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Costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
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 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: 1963
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: UF00027604:00018
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Estimated costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text
00


COST
of picking and hauling
florida citrus fruits 4
1963-64 season





(AH


by
A. H. Spurlock
Agricultural Economist
Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Gainesville, Florida


Agricultural Economics
Mimeo Report EC 65-6
March 7965










COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING FLORIDA
CITRUS FRUITS, 1963-64 SEASON


CONTENTS



Page

Introduction . . . . . ... 1

Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1963-64 . . . 2

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

Comparison of 1963-64 Costs with Previous Seasons. . ... 10




Introduction

This is the 14th 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 spearate publications as indicated inside the back

cover.

Costs of handling citrus fruits from the tree to the packinghouse

or processing plant for the 1963-64 season were summarized by type of

fruit for 30 firms. However, several firms did not pick 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, 21 were

principally packers of fresh fruit and 2 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.

I









The number of firms included by location was Polk County, 11; Orange

County, 8; Lake County, 4; Indian River County, 2; and one each in Pinellas,

Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Highlands Counties.

Total volume of fruit handled varied widely among firms. Because of

the effects of the 1962 freeze one firm had less than 30,000 boxes; 5 firms

picked more than 1,000,000 boxes and 6 firms hauled more than 1,000,000 boxes

each. The average volume for the 27 firms picking fruit was 692,118 boxes,

and for 30 firms hauling fruit 811,994 boxes.


Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1963-64

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

the 1963-64 season from the tree 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 tele-

phone have been distributed to picking and hauling expense.








TABLE I.--Average Costs Per Box of Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits,
Fresh Packing and Processing, 1963-64 Season.


Picking


Grape-
Oranges fruit


Tange-
rines


Total Picking & Hauling


Grape-
Oranges fruit


Number of operators

Average volume
(boxes)


Labor:
Field foremen
Pickers
Loaders
Grove drivers
Highway drivers
Other labor
Total
Payroll taxes,
insurance
Total labor

Other costs:
Gasoline, oil
Repairs, maintenance
Licenses, taxes
Depreciation
Insurance
Supplies & shop
Equipment rental
Foreign labor
Miscellaneous
Administrative a


u L L/ .. ,..


811.994 489.827 162.153 46.950 .. .. ..

Cost Per Box (cents)

0.18 3.49 2.57 5.89 3.67 2.75 6.07
24.24 17.19 69.83 24.24 17.19 69.83
.2.97 2.97 4.85 2.97 2.97 4.85
.. .5 .83 1.82 .85 .83 1.82
3.15 .. .. .. 3.15 3.15 3.15
4 .73 .45 .51 1.47 1.19 1.25
4.07 32.28 24.01 82.90 36.35 28.08 86.97

.29 .1.77 1.22 4.40 2.06 1.51 4.69
4.36 34.05 25.23 87.30 38.41 29.59 91.66


Ice


Total other costs


2.20
1.89
.84
2.07
.62
.09
.32
# 6
.09
1.25


9.37


.70
2.30
.19
1.17
.23
.23
.42
.72
.07
2.96


8.99


.60
1.96
.13
.71
.16
.16
.23
.50
.03
1.76


.66
2.55
.35
2.04
.37
.33
.84
1.28
.13
4.86


2.90
4.19
1.03
3.24
.85
.32
.74
.72
.16
4.21


2,80
3.85
.97
2.78
.78
.25
.55
.50
.12
3.01


2.86
4.44
1.19
4.11
.99
.42
1.16
1 .28
.22
6.11


6.24 13.41 18.36 15.61 22.78


Total costs


13.73


43.04 31.47 100.71 56.77 45.20 114.44


I ter


Hauling
Roadside
to
Plant


Tange-
rines


Includes 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.


I--~ -


I I I


----- ----- ---


=_


----


-4o-


---










Pickinq.--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, taxes,

licenses, insurance and depreciation for the grove trucks, crew trucks, trac-

tors, loading 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 por-

tion 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 distributed 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 I as well

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

quired 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. The princa'y-l

difference in 1963-64 was in the loading, including grove drivers, which ave,-

aged 3 cents more for box-fruit for packinghouses.










Total picking costs for 27 firms picking oranges averaged 43.04 cents

per box; and for grapefruit, for 27 firms 31.49 cents (Table 1.). Total pick-

ing costs for tangerines averaged $1.01 per box for 23 firms. Labor, including

workemen's compensation insurance and payroll taxes, was the largest item of

cost in picking fruit, being approximately 79 percent of the total for oranges,

80 percent for grapefruit, and 87 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 load-

ing of trucks and the use of bulk handling methods for eliminated fruit. Haul-

ing, as used here, does not include the use of grove trucks, this being consid-

ered a part of the picking and loading operation.

Citrus hauling costs for 30 firms with an average volume of 811,994

boxes were 13.74 cents per box for 1963-64 (Table 1). This is a composite cost'

for all kinds of fruit hauled and all types of operators. Labor costs includ,-

ing payroll taxes and workmen's compensation insurance were 32 percent of the

total, and other operating costs (fuel, repairs, licenses, depreciation,

insurance, rent) 59 percent. Administrative costs were about 9 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 tje 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 ligher

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

treat to the plant which included picking and hauling combined. This is ob-

tained by adding together the costs allocated to the separate services.

