• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Foreword and acknowledgements
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Citrus industry as an employer...
 Production and utilization of Florida...
 Mechanical harvesting systems
 Impact of mechanization on labor...
 Some general considerations
 Appendix
 Bibliography














Group Title: Agricultural Economics Report; Department of Agricultural Economics ; 10
Title: Impact of mechanical harvesting on the demand for labor in the Florida citrus industry
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Title: Impact of mechanical harvesting on the demand for labor in the Florida citrus industry
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Creator: Dow, J. Kamal.
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida,
Publication Date: 1970
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Foreword and acknowledgements
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Citrus industry as an employer of agricultural labor
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Production and utilization of Florida citrus
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Mechanical harvesting systems
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Impact of mechanization on labor requirements
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Some general considerations
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Appendix
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Bibliography
        Page 84
        Page 85
Full Text

September 1970


Ag. Econ. Report 10


Impact of Mechanical Harvesting

on the Demand for Labor

in the Florida Citrus Industry


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


J. Kamal Dow


HUME LIBRARY


i A R 9 1d/I


I.F.A.S. Univ. of Florida


I yl _--- -- I rl
r r I,













FOREWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The research on which this report is based was possible thanks to

the sponsorship of the Manpower Administration Office, United States

Department of Labor. The opinions and conclusions, however, are those

of the author and do not necessarily represent the Department's official

opinion or policy.

The author wishes to acknowledge the suggestions and editorial

assistance of Dr. Donald L. Brooke as well as the collaboration of all

the personnel of the Lake Alfred Citrus Experiment Station.

Appreciations are also extended to all the persons in the United

States Department of Labor, United States Department of Agriculture and

Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Florida who read the

preliminary report and offered valuable suggestions and comments concerning

its form and content. The help of all the personnel that assisted with

computational and secretarial duties is sincerely appreciated.

This report is a slightly shortened version of the original study

submitted to the United States Department of Labor.








CONTENTS


Page

FOREWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...... . . i

INTRODUCTION . . . . ... . 1

Importance and Purpose of the Study . . .. 1
Summary of Results . . . .... .. 2
Implications . . . . 4

I. THE CITRUS INDUSTRY AS AN EMPLOYER OF AGRICULTURAL LABOR 7

Employment Patterns . . . . 7
General Characteristics of the Citrus Harvesting Labor
Force . . . . . . 9
Skill Structure of the Harvesting Labor Force . .. 13
Productivity and Labor Requirements . . 13

II. PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION OF FLORIDA CITRUS . ... 16 *

Production . . . .. . 16
Utilization of Florida Citrus . . ... 17

III. MECHANICAL HARVESTING SYSTEMS. BACKGROUND AND ECONOMIC
COMPARISON . . . . ... ... 22

Background . . . . ... . 22
Air Blast System . . . . ... .. 23
Mechanical Shaker and Catching Frame . .... .. .24
Shaker, Windrower and Pick-up Machine . ... .25
Economics of Mechanical Harvesting . . ... .26

IV. IMPACT OF MECHANIZATION ON LABOR REQUIREMENTS . .. .40

Projections of Total Production . . ... .41
Extent of Mechanization . . . ... 42
Calculating Labor Requirements with Mechanization 45 -"
Seasonality of Production and Mechanization . ... 48
Total Labor Requirements . . . ... 56 -f
Skill Requirements . . . .... ... 61

V. SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS . . . ... 66

Some Supply Considerations . . . . 66
Opportunities for Off-season Employment . ... .68
Topics for Additional Research . . .. .72









iii



CONTENTS (Continued)

Page

APPENDIX . . . . ... . .... 78

BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................... 84












IMPACT OF MECHANICAL HARVESTING
ON THE DEMAND FOR LABOR IN THE
FLORIDA CITRUS INDUSTRY

by

J. Kamal Dow


INTRODUCTION


_IE0.ortance and Purpose of the Study

The Florida citrus crop is expected to grow from its present

potential of about 190 million boxes per year to almost 300 million

boxes per year a decade from now. 1if the present systems of manual

harvesting were continued, the labor requirements of the industry by

1980 would be over 50 percent higher than they are now. Current trends

indicate that the labor force available for agriculture will not be able

to satisfy those requirements. Furthermore, the migrant labor force, a

major factor in peak harvesting periods, is actually declining

[Because of the above, increasing emphasis has been placed on the

development of mechanical systems for harvesting citrus. The results

obtained so far indicate that mechanical harvesting of citrus for proc-

essing, as distinguished from fruit for table use, 'may become economic-

ally feasible in the near future. The adoption of the new mechanical

systems will bring substantial changes in the labor market.] Advance

knowledge of these changes will help in preventing the hardships that

might otherwise develop as a result of the mechanization process. It is












the main purpose of this study to explore the impact that the adoption

of mechanical citrus harvesting systems will have on the demand for

labor of different skill levels as well as the implications of that

impact.



Summary of Results

[Comparison of the different mechanical systems with the manual indi-

cated that should the present trends in wage rates, production and citrus

prices continue, it will be economically advantageous to use mechanical

harvesting systems by 1975 or before Due to the cautious attitude of

growers toward adopting new methods and to the fact that not too much

difficulty has been experienced so far in recruiting workers, it is anti-

cipated that the mechanization process will be slow over the next five

years and only 10 percent of the industry will be mechanized by the 1975-76

season. Mechanization should proceed at a faster pace after 1975. It

is anticipated that by 1980 the degree of harvesting mechanization will

range from 20 to 30 percent of the grapefruit to 50 to 60 percent of the

early and midseason oranges.

[One of the effects of mechanization will be to reduce the number of

workers needed to harvest a certain size crop Projected increases in

production and the low level of mechanization anticipated indicate that

the total harvesting labor requirements will continue to increase until

1975. Under the assumptions of the study, an average of about 25,000

workers will be needed that season during the peak months of January and

February as compared with about 23,000 during the 1969-70 season. Only

during one peak week of the 1969-70 season were 25,000 workers required.

The impact of mechanization will be felt by the labor market beginning














in 1975. In spite of the much higher expected level of production, fewer

workers will be required to harvest the 1980-81 crop than either the

1969-70 or the 1975-76 crops.

The most important impact of mechanization, however, will be on the

skill structure of the labor force. It is expected that between now and

1980 the demand for less skilled workers will be reduced by about 15

percent during the peak months while that for skilled and semi-skilled

workers will almost double. Although the demand for harvesting labor

will remain highly seasonal, it seems that enough opportunities will

exist for the employment of the skilled labor during the off-season.

Such is not the case for the less skilled workers and efforts will have

to be increased to find job opportunities for them whether it be in the

industry, in other agricultural industries, or in non-agricultural

activities.

It is expected that the results of this study will assist:

1. Federal, state and local government". Officials concerned

with manpower problems, adjustment of human resources, job

placement and labor policy making in general will benefit

from knowing the changes that will take place in the labor

market. Such knowledge will assist them in planning

programs aimed at improving the welfare of the labor

sector of the economy. Training programs for the unskilled

can be better structured if there is knowledge about the

demand for the different skills in the industry. This will

aid in reducing unemployment and underemployment by adjusting

the future labor supply to the future needs.













2. Management. The results as well as the methodology developed

in the study can be useful in making decisions concerning the

combination of hand and mechanical harvesting to fit different

conditions in the labor market. In addition, planning future

employment policies will be made easier when those conditions

are known. The availability of more stable employment for

some of the workers will result in changes in the traditional

employer-employee relationship that exists between pickers

and management. Employers will have to recognize that perma-

nent more-skilled workers will demand higher wages, better

working conditions, and fringe benefits. The possibility of

workers joining new or existing unions should not be dis-

counted by management.


