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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: 1967
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: UF00027604:00022
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Estimated costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title page
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
Full Text
Agricultural Economics
Mimeo Report EC 69-5


February 1969


COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING


FLORIDA CITRUS FRUITS,


1967-68 SEASOI


by
A. H. SPURLOCK
Agricultural Economist


Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Gainesville, Florida










COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING FLORIDA
CITRUS FRUITS, 1967-68 SEASON

CONTENTS

Page

Introduction . . . . . . . 1

Costs of Picking and Hauling, 1967-68 . . . . 2

Variation in Costs Among Firms . . . . . 5

Comparison of 1967-68 Costs with Previous Seasons . . 7


INTRODUCTION

Costs of handling citrus fruits from the tree to the packinghouse or pro-
cessing plant for the 1967-68 season were summarized by type of fruit for 29
firms. Six of the firms furnishing data were citrus dealers or intermediate
handlers specializing in the procurement, sale and delivery of fruit to the
processing plant, and 23 were packers of fresh fruit or processors. Several
firms did not supply costs for both the picking and hauling operation. Many
of the firms also contracted with other operators to pick and haul some of
their volume. Costs for contract crews are not shown, since it is often
difficult to determine the exact service performed, the kind of fruit, and the
number of boxes handled.

The firms included were located mostly in the intensive citrus counties
of the interior part of the state. Only three were on the East Coast; Polk,
Orange and Lake counties included 19 of the 29 firms. However, large operators
frequently cover a wide area in harvesting and hauling citrus.

Total volume of fruit handled varied widely among firms. Only three firms
handled less than 300,000 boxes with their own crews; nine firms picked more
than 1,000,000 boxes; and 11 firms hauled more than 1,000,000 boxes each. The
average volume for the 29 firms picking fruit was 1,045,000 boxes, and for
29 firms hauling fruit 1,329,000 boxes

Cover picture courtesy T. L. Brooks, Jr.










COSTS OF PICKING AND HAULING, 1967 68

The average cost per box for picking and hauling citrus fruit for the
1967-68 season from the tree to the processing plant, 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. The
averages necessarily include several methods of :harvesting and hauling fruit,
as they are frequently mixed for a single operator. Handling methods include
the field-box system, pallet-box system, bulk system and various modifications
of each.

Costs for fruit procurement and sale are omitted insofar as they can be
identified--as buyers' salaries, commissions and expenses. Certain costs,
partly for buying and selling fruit, such as auto expense and telephone, are
difficult to segregate and may still be included to some extent for a few firms.

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 and mainte-
nance, taxes and licenses, insurance, depreciation for the grove trucks, grove
tractors, loading machines and other picking equipment, and administrative
expense.

Picking costs, as ahown 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 by estimated piece rates when not available
separately. Fuel and repairs were prorated on a box basis equally to all kinds
of fruit picked. Certain other expenses, which do not fluctuate directly with
changes in volume, were distributed between the several types of fruit in the
ratio of 1.00 for grapefruit, 1.50 for oranges, and 3.00 for tangerines.
Expenses in this group included licenses and taxes, depreciation, insurance,
miscellaneous and administrative.

Labor costs for picking and loading citrus in field boxes were higher than
for the other methods, especially if the fruit was destined for a packinghouse.
The principal difference was in the loading, including grove drivers, and
appeared to be about two or three cents more for box-fruit for fresh packing.

Total costs for 1967-68 for picking oranges, 29 firms,averaged 54.09 cents
per box; and picking grapefruit for 25 firms, 41.45 cents (Table 1). Total
picking costs for tangerines averaged $1.18 per box for 21 firms. Labor,
including workmen's compensation insurance and payroll taxes, was the largest
item of cost in picking fruit being approximately 84 percent of the total for
oranges, and grapefruit, and 89 percent for tangerines.













Table 1.--Average Costs Per Box of Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits for Fresh
Packing and Processing, 1967-68 Season




PICKING HAULING TOTAL PICKING AND HAULING
Item Oranges Grape- Tange- Roadside Oranges Grape- Tange-
Oranges fruit rines to Plant Oranges fruit rines

No. of Operators 29 25 21 29 -- "

Average Volume 765,000 264,285 44,934 1328,947 -- "
(boxes) I


Costs per box


Labor:
Superv.& foremen
Pickers
Loaders & drivers
Semi-drivers
Other labor
Total
Payroll taxes & ins.
Total Labor

Other Costs:
Fuel & oil
Repairs,maintenance
Licenses & taxes
Depreciation
Insurance
Supplies
Equipment rental
Migratory labor
Miscellaneous
Administrative
Total other costs

Total Costs


4.10
33.42
4.24
--


3.35
24.21
4.29
--


7.42
82.66
6.77

79


.10


3.45
76A


(cents)


4.20
33.42
4.24
3.45
1 46


3.45
24.21
4.29
3.45
1.27


7.52
82,66
6.77
3.45
1.48


". ,"=.-- ..
42.46 32.36 97.57 4.31 46.77 36.67 101.88
3.25 2.54 7.94 ..36 3.61 2.90 8.30
45.71 34.90 105.51 4.67 50.38 39.57 110.18


