firms hauled more than 1,000,000 boxes each. The average volume for

the 29 firms picking was 711,678 boxes, and for 31 firms hauling fruit

823,996 boxes.


Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1962-63

The average costs per box for picking and hauling citrus fruit for

the 1962-63 season from the grove to the processor or packinghouse are shown

in Table 1. These costs are weighted averages; that is, the total money

costs of all firms were divided by the total number of boxes handled. In

prior years the costs for citrus dealers were shown separately to reflect

somewhat different methods of operation. The distinction between citrus

dealers, packers and processors in methods of picking and hauling is per-

haps not as clear as it once was. Packinghouses often pick and handle some

fruit destined for canneries by the bulk methods used by citrus dealers and

processors. A few packers also use bulk handling methods for the fruit which

is packed fresh.

In some prior years a cost was estimated for the procurement and sale

of fruit by dealers. Because of the difficulty of arriving at a suitable

proration basis this has not been attempted in Table 1. Direct or identifi-

able procurement costs such as buyers' salaries or commissions have been

omitted. Certain other buying and selling costs as auto expense and telephone

have been distributed to picking and hauling expense.











TABLE 1.--Average Costs Per
1962-63 Seasons.
Processors


Box of Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits,
Fresh Fruit Packinghouses,
and Citrus Dealers.


Item


Number of operators


Average volume
(boxes) 823,996 519,626 182,953 31,534

Cost Per Box (cents)
Labor:
Field foremen 0.18 3.39 2.11 4.75 3.57 2.29 4.93
Pickers .. 22.50 15.11 66.86 22.50 15.11 66,86
Loaders .. 2.11 2.71 3.73 2.11 2.71 3.73
Grove drivers .. 1.41 1.06 2.80 1.41 1.06 2.80
Highway drivers 3.26 .. .. .. 3.26 3.26 3.26
Other labor .58 .63 .37 .68 1.21 .95 1.26
Total 4.02 30.04 21.36 78.82 34.06 25.38 82.84
Payroll taxes,
insurance .25 1.48 1.14 4.10 1.73 1.39 4,35
Total labor 4.27 31.52 22.50 82.92 35.79 26.77 87.19


Other Costs:
Gasoline, oil 2.04 .77 .61 .70 2.81 2,65 2.74
Repairs 2.04 2.19 1.93 2.68 4,23 3.97 4.72
Licenses, taxes .67 .18 .12 .37 .85 .79 1.04
Depreciation 1.94 1.00 .49 1.61 2.94 2.43 3,55
Insurance .44 .23 .13 .33 .67 .57 .77
Supplies & shop .10 .24 .15 .33 .34 .25 .43
Equipment rental .16 .35 .25 1.24 .51 .41 1.40
Foreign labor .. .58 .51 1.53 .58 .51 1.53
Miscellaneous a.19 .11 .08 .15 .30 .27 .34
Administrative 1.09 2.40 1.55 4.11 3.49 2.64 5.20
Total other costs 8.67 8.05 5.82 13.05 16.72 14.49 21.72

Total costs 12.94 39.57 28.32 95.97 52.51 41.26 108,91


alncludes management and office salaries, office supplies, auto, travel
and entertainment, interest expense, lights and water, legal and audit, adver-
tising, dues and subscriptions, donations, and telephone and telegraph,


A comparison of 1962-63 costs of picking and hauling citrus with


the preceding season is shown in Figure 1.











Picking.--This is the operation of getting the fruit off the tree and

into the highway truck, commonly termed "picking and loading" or "roadsiding."

The principal costs of performing this service are labor, fuel, repairs, licenses,

insurance and depreciation for the grove trucks, crew trucks, tractors, load-

ing machines and other picking equipment, and administrative expense.

Picking costs, as shown in Table 1, include all amounts paid for

direct labor for picking and delivery to the roadside, grove truck expense,

and a portion of overhead and administrative expenses. Picking labor was

allocated to the various types of fruit from payroll analyses or estimated

piece rates. Fuel and repairs were prorated on a box basis equally to all

kinds of fruit. Certain overhead expenses, which tend to be fixed, were dis-

tributed between the several types of fruit in the ratio of 1.00 to grapefruit,

1.50 to oranges and 3.00 to tangerines.