Implications

Technological changes that substitute capital for labor always have

an impact on the labor market and unless preventive measures are taken

they usually affect adversely some of the workers involved. The magnitude

of the impact depends on how considerable the change in the capital-labor

ratio is. For a given change, however, it is the characteristics of the

workers affected along with the general market conditions which will

ultimately determine the adjustments that will take place in the level

of employment.

Mechanization will affect more adversely those workers whose mobility

is lower. Major determinants of labor mobility are age, education, race,

migratory status and work experience in other fields. These factors

affect the ability of workers to adjust to changes in the demand for

their services.













Younger workers should be less affected by mechanization since it

is easier to train them in the new skills demanded by the adoption of

mechanical systems. Similarly, it is also easier to train them for

activities other than those in the citrus industry. Over 60 percent of

the citrus pickers surveyed during the 1967-68 season were 44 years or

younger, while over 40 percent were 34 years or younger. Thus, it appears

that age would be a favorable factor in the implementation of manpower

training programs for citrus pickers.

A worker's occupational mobility is greater the higher his level of

education. Nearly 50 percent of the citrus pickers surveyed had less

than a fifth grade education. Although this indicates a low educational

level for pickers in general, the younger groups were better educated.

Education, coupled with age, will probably result in one group of younger,

better educated, workers which will be able to adjust to the new skill

requirements and another group of the older less educated which will fill

positions for which few or no skills are required.

Since some degree of discrimination exists in non-agricultural

employment, inter-industry mobility is limited among black and other

minority groups in the farm labor force. This fact is reflected in the

figures on citrus picking experience. While almost 50 percent of the

non-white males had 10 or more years experience, the figure for white

males was slightly over 20 percent. There were no white women with more

than 10 years of picking experience while for non-white women the figure

was 29 percent. Educational levels seem to be lower among non-whites,

which tends to add to the problem. The age distribution of the non-

white pickers was not significantly different from that of the white

pickers.













The composition of the citrus picking labor force as it relates to

the migratory status of the workers varies throughout the season. The

tendency is toward an increase in the percentage of interstate migrants

as the season progresses toward its peak and the need for pickers increases.

A reduction in the total number of workers required throughout the season,

and a smoothing of the peak periods will therefore affect interstate

migrant workers first.

Mechanization will reduce, but will not eliminate, the need for

migration in order to find supplementary work during the off-season.

Because of their unstable residential situation, migratory workers might

not be able to take advantage of the same type of programs that would

benefit local non-migratory workers. This fact, as well as the differences

in characteristics that exist among workers, should be taken into account

when implementing training and other types of programs.

The results of the study are encouraging in the sense that the course

that mechanization is expected to take seems to provide enough time for

implementing programs designed to ease the hardships usually associated

with transitions of the type dealt with in this study. Based on those

results it appears that efforts should be concentrated first on estab-

lishing training programs aimed at increasing skill levels to match those

required by the industry in the future, and secondly, on finding off-

season employment for those workers whose characteristics prevent them

from acquiring new skills and enjoying year-round employment in the citrus

industry.










CHAPTER I

THE CITRUS INDUSTRY AS AN EMPLOYER
OF AGRICULTURAL LABOR


Employment Patterns

The citrus industry employs more farm labor than any other agri-

cultural activity in the state of Florida. During the peak employment

period of the 1967-68 season, 30,673 or almost 40 percent of the 78,037

seasonal workers employed in Florida agriculture were employed by the

citrus industry.

Like most activities in specialized commercial agriculture the

need for labor in the citrus industry is highly seasonal. Figure 1 shows

employment in citrus during the 1968-69 season. Total employment varied

from 8,614 during the late part of September 1968 to 30,918 workers in

late January 1969. The number of workers used in harvesting ranged from

a low of 147 to a high of 23,823. The peak and low periods in harvesting

employment coincide with those of total employment.

The patterns illustrated in that figure are typical of Florida citrus

activities; there is a period of about 90 days, usually centered in late

August, where the need for harvesting labor is practically non-existent.

Starting in late October employment rises continuously and reaches a

peak usually in late January. It then starts falling until late March or

early April when the harvesting of most early and midseason varieties

has been completed. It is during this lull between the early and mid-

season and the late harvest when a critical period occurs; many unemployed

or underemployed workers leave the state thus making it harder for














FIGURE 1

FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYMENT IN THE CITRUS INDUSTRY
1968-69 SEASON


SOURCE: Farm Labor Statistics Department, Florida Industrial Commission,













employers to recruit pickers for the Valencia harvest. During the high

crop seasons of 1966-67 and 1968-69 it was necessary to bring in foreign

workers in June and July. The peak of the Valencia season usually occurs

during the month of May and after that employment drops steadily until

the end of the season.

Harvesting activities take up a large share of the citrus labor

force. The remainder is absorbed in production and maintenance activities

such as grove care, spraying and fertilizing. As can be observed in

Figure 1 non-harvest employment does not present seasonal characteristics

to the same extent as harvest employment. The number of workers engaged

in non-harvest activities varied from a low of 7,029 to a high of 9,446.

The peak occurs during the post-harvest period while the period of lowest

employment is during the winter months when harvesting labor requirements

are high. This permits movement of workers from one activity to the other

although, as the figures suggest, the amount is rather small when

compared with total labor requirements.


General Characteristics of the Citrus Harvesting Labor Force

Comprehensive statistics concerning the main characteristics of the

labor force employed in harvesting citrus are not available. The Florida

Industrial Commission in cooperation with the Bureau of Employment

Security, U. S. Department of Labor has undertaken the job of surveying

some of those characteristics. Two surveys of citrus harvest labor have

been made available so far; a sample of 55 crews covering a total of 512

workers are used in the 1967-68 Survey. Some of the results of this survey

are summarized below.














Race, sex and migratory status. Eighty five percent of the citrus

pickers in the Survey were non-white and 90.8 percent were males. The

ratio of men to women was the same for whites and non-whites, about 9

to 1. The bulk of the picking labor force was composed of non-white males

which accounted for 77.5 percent of the total. Slightly over two thirds

were non-migrating residents of Florida while 29 percent were interstate

migrants; only 2.5 percent were intrastate migrants. Two thirds of the

interstate migrants were non-white. The percentage of interstate workers

increases as the season progresses, however, The 1966-67 Survey pointed

out that the proportion of interstate workers had increased to 46 percent

in March and reached 50 percent in May.

Age and educational background. Ages of the citrus pickers ranged from

14 to 72 but almost two thirds of the sample fell into the 25-54 age

bracket. There were more workers (23 percent) in the 35-44 age group

than in any other; 18.6 percent of the workers were 24 years of age or

younger. Local workers were in general younger than interstate migrants.

Almost two thirds of the interstate migrants surveyed were 35 years or

older, compared with 45.4 percent of the local pickers. There was no

significant difference in the age distribution of whites vs. non-whites.

Nearly one half of the pickers interviewed had a fifth grade educa-

tion or less (10.9 percent had less than a third grade education and 37.7

percent were in the grades 3-5 bracket); 27.7 percent were in the

grades 6-9 group; 23.1 percent in the grades 10-12; and 0.6 percent received

more than a high school education. The younger groups, as would be

expected, were generally better educated than the older ones. This was

particularly noticeable in the 18 to 24 age bracket. In this group 86.1

percent of all men had better than a fifth grade education as compared













with 58.1 percent for the 25-34 bracket, and only 16.9 percent for the

55-64 group. Seventy five percent of the men in the 14-17 group had

better than a fifth grade education. This group was affected, of course,

by the fact that many of its members were still attending school and had

not completed their education.

The level of education was higher among white workers. The per-

centages of workers with more than a fifth grade education were 66.2 for

white males and 48.6 for non-white males. The difference was even wider

for female workers. While 77.8 of the white females had more than a

fifth grade education, only 47.4 of the non-white women had similar

school training. There are no data available for comparison of educa-

tional levels of migrants vs. non-migrants.