.91 .76 .79 2.04 2.95 2.80 2.83
2.51 2.88 2.92 2.20 4.71 5.08 5.12
.19 .12 .37 .71 .90 .83 1.08
1.20 .69 2.06 2.02 3.22 2.71 4.08
.25 .27 .66 .56 .81 .83 1.22
.52 .48 1.00 .10 .62 .58 1.10
.17 .07 .16 .22 .39 .29 .38
.54 .29 1.09 -- .54 .29 1.09
.19 .13 .45 .12 .31 .25 .57
1.90 .86 3.45 .68 2.58 1.54 4.13
8.38 6.55 12.95 8.65 17,03 15.20 21.60


54.09 41.45


118.46 13.32


67.41


54.77 131.78


aIncludes management and office salaries, office supplies, auto,
entertainment, interest paid, legal and audit, advertising, dues
donations and telephone and telegraph.


travel and
and subscriptions,













Hauling.--This operation refers to the transportation of fruit from the
grovaside to the processing plant, or fresh fruit packinghouse. It includes
also the hauling of packinghouse eliminations to the cannery, but this is
counted as a separate haul. Hauling packinghouse eliminations is usually a
somewhat less expensive haul than from grove to plant, according to operators.
One of the reasons for this is the heavier loading of trucks hauling eliminations
and the use of bulk handling methods. Hauling, as used here, does not include
the use of grove trucks since they are considered a part of the picking and
loading operation.

Citrus hauling costs for 29 firms with an average volume of 1,328,947
boxes were 13.32 cents per box for 1967-68 (Table 1). This is a composite
cost for all kinds of fruit hauled and all types of operators. Labor costs,
including payroll taxes and workmen's compensation insurance, were 35 percent
of the total; and other operating costs (fuel, repairs, licenses, depreciation,
insurance, and rent) 60 percent. Administrative costs were about five percent
of the total.

The distances over which the fruit was hauled are unknown. While costs do
not vary directly with distance hauled, they do increase with longer hauls.
On the other hand, hauling box-fruit is higher in cost 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 of
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 I
show the average costs for the complete operation of moving 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 picked
and hauled cost 67.4 cents per box, grapefruit 54.8 cents, and tangerines
$1.32.













VARIATIONS IN COSTS AMONG FIRMS


Variations in total costs for picking and hauling in 1967-68 are shown
in Tables 2, 3 and 4.

Not enough is known about the individual firms' operations to provide
reasons for costs being high or low. The data do not show any consistent re-
lationship between volume of fruit handled per firm 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 affect the over-all season hauling costs 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 affects pick-
ing cost differences among firms. Seedlings are more expensive to pick than
budded oranges. Temples and tangelos !, which have been included in oranges,
are also higher in cost than budded oranges.

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 29 firms varied from 41.1 cents to 80.2 cents per box
for oranges, and from 39.8 cents to 63.0 cents per box for grapefruit for 25
firms. The range in costs for picking tangerines was from 89.5 cents to $1.61
per box for 21 firms (Table 2).

Hauling costs for 29 firms varied from 8.2 cents to 24.9 cents per box
(Table 3).

For picking and hauling combined, total costs for 28 firms ranged from
51.6 cents to 92.6 cents per box for oranges. The modal group of 14 firms had
costs between 65.0 cents and 73.3 cents. Picking and hauling costs for grape-
fruit for 24 firms varied from 40.4 cents to 75.1 cents per box. The modal
group of 12 firms had costs between 51.8 and 61.9 cents per box. Picking and
hauling tangerines varied from $1.00 to $1.86 per box for 20 firms with costs
for 10 firms in the modal group between.$1.21 and $1.37 per box (Table 4).












Table 2.-- Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Picking Oranges, Grapefruit
and Tangerines, 1967-68 Season


Picking
Cost Per Box Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines


Cents Number of Firms
25 29 0 1
30 34 0 0
35 39 0 6
40 44 1 8
45 49 3 7
50 54 9 2
55 59 7 0
60 64 5 1
65 69 2 0
70 & over 2 0
80 89 1
90 99 0
100 109 4
110 119 8
120 129 5
130 & over 3
Total number of firms 29 25 21
Average cost per box (cents) 54.1 41.4 118.5
Range in costs (cents) 41.1 -80.2 29.8 63.0 89.5 161.4

Table 3.--Variation in Total Cost Per Box for Hauling Citrus Fruit From Grove
to Plant, 1967-68 Season

Cost Per Box Hauling Citrus Fruit

Cents Number of Firms
6.0 8.9 3
9.0 11.9 9
12.0 14.9 8
15.0 17.9 7
18.0 & over 2
Total number of firms 29
Average cost per box (cents) 13.3

Range in costs (cents) 8.2 24.9










Table 4.--Variation in the Combined Cost Per Box for Picking and Hauling
Citrus, 1967-68 Season



Cost Per Box Picking and Hauling
Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines

Cents Number of Firms
40 44 0 1
45 49 0 3
50 54 1 7
55 59 2 4
60 64 4 7
65 69 8 1
70 74 8 0
75 79 3 1
80 over 2 0

100 109 1
110 119 4
120 129 6
130 139 5
140 149 2
150 & over 2
Total number of firms 28 24 20

Average cost per box (cents) 69.6 56.5 131.3

Range in costs (cents) 51.6 92.6 40.4 75.1 100.1 186.2


COMPARISONS OF 1967-68 COSTS WITH PREVIOUS SEASONS


Citrus harvesting costs per box were sharply higher in 1967-68 than in the
proceeding season. Orange harvesting costs increased by 17 percent; grapefruit
and tangerine costs increased about 10 percent; and hauling costs were 24 percent
higher. At these levels picking costs were the highest of the 18 years compared
(Table 5).

The lower volume of fruit hauled in 1967-68 as compared with the previous
season accounts for most of the increase in hauling costs, though wage rates and
prices increased. Hauling costs are changed more by volume changes than are
picking costs because of the lower proportion of labor included and the higher
ratio of fixed costs in truck operation.

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 1967-68 are compared
with five-and-ten- year earlier periods in Table 6.









The continuous trend in costs of picking oranges and of hauling citrus
roadside to plant is shown from 1954-55 to 1967-68 in Figure 1.

Table 5.--Average Cost Per Box for Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruits, 18 Seasons


Season


No.
of
Firms


a
Picking Total Picking & Hauling
Grape- Tange- O Grape- Tange-
Hauling Oranges Oranges fruit rines


Cents Per Box


1950-51
1951-52
1952-53
1953-54
1954-55
1955-56
1956-57
1957-58
1958-59
1959-60
1960-61
1961-62
1962-63
1963-64
1964-65
1965-66
1966-67
1967-68


10.31
9.81
9.71
9.61
9.38
9.47
9.27
11.31
11.46
11.23
11.17
10.41
12.94
13.73
11.66
11.96
10.74
13.32


28.36
28.42
29.12
28.87
28.93
30.52
31.36
33.30
33.30
34.17
34.96
33.79
39.57
43.04
43.43
46.12
46.25
54.09


18.62
19.51
21.98
20.58
20.91
21.73
23.46
24.09
24.16
25.16
26.69
25.75
28.32
31.47
33.08
37.77
37.65
41.45


56.93
61.93
59.62
60.86
64.72
66.39
73.96
75.53
74.90
83.68
83.53
81.66
95.97
100.71
102.63
107.47
113.47
118.46


38.67
38.23
38.83
38.48
38.31
39.99
40.63
44.61
44.76
45.40
46.13
44.20
52.51
56.77
55.09
58.08
56.99
67.41


28.93
29.32
31.69
30.19
30.29
31.20
32.73
35.40
35.62
36.39
37.86
36.16
41.26
45.20
44.74
49.73
48.39
54.77


67.24
71.74
69.33
70.47
74.10
75.86
83.23
86.84
86.36
94.91
94.70
92.07
108.91
114.44
114.29
119.43
124.21
131.78


aCitrus dealers usually have an additional cost for buying and selling fruit
which has varied from 3 to 6 cents.

Table 6.--Percentage Changes in Picking and Hauling Costs, 1967-68 vs Five and
Ten Years Earlier (1957058 = 100)

Picking Total Picking and Hauling

Grape Tange- Grape- Tange-
Season Hauling Oranges fruit rines Oranges fruit rines


1957-58
1962-63


100
114


1967-68 118


100 100 100
118 117 125
151 155 152


, ,i ,
Cents Per Box


"-`--I-


162 172 157



































0 I -.. _. I I ,
1954-1955- 1956-1957- 1958- 1959- 1960- 1961- 1962- 1963- 1964- 1965- 1966- 1967-
55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68
Fig.l.-Trend in the Cost Per Box of Picking Oranges, and of Hauling Citrus from
Roadside to Plant, 1954-55 to 1967-68.
(3-Season Average 1956-57 1958-59 = 100)

OTHER MIMEOGRAPHED PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE ON CITRUS COSTS
Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Gainesville, Florida 32601

1. Costs of Packing and Selling Florida Citrus Fruits, 1966-67 Season.
Agr. Econ. Mimeo Report EC 68-6, March 1968.
2. Costs of Processing. Warehousing and Selling Florida Citrus Products
1966-67 Season. Agr. Econ. Mimeo Report EC 68-7, March 1968.

3. Thirty-six Ypars of Citrus Production Costs and Returns in Florida.
1931-1967. Agr. Ext. Service Econ. Series 68-6, Nov. 1968.
4. Thirty-five Years of Orange Production Costs and Returns in Florida.
1931-1966. Agr. Ext. Service Econ. Series 67-6, Nov. 1967.
5. Cost of Planting and Developing Florida Citrus Groves through 10 Years of A e.
Agr. Ext. Service Econ. Series 65-1, Feb. 1965
AHS:cl 1/29/69
EXP. Sta., Agr. Econ. 1850