The methods of picking and handling fruit (tree-to-roadside operation)

such as picking in boxes, tractor baskets, grove trailers, and pallet boxes

are mixed among the various operators. A single operator may use two or more

methods. The method used affects the cost of labor as shown in Table 1 as well

as the distribution among classes of labor. For example, picking in boxes

required loading and driving labor for the grove truck, whereas some other

method would eliminate loading. Thus an operator using some crews with the

box method and some with other picking methods would have in the aggregate a

labor distribution which would not represent either single method exactly.

Labor costs for handling citrus in boxes are higher than for the other

methods, especially if the fruit is destined for a packinghouse. From a

limited amount of data, costs per box for packinghouse fruit were about 1

cents higher for orange pickers, but no higher for grapefruit pickers.











Loaders averaged 3 cents more for box fruit for packinghouses, foremen

cent more, and grove drivers no difference. Total labor costs for pick-

ing and loading oranges were about 5 cents higher for packinghouse fruit

picked in boxes than for cannery fruit.

Total picking costs for 29 firms picking oranges averaged 39.57

cents per box; and for grapefruit, for 27 firms 28.32 cents (Table 1).

Total picking costs for tangerines averaged 95.97 cents per box for 20

firms. Labor, including workmen's compensation insurance and payroll

taxes, was the largest item of cost in picking fruit, being approximately

80 percent of the total for oranges and grapefruit, and 86 percent for

tangerines.

Hauling.--This operation refers to the transportation of fruit

from the roadside to the processing plant or fresh fruit packinghouse.

It includes also the hauling of packinghouse eliminations to the cannery,

this being counted as a separate haul. This is usually a somewhat less

expensive haul than from grove to plant, according to operators. One

of the reasons for this is heavier loading of trucks and the use of bulk

handling methods. Hauling does not include the use of grove trucks, this

being considered a part of the picking and loading operation.

Citrus hauling costs for 31 firms with an average volume of 823,996

boxes were 12.94 cents per box for 1962-63 (Table 1). This is a com-

posite cost for all kinds of fruit hauled, and all types of operators.

Labor costs including payroll taxes and workmen's compensation insurance

were 33 percent of the total, and other operating costs (fuel, repairs,

licenses, depreciation, insurance, rent) 59 percent. Administrative costs

were about 8 percent of the total.











The distances over which the fruit was hauled are unknown, but

citrus dealers and processors are believed to have had longer hauls than

packinghouses hauling box-fruit. While costs do not vary directly with

distance hauled, they do increase with longer hauls. On the other hand,

hauling box fruit is higher than bulk hauling for the same distance.

Hauling costs per box do not appear to be related to total volume

hauled. Hauling costs perhaps are affected more by the volume per truck

owned, and by average distance of haul as well as by the proportion of box

fruit and tangerines hauled.

Most operators have stated that hauling costs are about equal for

oranges and grapefruit, but higher for tangerines because of the lighter

loading required.

Picking and Hauling Costs Combined.--The last three columns in

Table 1 show the average costs for the complete operation of moving of

fruit from the tree to the plant which included picking and hauling combined.

This is obtained by adding together the costs allocated to the separate

services. Oranges cost 52.51 cents per box, grapefruit 41.26 cents, and

tangerines $1.09 for picking and hauling to the plant.

Many citrus firms, both dealers and packers, contract with other

operators to pick or haul, or both. Contract picking and hauling :car

separated from the expense of the firm's own crews. Rates or amounts paid

contractors are not shown in Table 1 because of the difficulty of deter-

mining the exact service performed and the kind of fruit.


Variation in Cost Among Firms

Total cost varied rather widely among firms for providing the same

service. These variations in total costs for picking and hauling in 1962-63











are shown in Tables 2, 3, and 4. Not enough is known about the individual

firms' operations to provide much information about reasons for costs'

being high or low. The data do not show any consistent relationship be-

tween volume of fruit handled and level of costs. In each volume group

there is a wide range of costs for both picking and hauling, indicating

the influence of factors other than volume. For hauling, the average

distance hauled,the idle capacity of the equipment owned and the type of

fruit hauled doubtless affected the over-all season hauling cost per box,

For picking, costs cannot decrease beyond a certain point because of the

large proportion of labor costs, some of which are piece rates and do not

fluctuate with volume picked. The proportion of different kinds and

varieties of fruit affect picking cost differences among firms. Seedlings

are much more expensive to pick than budded oranges. Temples and tange-

rines have been included in oranges. Some murcotts have been included in

tangerines which are more expensive to pick.