Mobility and citrus experience. According to the Survey, 88.5 percent

of the workers interviewed had worked for only one employer during the

season. The Survey points out that this figure is high because most of the

interviews took place near the beginning of the season. Turnover increases

as the season progresses and the average turnover rate is much higher than

the Survey indicates. This was illustrated in the previous survey (1966-67)

when only 16 percent of the December sample had worked for more than one

employer, but this percentage increased to over 50 percent for the May

sample.

Over 80 percent of the pickers in the sample had two or more years

experience and over 40 percent had 10 years or more. Experience was

greater among non-whites and Florida residents than among whites and

interstate migrants.













Average employment and earnings. Pickers worked an average of 6.1 hours

per day 3.5 days per week for an average of 21.4 hours per week. The

average number of weeks worked during the season was 5.1 per picker.

Employment was higher on Tuesday and Wednesday and lower on Monday,

Thursday and Friday. The Survey points out that the total man-weeks

for the season was determined by a count of all workers who worked at

all during any week. For example, a picker who joined a crew and worked

for only one day was counted as a man-week. Since the average number

of hours per week and days per week was computed by dividing total man-

hours and total man-days, respectively, by total man-weeks the results

tend to be biased downward.

Citrus pickers are paid on a piece rate basis. Prevailing rates

during the 1967-68 season were 30 cents for oranges, 20 cents for grape-

fruit, 85 cents for tangerines and 45 cents for tangelos and murcotts.

The distribution of average hourly earnings showed that 27.1 percent of the

workers earned $2.50 per hour or more whereas only 2.1 percent received

less than $1.15 per hour. The average hourly earnings for all types of

fruit was $2.36 per hour. Average weekly earnings amounted to $50.60 but

over 50 percent of the workers earned less than $30.00 per week. Low

weekly earnings are a result of working only a few days per week, not of

low hourly earnings. This seems to indicate that a large number of

workers consider citrus employment as a means to achieve a certain target

income rather than as a desirable full time occupation. Once their

target income for the week is achieved they seem to lose their motivation

for working. This hypothesis is supported further by the fact mentioned

above that employment is higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and lower on

Monday, Thursdays and Fridays.













Skill Structure of the Harvesting Labor Force

The statistics published by the Florida Industrial Commission provide

a breakdown of the harvesting labor force between pickers and non-pickers.

The pickers can be assumed to be relatively less skilled workers. Non-

pickers include mainly tractor drivers, goat truck operators and crew

leaders, that is, workers with a certain degree of mechanical or super-

visory ability. They can be considered as being semi-skilled and skilled.

The ratio of skilled and semi-skilled to relatively less skilled workers

remains fairly stable throughout the harvesting period as the figures in

Table 1 show for 1968-69. A least squares line was fitted to the data

available. After eliminating the slack period (July 31 to October 15)

there were 64 observations remaining between October 31, 1966 and May 31,

1969. The following equation was obtained:

Y = 185.90 + 0.13 X (R2 = .82) (I-a)

where Y is the number of non-pickers and X is the number of pickers. In

seven of the nine harvesting months the X ranged from around 12,000 to

around 20,000 which gives ratios of 6.9:1 and 7.2:1 pickers to non-

pickers, respectively. It can be said that on the average the present

manual harvesting system takes one skilled or semi-skilled worker for

each seven less skilled workers.

Productivity and Labor Requirements

The Florida Industrial Commission Survey estimated the average pro-

ductivity of pickers for different fruit varieties. Production rates in

boxes per picker hour were 7.4 and 6.8 for early and midseason oranges

for 1966-67 and 1967-68, respectively, 7.3 and 7.2 for valencias and 11.0

and 10.9 for grapefruit. Production rates can be used to calculate the

number of man-hours needed to harvest a given amount of fruit. It is













TABLE 1

CITRUS HARVESTING. RATIO OF PICKERS TO NON-PICKERS
1968-69 SEASON


Period Number of Ratio

Pickers Non-pickers


10-31-68

11-15-68

11-30-68

12-15-68

12-31-68

1-15-69

1-31-69

2-15-69

2-28-69

3-15-69

3-31-69

4-15-69

4-30-69

5-15-69

5-31-69

6-15-69

6-30-69

7-15-69


Average


4,011

7,289

11,651

15,569

17,460

19,652

21,206

20,343

19,651

18,382

15,132

14,180

15,149

15,486

14,567

13,749

12,381

7,670


498

1,104

1,491

1,962

2,110

2,562

2,617

2,629

2,601

2,439

2,087

1,903

2,110

2,118

2,099

1,926

1,709

1,000


8.0:1

6.6:1

7.8:1

7.9:1

8.2:1

7.7:1

8.1:1

7.7:1

7.6:1

7.5:1

7.3:1

7.4:1

7.2:1

7.3:1

6.9:1

7.1:1

7.2:1

7.7:1


7.5:1


SOURCE: Farm Labor Statistics
Tallahassee, Florida.


Department, Florida Industrial Commission,












important, however, to know how many different workers are needed during

a specified period of time to harvest that fruit. The relationship

between man-hours and number of workers depends on the average number of

hours worked per picker as well as on the turnover rate.

Based on employment figures published by the Florida Industrial

Commission some equations for determining labor needs were developed by

Leo Polopolus of the Economic Research Department, Florida Citrus

Commission.- Using linear regression techniques, he estimated the

relationships between weekly boxes harvested and number of harvest

workers. The following different relationships for the different sub-

seasons were found:

Y = 444 + 4.634 X (Early season) (I-b)

Y = 9,747 + 1.7222 X (Midseason) (I-c)

Y = 3,383 + 2.698 X (Late season) (I-d)

where X is weekly boxes harvested in thousand and Y is number of harvest

workers on an average daily employment basis.

Applying these equations to the 1968-69 production data gives a

peak harvesting employment of 23,261 workers. The actual figure was

23,823 or less than 2 percent different from the predicted value.

Subject to some qualifications to be discussed later, the above equations

can be used with confidence to determine harvesting labor requirements

under the manual system.




1/Leo Polopolus, A Mathematical Determination of Weekly Harvest
Labor Requirements for Florida Citrus. Economic Research Department,
Florida Citrus Commission, University of Florida, August 1968, 36 pages.
(Unpublished paper.)











CHAPTER II

PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION
OF FLORIDA CITRUS


The transition between the employment patterns discussed in Chapter I

and those projected later in the study needs to be viewed in the light of

certain characteristics of the citrus industry. Such characteristics as

production and utilization will exert great influence in the changes

that will take place in the demand for labor.

Production

Florida is the leading citrus-producing state in the nation. During

the 1968-69 season it produced 60 percent of all the oranges, 77 percent

of all the grapefruit and 83 percent of all the tangerines produced in

the United States.

Florida oranges fall into three general categories depending on the

time they reach maturity: Early varieties which are harvested during

late October and November; midseason varieties which are harvested starting

in December and lasting until the middle of March; and late varieties

which are harvested from March until the early part of the summer. This

distinction is important for this study not only because of the influence

of maturity date on the seasonal labor requirements but also because the

late varieties present more complex problems for mechanization. In

grapefruit, the important distinction for mechanization purposes is between

the seedy and the seedless varieties because of their different final

utilization.













Table 2 shows the volume of production of the main Florida citrus

from 1950-51 to present. If the latest and earliest five-year period

averages are compared, an increase of over 40 percent in production can

be observed for oranges. Both the early-midseason and the late groups have

increased production although the former has done it at a slightly faster

rate than the latter. The increase in orange acreage discussed above seems

to indicate that the upward trend in production should continue in the

future. Projections of future production will be discussed in more

detail in a later chapter.