Oranges cost 56.77 cents per box, grapefruit 45.20 cents, and tangerines

$1.14 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 were

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

contractors are not shown in Table I because of the difficulty of determining

the exact service performed and the kind of fruit.


Variation in Cost Among Firms

Variations in total costs for picking and hauling in 1963-64 are shown

in Tables 2, 3 and 4. Variations were extremely wide this season. Some of

this is accounted for by the freeze in December 1962. The 1963-64 season is

the first full fiscal period of operation since the freeze and some firms had

much lower volume. In many cases the scattered fruit was more difficult to







7

harvest increasing expenses. The higher ranges of costs are usually

attributable to some adverse condition or reason and are of little signifi-

cance in considering the usual range.

Not enough is known about the individual firms' operations to pro-

vide complete reasons for costs being high or low. The data do not show

any consistent relationship between 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 more expensive to pick than budded oranges. Temples and

tangelos have been included in oranges. A few 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 outweigh the advantage of

merely achieving low cost in the picking and hauling operation.

Total picking costs for 27 firms varied from 31.4 cents to 73.0 cents

per box for oranges, and from 23.1 cents to 58.3 cents per box for grapefruit.

The range in cost for picking tangerines was from 82.3 cents to $1.68 per box

for 23 firms (Table 2).









TASLE 2.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Picking Oranges, Grapefruit,
and Tangerines, 1963-64 Season.


I
4IIR


Oranges


Cost Per Box

Cents
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.
110 114.
115 and over

Total

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


Tangeri nes


43.0 31.5 100.7


31.4 73.0


23.1 58.3


82.3 168.0


Hauling costs for 30 firms varied from 6.3 cents to 40.5 cents per box

(Table 3).

For picking and hauling combined, total costs for 27 firms ranged from

41.5 cents to 110.9 cents per box for oranges. The model group of 13 firms

had costs between 54.7 cents and 68.7 cents. Picking and hauling costs for

grapefruit for 27 firms varied from 32.2 cents to 97.8 cents per box. The

modal group of 13 firms had costs between 45.6 cents and 56.7 cents per box.


Grapefrui t

Number of Firms
2
5
8
6
1
2
2*
3
..







4.




27


II I] UllI 1


... .. . I I II II I I I II









TABLE 3.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Hauling Citrus Fruit From
Grove to Plant, 1963-64 Season.
Cost Per Box Number of Firms
(cents)


6 8.
9 11.
12 14.
15 17.
18 20.
21 23.
24 26.
27 and over
Total


* .
* .
* *
* .
. .
* I *

. .
number of


* .
* S
* .
. .
* .
* .
* .
* 0 0
firms


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


5
5
7
3
2
2

5
30

13.7
6.3 40.5


TABLE 4.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Picking and Hauling Citrus,
1963-64 Season.


Cost Per Box Oranges
(cents)


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.
100 109.
110 119.
120 129.
130 and over
Total


27


Grapefruit
Number of firms
4
.3
2
8
1
4

1
".


3
1
S.*




27


Tangerines


23


56.8


41.5 110.9


45.2


114.4


32.2 97.8 95.9 207.5


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


----~


--- ---


" -~-- --~--











Picking and hauling tangerines varied from 95.9 cents to $2.07 per box for

23 firms with costs for 11 firms in the modal group between $1.08 and $1.27

per box (Table 4).


Comparisons of 1963-64 Costs with Previous Seasons

Total picking and hauling costs for 1963-64 increased substantially

over the preceding season (Table 5). Total picking costs for oranges averaged

9 percent higher, grapefruit 11 percent higherand tangerines 5 percent higher

than for 1962-63. Hauling costs increased by 6 percent. Total harvesting and

hauling costs increased over the preceding season by approximately 8 percent

for oranges, 10 percent for grapefruit and 5 percent for tangerines.

The principal reason for the per box costs increases in 1963-64 was

the disastrous freeze in December 1962 which drastically reduced the volume of

fruit to be handled, and caused difficult operating conditions. The itemized

costs of the harvesting operation showed increases in every category of

expense.

As compared with 1961-62, the last season of large-volume operation,

costs in 1963-64 were approximately 32 percent higher for hauling and 25 per-

cent higher for picking.

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 costs

vary widely among firms for providing the same service.

Percentage changes in picking and hauling costs for 1963-64 compared

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












TABLE 5.--Average Cost


Per Box
13


for Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits,
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 33.30 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
1963-64 30 13.73 43.04 31.47 100.71 56.77 45.20 114.44
aCitrus dealers usually have an additional cost for buying and
selling fruit which has varied from 2-1/2 to 4 cents per box.


TABLE 6.--Percentage Changes in Picking and Hauling Costs, 1963-64 vs.
5 and 10 Years Earlier. (1953-54 = 100)

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

1953-54 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

1958-59 119 115 117 123 116 118 123

1963-64 143 149 152 165 148 150 162









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