Management decisions probably affect citrus picking and hauling

costs to a considerable extent. The operation of picking and hauling

fruit is only one segment of the total business operation, whether the

firm be a citrus dealer, packinghouse, or processor. Obtaining a large

and continuous volume of fruit may have advantages to the firm that out

weigh the advantage of merely achieving lo4 cost in the picking and

hauling operation.

Total picking costs for 29 firms varied from 28.0 cents to 60.6

cents per box for oranges, and for 27 firms from 19.5 cents to 39.9 cents

per box for grapefruit. The range in cost for picking tangerines was from

61.0 cents to $1.41 per box for 20 firms (Table 2).






8



Hauling costs for 31 firms varied from 6.2 cents to 23.3 cents

per box (Table 3).

For picking and hauling combined, total costs for 28 firms ranged

from 38.4 cents to 83.9 cents per box for oranges. The modal group of

14 firms had costs between 44.8 cents and 59.2 cents. Picking and hauling

costs for grapefruit for 26 firms varied from 29.9 cents to 63.2 cents

per box. The modal group of 14 firms had costs between 36.3 cents and

48.0 cents per box. Picking and hauling tangerines varied from 75.3 cents

to $1.64 per box for 20 firms with costs for 10 firms in the modal group

between 93.4 cents and $1.17 per box (Table 4).


TABLE 2.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Picking Oranges, Grapefruit,
and Tangerines, 1962-63 Season. Citrus Dealers, Packers and Processors.


Cost Per Box Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines


(cents)

Under 20.
20 24.
25 29.
30 34.
35 39.
40 44.
45 49,
50 54.
55 59.
60 64.
65 69.
70 74.
75 79.
80 84.
85 89.
90 94.
95 99.
100 104.
105 109.
110 and over
Total

Average cost per box
(cents)
Range in costs
(cents)


3
7
9
3
4
2

1











29


Number of Firms

1
5
9
7
5

















27


1

1
1
4

2
2
3
3
3
20


39.6 28.3 96,0


28, -- 606 1. -3. 1, 4.


28.0 60.6 19.5 39.9


61.0 140.9











TABLE 3.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Hauling Citrus Fruit From
Grove to Plant, 1962-63 Season. Citrus Dealers, Packers, and Processors.


Cost Per Box
(cents)


6 7. . .
8 9. . .
10 11. . .
12 13. . .
14 15. . .
16 17. . .
18 19. . .
20 and over .
Total number of firms


Average cost per box (cents)

Range in costs (cents)


Number of Firms


3
4
4
4
9
3
2
* 2
31

12.9
6.2 23.3


TABLE 4.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Picking and Hauling Citrus,
1962-63 Season. Citrus Dealers, Packers, and Processors,

Cost Per Box Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines

(cents) Number of Firms
25 29. .. 1
30 34. .. 3
35 39. 2 7
40 44. 6 4
45 49. 5 5
50 54. 4 4
55 59. 5 1
60 64. 3 1
65 69. 2
70 74.
75 79. .. 1
80 84. 1 .. 1
85 89. .... 2
90 94. .... 3
95 99.
100 109. .... 3
110 119. .... 5
120 and over .. .. 5
Total 28 26 20

Average cost per box
(cents) 52.5 41.3 108.9

Range in costs
(cents) 38.4 83.9 29.9 63.2 75.3 164.2











Comparison of 1962-63 Costs with Previous Seasons

Total picking and hauling costs for 1962-63 increased substantially

over the preceding season (Table 5 and Figure 1). Total picking costs for

oranges and tangerines averaged 17 percent higher than for 1961-62, grapefruit

picking was 10 percent higher and hauling costs increased by 24 percent. Total

harvesting and hauling (1 haul) increased over the preceding season by approx-

imately 14 percent for grapefruit and 18 percent for oranges and tangerines.