Production of grapefruit has remained at a relatively stable level

over the last two decades, but the variety composition of that production

has changed. There has been a substantial decrease in the production of

seeded grapefruit that has been offset by an increase in production of

the seedless varieties. Grapefruit production should show an increasing

tendency in the near future due to the substantial increases in plantings

that have taken place during the last five years.

Tangerine production has shown a slight downward trend during the

last twenty years. Average annual production for the 1965-69 period was

4.0 million boxes compared with 4.8 for the 1951-55 period. This down-

ward trend should be reversed in the near future due to the increased

plantings of the last five years.


Utilization of Florida Citrus

Prior to World War II over 80 percent of the total Florida orange

crop was shipped to the fresh market. Since then, larger volumes of

production plus the creation of new types of canned and processed citrus






TABLE 2


FLORIDA PRODUCTION OF ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT AND TANGERINES
1950-51 to 1968-69


/ Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines
Crop Season Early &
Midseason Late Total Seeded Seedless Total
- - - -Million Boxes- - - -- - -
1950-51 36,800 30,500 67,300 17,400 15,800 33,200 4,800
1951-52 43,800 34,800 78,600 18,300 17,700 36,000 4,500
1952-53 42,300 29,900 72,200 15,400 17,100 32,500 4,900
1953-54 50,200 41,000 91,200 20,100 21,900 42,000 5,000
1954-55 52,000 36,400 88,400 14,300 20,500 34,800 5,100
1955-56 51,500 39,500 91,000 17,700 20,600 38,300 4,700
1956-57 54,300 38,700 93,000 14,800 21,600 37,400 4,800
1957-58 52,700 29,800 82,500 13,500 17,600 31,100 2,100
1958-59 47,100 38,900 86,000 14,600 19,600 35,200 4,500
1959-60 49,000 42,500 91,500 10,400 20,100 30,500 2,800
1960-61 51,000 35,700 86,700 12,400 19,200 31,600 4,900
1961-62 56,900 56,500 113,400 11,200 23,800 35,000 4,000
1962-63 45,500 29,000 74,500 10,000 20,000 30,000 2,000
1963-64 27,800 30,500 58,300 6,600 19,700 26,300 3,600
1964-65 46,400 39,800 86,200 10,200 21,700 31,900 3,900
1965-66 51,500 48,900 100,400 11,200 23,700 34,900 3,600
1966-67 78,200 66,300 144,500 13,500 30,100 43,600 5,600
1967-68 55,900 49,100 105,000 9,200 23,700 30,900 2,800
1968-69 74,200 61,000 135,200 12,200 28,000 40,200 4,300

Preliminary
SOURCE: Florida Agricultural Statistics, Florida Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee,













products have contributed to increasing the percentage of the orange crop

that is processed before being marketed. At the present time over 80

percent of the Florida orange production is utilized by processors. The

figures in Table 3 clearly show the tendency to process a larger part of

the orange crop. This trend should continue in view of the likely

increase in future production and the failure of fresh orange consumption

to keep up with it. The proportions of fruit marketed fresh and processed

do not differ significantly between the early-midseason and the late

varieties. During the last ten years, on the average, 78.4 percent of

the total production of early and midseason oranges has been processed

compared with 83.5 percent of the late varieties.

Grapefruit is not processed to the same extent that oranges are

and there is no clear trend. Approximately the same numbers are being

processed now as were during the late forties. Over 80 percent of the

acreage planted over the last five years belongs to the seedless varieties.

Only about 50 percent of seedless grapefruit goes to processors as

compared with 90 percent of the seeded type. Thus, the increased number

of seedless that goes to processors (due to increases in production) has

offset the effect of the decrease in production of seeded varieties.

Unless consumption of fresh grapefruit increases in the future larger numbers

will have to be utilized by processors.

The number of tangerines used by processors has fluctuated widely

from year to year. It was as low as 397,500 boxes in 1962-63 and as high

as 1,587,000 boxes in the 1960-61 season. The number of boxes going to

the fresh market has not varied as widely and, except for the years of low

production, it has fluctuated between 3.5 and 4.5 million boxes per year.













TABLE 3

UTILIZATION OF FLORIDA CITRUS
1950-51 to 1967-68





Season Percent of Crop Used by Processors
Oranges Grapefruit Tangerines
- - - Percent - - -

1950-51 61 53 20

1951-52 59 37 14

1952-53 62 45 22

1953-54 68 47 21

1954-55 68 44 21

1955-56 71 48 20

1956-57 73 51 26

1957-58 78 53 17

1958-59 80 50 35

1959-60 76 47 17

1960-61 80 51 32

1961-62 81 47 31

1962-63 84 53 20

1963-64 78 44 32

1964-65 80 50 27

1965-66 83 56 19

1966-67 86 60 19

1967-68 85 55 24

SOURCE: Florida Canners Association, Statistical Summary, Winter Haven,
Florida, Published annually.









21



This seems to indicate a rather stable market for the fresh product.

Unless demand for fresh tangerines increases in the future, larger

amounts will have to be processed in order to take care of the projected

increases in production.










CHAPTER III

MECHANICAL HARVESTING SYSTEMS
BACKGROUND AND ECONOMIC COMPARISON


Background

Harvesting is the only stage in the Florida citrus industry in

which mechanization has not kept pace with other crops. Machines are

used for cultivating, fertilizing, spraying and tree shaping, not to

mention the operations that take place after the fruit leaves the grove.

The harvesting operation, however, is still done entirely by manual means.

Many attempts have been made to develop mechanical aids to help

increase the productivity of the picker. Some of these are of a very

simple nature such as clipping devices attached to the end of a long

pole. Others like the man-positioning machines are of a more sophisti-

cated nature. That type of aid has not been successful because its high

capital cost can not be offset by the gains in productivity.

True mechanical harvesters can be classified as belonging to either

of two classes: contact removal harvesters or mass removal harvesters.

Contact removal harvesters have not been very successful because of their

removal potential being limited to the outer 18 inches of the canopy

thus leaving up to 40 percent of the fruit on the tree. Although they

are not economically feasible at the present time, contact removal type

harvesters seem to offer possibilities for use with the late oranges

because of their dual crop characteristic. By making direct contact with

the fruit, the ripe fruit can be removed while leaving the young fruit

on the tree.













Mass removal systems do not present as many problems as contact

systems and they seem to be at a more advanced stage of development.

It is the general consensus that systems of this type will be the first

ones to be used extensively in Florida citrus. The operation of these

systems has been satisfactory in all citrus except for valencia oranges

where some reduction in the following year's crop takes place due to the

presence of the young fruit at the time of harvesting. It is expected

that some abscission chemicals will be developed which will alleviate

this problem in the future. Three mass removal systems were studied

and compared with the manual system:

Air Blast System

This system uses an oscillating blast of high velocity air that

shakes the tree limbs and removes the fruit which falls on an attached

catching frame. A conveyor moves the fruit from the catching frame to

a basket; once the basket is full it is unloaded into a goat truck

which takes it to the roadside trailer.

One air blower, two tractors, two catching frames and the services

of a highlift truck are required for the operation of this system.

Personnel requirements are two tractor drivers, one blower operator,

one driver for the highlift truck and two unskilled workers to pick

up oranges that fall outside the frames or truck and keep the system

clear of branches and any large foreign material. Future design

improvements are expected to eliminate the blower operator and the non-

skilled workers.