The principal reason for the per box costs increases in 1962-63 was

the disastrous freeze in December 1962 which drastically reduced the volume

of fruit to be handled, affected the seasonality of operators, and caused

difficult operating conditions. The itemized costs of the harvesting operation

showed increases in every category of expense.

Since the freeze did not affect the whole citrus belt with equal

severity, there are much wider-than-normal ranges in costs among individual

firms. Some operators were little affected by volume changes while others

with severely curtailed operations found some per-unit expenses pushed up to

unusual highs.

Some of the season to season variation in cost for each service is

due to the firms included. They have not remained identical each year, and

as previously pointed out, costs vary widely among firms.

Percentage changes in picking and hauling costs for 1962-63 compared

with 5 and 10 year earlier periods are shown in Table 6.











TABLE 5.--Average Cost Per Box for Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits, 12
Seasons.

No. Picking Total Picking & Haulinga
Season of Hauling Grape- Tange- Grape- Tange-
Firms Oranges fruit rines Oranges fruit rines

Cents Per Box

1950-51 9 10.31 28.36 18.62 56.93 38.67 28.93 67.24
1951-52 26 9.81 28.42 19.51 61.93 38.23 29.32 71.74
1952-53 29 9.71 29.12 21.98 59.62 38.83 31.69 69.33
1953-54 37 9.61 28.87 20.58 60.86 38.48 30.19 70.47
1954-55 36 9.38 28.93 20.91 64.72 38.31 30.29 74.10
1955-56 36 9.47 30.52 21.73 66.39 39.99 31.20 75.86
1956-57 34 9.27 31.36 23.46 73.96 40.63 32.73 83.23
1957-58 34 11.31 33.20 24.09 75.53 44.61 35.40 86.84
1958-59 32 11.46 33.30 24.16 74.90 44.76 35.62 86.36
1959-60 33 11.23 34.17 25.16 83.68 45.40 36.39 94.91
1960-61 37 11.17 34.96 26.69 83.53 46.13 37.86 94.70
1961-62 33 10.41 33.79 25.75 81.66 44.20 36.16 92.07
1962-63 32 12.94 39.57 28.32 95.97 52.51 41.26 108.91

a
Citrus dealers usually have an additional cost for buying and
selling fruit which has varied from 21 to 4 cents per box,


TABLE 6.--Percentage Changes in Picking and Hauling Costs, 1962-63 vs.
5 and 10 Years Earlier. (1952-53 = 100)

Picking Total Picking & Hauling
Season Grape- Tange- Grape- Tange-
Hauling Oranges fruit rines Oranges fruit rines

1952-53 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

1957-58 116 114 110 127 115 112 125

1962-63 133 136 129 161 135 130 157







12



Costs, cents per box


0 10 20 30


40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110


.a nling -___




Pick ing 1962-63
Oranges 1961-62
1961-62

Grapefruit



Tangerines ----- -




Picking &
Hauling
Orlngcs


Grapefruit -



Tangerines --- -

i l '


Figure 1.--Citrus Picking and Hauling Costs, 1962-63
and 1961-62.


__















OTHER MIMEOGRAPHED PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE ON CITRUS COSTS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


1. Costs of Packing and Selling Florida Fresh Citrus Fruits, 1962-63
Season.
Agricultural Economics Mimeo Report EC 64-8. April 1963.

2. Costs of Processing, Warehousing and Selling Florida Citrus Products,
1962-63 Season.
Agricultural Economics Mimeo Report EC 64-10. April 1964.

3. Thirty-one Years of Citrus Production Costs and Returns in Florida,
1931-1962.
Agricultural Extension Service Economic Series 64-2. March 1964.

4. Thirty Years of Orange Production Costs and Returns in Florida,
1931-1961.
Agricultural Extension Service Economic Series 63-3. April 1963.

5. Cost of Planting and Developing Florida Citrus Groves Through 10
Years of Age.
Agricultural Extension Service Economic Series 59-6. September 1959.













AHS:ghs 4/3/64
Experiment Stations Ag. Ec. 1400