At its average speed of one-fourth of a mile per hour, and taking

into account the time it takes for the machine to turn from one row to













the next, the rate of harvesting of this system is about 30 trees per

hour.- The rate of removal without the use of abscission chemicals is

about 80 percent of the fruit on tree. Some pruning of the trees is

necessary in order to operate the system smoothly; cost of shaping the

trees was taken to be $0.24 per tree per year. Some fruit needs to have

the stems detached and there is slight fruit damage; the cost of stem

removal and fruit damage was assumed to be $0.04 per box. This system

offers the best labor saving potential of all three. Under present con-

ditions, and based on average yields for older trees, each worker employed

with this system will do the work of 3.7 average manual pickers. With

the improvements expected for 1980 each worker employed with an air blast

system will replace 7.4 pickers. The labor replacement potential varies

directly with yields. It can be calculated using the figures in Table 8,

Chapter IV and the productivity rates of manual pickers given in Chapter

II. For a successful operation this system requires very flat terrain

for stability and long rows of trees in order to minimize the time spent

turning from one row to the next.


Mechanical Shaker and Catching Frame

This system consists of two tractor-drawn catch frames each equipped

with a limb shaker to remove the fruit from the trees. The catching

frames automatically collect the harvested fruit and store it in a bin

equipped to unload into a conventional lift body grove truck which

delivers the fruit to a roadside trailer. Each truck can serve two



-/Harvesting rates for all systems are based on an average distance
between trees of 20.5 feet.












systems of shakers. The personnel requirements are two tractor driver-

operators, one unskilled man to pick up fruit from the ground and remove

branches and foreign material, and a highlift truck driver. Future

developments will probably eliminate the need for the unskilled worker.

The rate of harvesting of this system is 15 trees per hour and the

efficiency without abscission chemicals is 90 percent of the fruit on

tree. Pruning of the trees is necessary and some holes have to be

opened in the canopy in order to shake the tree better; the cost of

shaping the trees was taken to be $0.30 per tree per year. There is

less fruit damage than in the air blast system and less fruit with stems

attached; the cost of detaching stems and damaged fruit was assumed to be

$0.02 per box. Under average conditions in the older groves, each worker

employed in connection with this system can presently replace 3.2 average

pickers. Potential improvements in the system may raise this figure to

4.5 by 1980.


Shaker, Windrower and Pick-up Machine

This system uses the same type of mechanical shaker described above

but it shakes the fruit to the ground where it is windrowed by mechanical

means. A pick-up machine later picks up the fruit and unloads it auto-

matically into a highlift truck which takes it to the roadside trailer.

Each windrower and pick-up machine can take care of the fruit shaken by

five shakers; the same is true for the truck.

If one system is defined as five shakers, one windrower, one pick-

up machine and one highlift truck, then the rate of harvesting is 43 trees

per hour. The efficiency without the use of abscission chemicals is 90

percent of the fruit on tree. Personnel required are five tractor











driver-shaker operators, one windrower operator, one pick-up machine

operator, one highlift truck driver and two unskilled workers to pick up

missed fruit and remove foreign material. Future developments will

eliminate the need for the last two workers. Some pruning of the trees

is necessary although less than in either of the first two systems since

no catching frame is required; the cost of pruning the trees was assumed

to be $0.15 per tree per year. Fruit damage is higher than in the other

two systems; cost of damaged fruit was assumed to be $0.06 per box. This

system is suitable for use in those instances where the shape of the

trees makes it difficult to use catching frames. Present and potential

labor replacement characteristics for this system are the same as for the

shaker and catching frame system.


Economics of Mechanical Harvesting

It seems reasonable to assume that in order for the mechanical

systems to be adopted, they must compare favorably in economic terms

with the manual system. Since the direct and indirect input requirements

and the harvesting efficiency of all systems are known it is possible

to make a comparison of their economic efficiency with that of the

manual system.

In order to make the comparison, the harvesting operation will be

considered as a separate economic enterprise. The decisions concerning

it will be considered as being independent of prior decisions as to how

much to plant, what varieties and methods to use, amount of fertilizing,

spraying, etc. Therefore, the decision-maker will face a situation in

which he has a certain amount of fruit on the trees and he will try to

maximize his profits from picking and selling it. By harvesting operation













is meant the process that takes place from the time the decision to harvest

is made until the fruit is loaded onto a roadside truck. A computerized

budgeting model in which all prices could be varied was used for the

comparison of the systems.

All three mechanical systems under consideration have design

characteristics which do not provide them with much flexibility as to

the area covered or number of trees harvested per unit of time. It

follows then, that yield becomes a most important parameter. The per

unit cost of mechanical harvesting will vary inversely with yield levels

while the per unit cost of manual harvesting is, for all practical

purposes, independent of yield. Similarly, the price of the fruit is a

very important variable in determining the advantage of one system over

another. Since the mechanical systems leave part of the fruit on the

tree, it follows that high fruit prices tend to favor the manual system

and vice versa. Finally, wages play an important role in comparing

economic efficiencies. Since the ratio of labor to other inputs is

relatively higher for the manual system, it follows that increases in

wages will tend to favor the mechanical systems.

From the above, it becomes apparent that whether the citrus har-

vesting operation is mechanized or not will depend as much on consider-

ations of yield, fruit prices and wage levels as it does on the Charac-

teristics of the equipment. Therefore, in comparing the systems it is

necessary to make certain assumptions regarding the values that those

variables might take in years considered.

Starting with the 1965-66 season, the Florida Crop and Livestock

Reporting Service began estimating orange yields in boxes per tree by













age classes. The results are shown in Table 4 both for the early and

midseason and for the Valencia varieties. The four seasons for which

data are available include a bumper crop year (1966-67), a low year

(1967-68) and two normal years in which the yield value closely

approached the four-season average. Since there is no reason to do

otherwise, the four-year averages will be used in the comparison.

Data for prices at roadside are not available. There are, however,

data on "delivered in" prices, that is, the price that processors of

fresh concentrated orange juice pay for fruit delivered at their plants.

Approximately 80 percent of all oranges processed goes into fresh concen-

trated orange juice. Roadside prices will be assumed to equal "delivered

in" prices minus the average cost of hauling from the roadside to the

2/
plant. A time series of average hauling costs is available.-

A regression model was developed in order to investigate the rela-

tionship between "delivered in" prices of oranges and other variables

which a priori were believed to be relevant. The first explanatory

variable chosen was the size of the crop which was expected to be inversely

related to price. Beginning of season inventory of fresh concentrated

orange juice was the second variable used since it seems reasonable to expect

that the size of the inventory of the product will have an influence on

the price that processors are willing to pay for oranges. Time was the

last variable included in the model. It was expected to reflect changes




-/A. H. Spurlock, Costs of Picking and Hauling Florida Citrus Fruits,
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Florida. Published
annually.













TABLE 4

FLORIDA ORANGES
AVERAGE YIELDS BY AGE CLASSES 1965-66 to 1968-69


Crop 4-9
Year Years


1965-66

1966-67

1967-68

1968-69

Average


1965-66

1966-67

1967-68

1968-69

Average


.5

1.2

1.0

1.1

1.0


10-14 15-24
Years Years


- -Boxes Per Tree- -
Early and Midseason

1.4 3.7

3.0 5.7

1.6 3.4

2.9 4.3

2.2 4.3


Valencias

3.1

4.2

2.6

3.4

3.4


SOURCE: Florida Crop and
Orlando, Florida.


Livestock Reporting Service,


25 Years
& Older


5.1

7.0

4.0

5.1

5.3


4.0

5.7

3.2

4.2

4.3













in general price levels and demand conditions. Several models were

tested and the best fit was obtained by using the following equation:

Log Y = 3.5797 1.6435 Log X1 + 0.4208 Log X2 0.3153 Log X3 (III-a)

where

Y = Price paid by processors of F.C.O.J. in dollars per box.

X1= Total production of oranges in million boxes.

X2= Coded variable indicating season.

X3= Beginning of season inventory of fresh concentrated orange

juice in million gallons.

The regression coefficients had the signs expected a priori and

were all statistically significant at the 99 percent level of probability.
2
The multiple correlation coefficient was R = 0.9079, which means that

90 percent of the variation in prices was explained by the variables

included in the equation. The data used in the regression are shown in

Table 5.

The limitations of the above model are obvious. It is not intended

to be a model for price forecasting but rather a structural relationship

among several relevant variables to be used to derive an idea about the

order of magnitude of the price, given certain assumed conditions.

Holding the inventory level constant at its mean value, the equation

shows that an orange crop of 180 million boxes in the 1975-76 season will

yield a price of $1.27 per box. This result seems to agree with

industry estimates. The DARE report estimates that "if a 180 million box

crop is realized in 1975, a price in the neighborhood of $1.25 per

box might be expected."!/ A crop of 220 million boxes in 1980, will,


-/DARE Report 1965, University of Florida, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. Gainesville, Florida.













TABLE 5

TOTAL PRODUCTION OF ORANGES, BEGINNING OF SEASON INVENTORY OF FRESH
CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE AND DELIVERED-IN PRICE PAID BY PROCESSORS
SEASONS 1952-53 THROUGH 1967-68



Season Production Beginning of Season Price Paid
Inventory


Million Boxes


72.3

91.3

88.4

91.0

93.0

82.5

86.0

91.5

86.7

113.4

74.5

58.3

86.2

100.4

144.5

105.0


Million Gallon
F.C.O.J.

8.29

4.55

11.15

8.92

12.95

10.95

6.45

16.32

9.52

13.42

33.75

15.40

10.14

21.81

11.99

26.64


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


$ Per Box


1.81

1.62

1.72

2.29

1.74

2.56

3.50

2.54

3.47

2.26

2.71

5.25

3.37

2.28

1.29

2.76


SOURCE: Florida Canners Association, Statistical Sumnary, Winter Haven,
Florida, Published annually.












according to the equation, produce a price in the neighborhood of $1.00.

Although this price seems low now, it seems reasonable to expect the

price of oranges to decline gradually as the crop size increases, other

things being equal.

Table 6 and Figure 2 illustrate the behavior of the labor and non-

labor components of the cost of picking Florida oranges from 1950-51 to

present. The tendency of the labor costs has been one of continuous

increase which has become particularly sharp over the last few years.

Labor costs per box increased 60 percent between the 1961-62 and the

1967-68 seasons, or at an annual cumulative rate of 8.2 percent. Increas-

ing employment opportunities outside of agriculture and the consequent

expected reduction in the agricultural labor force suggest that the above

trend is likely to continue in the future. Since skilled workers are

and will continue to be relatively scarcer than unskilled workers, their

wages should also be expected to rise as the demand for their services

increases as a result of mechanization.

The results of the comparisons of the systems are illustrated in

Figures 3, 4 and 5. The difference between the per-box price of oranges

at roadside and per-box harvesting costs, or "harvesting profit" has been

plotted against per-box price of fruit at roadside under two different

wage rates and two different yield levels.



4/
Since time was included as a variable in the regression equation,
the prices obtained are current prices. An implicit assumption is that
the average increase in the price level will remain the same as during
the observed period (1952-68).













TABLE 6

FLORIDA AVERAGE COST OF PICKING ORANGES,*
1950-51 to 1967-68


Labor as Per-
Year Total Cost Labor Other Labor as er
cent of Total

- - -- -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


28.36
28.43
28.90
29.09
28.92
30.49
30.80
33.14
32.96
33.99
34.96
33.79
39.57
43.04
43.43
46.12
46.25
54.09


22.33
23.69
24.65
24.78
24.10
25.38
25.95
26.83
26.77
26.89
27.69
28.13
31.52
34.05
36.02
29.01
29.57
45.71


6.03
4.74
4.25
4.31
4.82
5.11
4.85
6.31
6.19
7.10
7.27
5.66
8.05
8.99
7.41
7.11
6.68
8.38


78.7
83.3
85.3
85.2
83.3
83.2
84.3
81.0
81.2
79.1
79.2
83.2
79.7
79.1
82.9
84.6
85.6
84.5


SOURCE: A. H. Spurlock, Costs of Picking and Hauling Florida Citrus
Fruits, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of
Florida. Published annually.


*To roadside.









FIGURE 2

TOTAL, LABOR AND NON-LABOR COST OF PICKING FLORIDA ORANGES
1950-51 to 1967-68


TOTAL COST
2


LABOR


1950-51 51-52 52-53 53-54 54-55 55-56 56-57 57-58 58-59 59-60 60-61 61-62 62-63 63-64 64-65 65-66 66-67 67-68
SEASON
SOURCE: A. H. Spurlock, Costs of Picking and Hauling Florida Citrus Fruits. Department of Agricultural Economics,
University of Florida. Published annually.


__






FIGURE 3


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROADSIDE PRICES AND HARVESTING COSTS FOR DIFFERENT
SYSTEMS AND FRUIT PRICES WITH GIVEN WAGE LEVELS AND YIELD


'2.0

o ^*
I0
'.4
w


Cd
-4
p-
015






0


1-4
o 1.5-

a



w
*u
*r(





1-1
C(



pa
0}
>-i


S-- 1966-67 Average Price
A.A I


= Is a ---- i I a a I -I -- -


'1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.60


1967-68 Average Price I


* I I


1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50 2.60 2.70


Price of Fruit at Roadside (dollars per box)



Notes: Wage levels assumed here were those listed in Appendix Table 3.
Yield of 5.3 boxes per tree assumed.


019


2.80 2.90 3.00


)
I


!





FIGURE 4

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROADSIDE PRICES AND HARVESTING COSTS FOR DIFFERENT
SYSTEMS AND FRUIT PRICES WITH GIVEN WAGE LEVELS AND YIELD


- -.


-.
- .-


1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10


2.20 2.30 2.40 2.50 2.60 2.70


Price of Fruit at Roadside (dollars per box)


Notes: Assuming wages 50 percent higher than those assumed for Figure 4.
Yield of 5.3 boxes per tree assumed.


gSa"
p~c I






FIGURE 2
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROADSIDE PRICES AND HARVESTING COSTS FOR DIFFERENT
SYSTEMS AND FRUIT PRICES WITH GIVEN WAGE LEVELS AND YIELD


2.OF


'-sje

-I--. ~


-. -I-
~. -~


- # I I I I I I I I p I I


1.00 1.10 1.20 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.30
Price of Fruit at Roadside (dollars per box)


Notes: Assuming same wage levels as for Figure 5.
Yield of 4.3 boxes per tree assumed.


2.40 2.50 2.60 2.70


1.0O-


0.5













Figure 3 shows a comparison of the harvesting profits with a given

yield of 5.3 boxes per tree and the currently prevailing wage levels

listed in Appendix Table 3. It can be observed that except for low

fruit price (below $1.40 per box) the manual system is preferable to

either one of the systems using shaking devices. The air blast system

appears to be more profitable for fruit prices of up to $2.40 per box.

The average price for the 1967-68 season of over $2.60 per box does not

provide the incentive to mechanize. The 1966-67 price of $1.18 per box,

on the other hand, would have favored the use of mechanical systems.

Comparison of Figure 4 with Figure 3 illustrates the impact of

wages on the relative profitability of the systems. With everything

else the same as in Figure 3, wages have been raised by 50 percent in

Figure 4. If the past trend continues, this level of wages may corres-

pond to the situation around 1975. Figure 4 shows that the effect of

higher wages is to make the air blast system more profitable than the

manual for all fruit prices considered. The shaker systems, in the

other hand, compare favorably with the manual for all prices below $2.50

per box. Roadside prices of over $2.50 in 1975 are only a remote pos-

sibility. If the production projections are realized, such a price could

only be a result of a freeze or other unusual circumstance. Under normal

conditions, thus, it seems that there will be an incentive for mechani-

zation in the near future.

Comparison of Figure 5 with Figure 4 illustrates the effect of yield

on the relative profitability of the systems. The only difference between

the two figures is the yield level assumed (4.3 boxes per tree in Figure 5

and 5.3 boxes per tree in Figure 4). It can be observed that point E,








39


which marks the fruit price at which the profitability of the manual and

the shaker systems is the same, moves to the left with a decrease in

yield. In other words, other things being equal, lower yields require

lower fruit prices before the incentive to mechanize exists.










CHAPTER IV

IMPACT OF MECHANIZATION ON LABOR REQUIREMENTS


The trends observed in fruit prices and costs of harvesting labor

were discussed in Chapter III. Given those trends and the projected

levels of production to be discussed later it seems that incentives to

mechanize citrus harvesting will be present in the very near future.

Many industry leaders are already aware of this fact. On the other hand,

the engineering tools have been substantially developed over the last

decade, and the state of the art is expected to improve at an increasing

rate over the next few years. It appears that mechanization of citrus

harvesting is on the horizon. Its arrival should have a substantial

effect on the labor market.

The impact of mechanization on the demand for labor will be two-

fold. In the first place it will reduce the number of workers required

to harvest a certain size crop. Secondly, it will change the skill

structure of the labor force demanded. A higher percentage of skilled

workers will be needed to harvest a crop by mechanical means than would

be the case if the harvesting was done by conventional manual methods.

In order to determine the total number of workers required for

citrus harvesting in any particular year, several factors have to be

considered. The size of the crop to be harvested and the percentage of

the crop that will use mechanical harvesters have to be determined and

the type or types of systems to be used must be known or assumed. Once












the number of workers is determined, it is possible to break down the

total in terms of skill categories.


Projections of Total Production

The production of citrus for any particular year is difficult to

forecast since it depends on many factors. Some of these factors are:

economic abandonment of trees, availability of harvesting labor, intensity

of grove production practices, and weather conditions. The range within

which production in any year may fall is a very wide one. Potential pro-

duction, on the other hand, is relatively easy to calculate. It takes

five years for a tree to come into bearing and most of the production

comes from trees that are 10 years or older. Since there are figures

concerning tree numbers plus historical information on yields by age

groups, potential future production can be established with a certain

degree of accuracy, the factors mentioned above notwithstanding.

Estimates of potential future production are available from several

sources. The Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service has made some

calculations in that respect. The Economic Research Department of the

Florida Citrus Commission made a study of potential production using

1/
random sampling techniques.- The DARE Citrus Subcommittee made potential

production projections based on estimates provided by each individual

county. Projections from the different sources do not vary significantly



1/
L. Polopolus and W. B. Lester, Estimation of Florida's Orange
Production Over the Next Fifteen Years by the Random Sampling Technique,
Economic Research Department, Florida Citrus Commission, University of
Florida, Gainesville. September 1968. (14 Pages, Unpublished.)













and those published by the 1969 DARE Report will be used here. Those

projections are shown in Table 7.

Citrus production is expected to increase by 37 and 62 percent of

its present level by 1975 and 1980, respectively. In terms of number of

boxes, most of the increase will be in round oranges. Including temples,

the orange crop will increase by 56.8 and 91.8 million boxes by the

1975-76 and 1980-81 seasons, respectively. Some increase is expected in

grapefruit production as well as in the other citrus fruits. Round

oranges and grapefruit are by far the most important types of fruit for

the purposes of this study. Not only are they the major users of har-

vesting labor but the mechanical systems developed thus far are expected

to be used primarily on them in the near future. As the harvesting of

oranges and grapefruit becomes more mechanized, however, the relative

importance of the other citrus varieties as users of less skilled labor

will increase, and their trends should be carefully considered when the

total number of pickers is to be estimated.


Extent of Mechanization

With presently available knowledge, it is extremely difficult

to make predictions about the extent to which the industry will mechanize

during the next decade. Although the basic engineering technology has

been developed, it is difficult to estimate the willingness of the people

in the industry to undertake large investments in equipment which is to

a certain extent unknown to them. In the case where there was a general

awareness of the advantages of mechanization, and willingness to replace

capital for labor, there would still be a lag between the time when the

demand for the machinery appears and the time when large-scale production














TABLE 7

FLORIDA. CURRENT AND POTENTIAL PRODUCTION OF CITRUS


Type of Fruit


Oranges

Temples

Grapefruit

Tangerines

Tangelos

Murcotts

Lemons


TOTAL


1968-69



130.7

4.5

40.2

4.3

1.8

1.0


182.5


Season

1975-76

- Million Boxes -

185.5

6.5

44.0

5.8

4.5

1.5

2.5


250.3


1980-81


219.0

8.0

50.0

7.2

6.0

2.0

3.5


295.7


SOURCE: DARE Report 1969, University of Florida, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, Florida, October
1969. p. 9.












takes place. Assumptions about the percentage of fruit that will be

harvested mechanically in 1975 and 1980 belong in the category of

"educated guesses".

For the purposes of this study it will be assumed that 10 percent

of the Florida citrus crop will be mechanically harvested by 1975. This

assumption is the result of interviews with several of the engineers

involved in the development of the mechanical systems as well as with

people in the industry familiar with current progress in the field. Ten

percent mechanization of citrus harvesting by 1975 is considered reason-

able by most researchers in the field. Projecting the extent of mechani-

zation to 1980 is still more difficult. Here, the author relied mainly

on his own judgment and conversations with the engineers. The assumption

was made that once the critical period is overcome by 1975 and 10

percent of the industry is sold on mechanical harvesting, the substi-

tution of capital for labor will proceed at a much faster rate during

the following years. In other words, the period from 1975 to 1980 will

be the period of fastest growth in citrus harvesting mechanization.

This type of pattern is typical of most technological changes and is

consistent with the consensus of the DARE Engineering and Equipment

Committee:

Industry acceptance of mechanical harvesting for
processing fruit is expected to evolve over
several years, possibly gaining a firm foothold
by 1975. With adequate developmental effort the
main expansion period is expected to begin by 1975.



.'DARE Report 1969 University of Florida, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. October 1969. p. 145.












Based on the above, it has been assumed that by 1980, approximately

50 to 60 percent of all early and midseason oranges, 40 to 50 percent of

all Valencias, and 20 to 30 percent of all grapefruit will be harvested

mechanically. The difference between Valencia and the other oranges is

due to the fact that less progress has been made in the development of

a system that can harvest dual crop varieties efficiently. The lower

percentage for grapefruit is due to the fact that a higher portion of

the grapefruit crop goes to fresh use. Harvesting systems for tangerines

and other specialty citrus have not been developed to the point where it

would be safe to assume their eing used to any great extent by 1980. In

addition, tangerines and other citrus are only a minor item when compared

with oranges and grapefruit. Only the last two will be considered as

harvest mechanizable by 1975 and 1980.


Calculating Labor Requirements with Mechanization

The different mechanical systems and their personnel requirements

were described in Chapter III. The number of man-hours required to

harvest one box of fruit has been calculated for the different systems

and for two different yield levels and the results are shown in Table 8.

The first column in Table 8 shows the present man-hour requirements,

which will be assumed to prevail until 1975-76. The second column shows

the potential man-hour requirements provided that some of the labor

presently required is eliminated; it is assumed that this will be the

case by 1980.

Since the man-hour requirements are not the same for all systems,

the total labor needs will depend among other things on the proportions

in which the systems will be combined. Different groves have different














TABLE 8

PRESENT AND POTENTIAL MAN-HOUR REQUIREMENTS PER BOX
WITH DIFFERENT YIELD LEVELS


Man-hour Requirements
System Present Potential

- - -Man-hr/box- - - -

Yield Level = 5.3 boxes/tree

Air Blast .038 .019

Shaker & Catching Frame .044 .031

Shaker-Windrower-
Pick-up .044 .031

Average .042 .027

Yield Level = 4.2 boxes/tree

Air Blast .047 .023

Shaker & Catching Frame .054 .039

Shaker-Windrower-
Pick-up .054 .039

Average .052 .034













Since there is a direct relationship between yields and profit

margins, it is reasonable to assume that mechanical harvesting will be

directed primarily toward the older more productive trees, at least

during the first years. Advances in technology and/or scarcity of labor

may later serve as incentives for mechanization of younger trees. Simi-

larly, the younger trees, being smaller, are easier to harvest by hand.

Hence, the tendency will be toward using as many of them as possible for

obtaining the fruit that will be shipped for fresh use. It is assumed

that 75 percent of the fruit harvested mechanically comes from trees 25

years or older and the other 25 percent from trees that are between 15

and 24 years of age. This assumption is consistent with projected tree

population and production figures.

The proportions in which Valencias and the other varieties will be

harvested at any particular time are based on projected seasonal distri-

bution and mechanization patterns to be explained in the next section.

Based on them and on the tree age assumptions mentioned above, the

average number of boxes mechanically harvested per worker per week has

been calculated for each month, and for the two peak periods of the

1975-76 and the 1980-81 seasons. The results are shown in Table 9. It

can be noted that as the season progresses and the percentage of lower

yielding Valencia trees increases, the number of boxes harvested per

worker decreases.


Seasonality of Production and Mechanization

Citrus production in Florida follows a seasonal pattern which is,

for obvious reasons, similar to that shown by citrus employment and

discussed in Chapter I. Based on production data for four years











characteristics such as topography, length of rows, spacing between

trees, tree trunk shape, etc., which make a certain system more desirable

than the others for a particular grove. For the purposes of this study

it will be assumed that all three systems will be used in equal propor-

tions. The other variable affecting the manpower requirements is yield.

Since yield depends on the age of the tree, and since Valencias have

lower yields than early and midseason varieties, the man-hour require-

ments will depend on the age of the trees being harvested and on the

proportion of the crop being harvested that is made up of Valencias.

The following formula can be used to calculate the average number of

boxes harvested mechanically per worker in a 40-hour week:

B = 40 [01 P1 + 02 (1 P)] [1 P + [V P + V2 (1 P)] P (IV-a)

where:

B = Average number of boxes harvested mechanically per worker in

a 40-hour week.

01 = Average number of boxes per man-hour of early and midseason

oranges or grapefruit harvested mechanically from trees 25

years of age or older. Calculated from Table 8.

02 = Same as 01, but from trees 15-24 years of age.

V2 = Equivalent of 01 for Valencias.

V2 = Equivalent of 02 for Valencias.

P, = Proportion of mechanically harvested fruit cominggfrom trees

25 years of age or older.

P = Proportion of the mechanically harvested fruit which is made

of Valencias.










TABLE 9

MECHANICAL SYSTEMS. NUMBER OF BOXES HARVESTED WEEKLY PER WORKER
ASSUMING THAT THE THREE SYSTEMS ARE EMPLOYED IN EQUAL PROPORTIONS



Boxes harvested weekly per worker

Period 1975-76 1980-81


September 911 1,410

October 911 1,410

November 911 1,410

December 911 1,410

January 911 1,410

Early Peak 911 1,410

February 911 1,410

March 882 1,372

April 876 1,296

Late Peak 862 1,283

May 862 1,283

June 862 1,277

July 853 1,289



Based on 40 hours per week operation.
Based on 40 hours per week operation.










Polopolus estimated the seasonal utilization of Florida citrus on a weekly

3/
basis.- Although a particular year's crop may be earlier or later than

average, the general shape of the distribution will tend to be the same.

Thus, once the size of the crop is estimated, weekly utilization in boxes

can be estimated with a certain degree of accuracy. Similarly, the average

number of boxes utilized per week for any particular month can be calcu-

lated. Showing one average weekly figure for each month simplifies the

presentation without any loss of perspective of the seasonality of produc-

tion. Weekly rather than monthly averages, however, must be used in order

to be able to make use of equations I-b, I-c, and I-d. Projected distri-

butions by varieties are shown in Table 10. Average weekly figures in

boxes are given for each month in the season and for the two peak weeks.

Once the seasonal distribution of the projected production has been

determined the ne:t step is to determine what part of that production is

available for mechanization and how much will actually be harvested

mechanically. Since the mechanical systems can only be used on fruit that

will be processed, the amount of fruit that is picked for fresh use must

be subtracted from total production in order to determine how much fruit

is available for mechanical harvesting. The percentage of fruit that is

harvested for fresh use is higher than the percentage of fruit actually

sold in the fresh market since some of the fruit is rejected at the

packing house. The actual percentage destined for processing when har-
4/
vested has been calculated by Whitney- using the following formula:



3/
Polopolus, Leo. A Mathematical Determination of Weekly Harvest Labor
Requirements for Florida Citrus. Economic Research Department, Florida Citrus
Commission, University of Florida, Gainesville, August 1968. (Unpublished).
4/
Whitney, Jody. Importance of Citrus Harvesting Mechanization. Citrus
Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida. (Unpublished).










TABLE 10


PROJECTED DISTRIBUTION OF FLORIDA CITRUS PRODUCTION
BY MONTH AND PEAK WEEKS ON AN AVERAGE WEEKLY BASIS, 1975-76 and 1980-81


Period Average Weekly Production
Early & Mid- Tangerines
season oranges Valencias Grapefruit Tangerines & Murcotts
1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81

- - - - Million Boxes - -- -- - - -

September .07 .08
October .38 .46 .65 .74 .01 .01 .03 .04
November 1.58 1.91 1.10 1.25 .21 .26 .30 .41
December 4.59 5.55 1.25 1.41 .72 .90 .39 .51
January 7.43 8.99 .24 .28 1.43 1.62 .31 .39 .19 .24
Early Peak 8.85 10.70 .32 .37 1.55 1.77 .07 .08 .30 .39
February 7.08 8.56 .69 .80 1.50 1.70 .05 .07 .25 .33
March 2.73 3.30 2.28 2.62 1.82 2.07 .02 .02 .16 .21
April .40 .48 4.85 5.57 1.41 1.61 .06 .07
Late Peak 7.20 8.28 .97 1.11 .01 .02
May 6.57 7.55 .65 .74 .01 .01
June 4.37 5.02 .25 .28
July 1.19 1.37 .10 .11

Calculated from production projections in Table 7 and seasonal distributions as calculated by
Polopolus.












PC = 100 11 ] (IV-b)

where:

PC = Percent of total crop which was meant to go for processing

when harvested.

F = Percent of total crop which was sold as fresh fruit.

PK = Percent of fruit picked from packing house which was sold for

fresh use. (Percent Packout.)

The F and PK values used by Whitney in his paper indicate that 30

percent of all oranges and 60 percent of all grapefruit are harvested

for fresh use. These percentages will be applied to the projected levels

of production. Average weekly production by month and the quantities

harvested for fresh use are shown in Tables 11 through 13.

The approximate percentages of the total annual crop that will be

mechanized have been determined earlier in this chapter. Some criteria

are needed now in order to determine how those quantities will be dis-

tributed in a way that is consistent with the seasonal nature of pro-

duction. The main criterion used was to make use of the entire equipment

and the personnel that operates it for as long a period as possible. Due

to the seasonality of production, however, this period turned out to be

only about six months, December through May, for the 1980-81 season.

Nine months of full use were possible in the case of the 1975-76 season

due to the low mechanization assumption. Because of its larger impact on

the labor market, however, the former case is of more interest for this

study. Tables 11 through 13 show the amounts of the fruit harvested for

processing that will be picked by manual and mechanical means. The last

four columns in each table show the totals for mechanically and manually

harvested fruit.










TABLE 11


EARLY AND MIDSEASON ORANGES. AMOUNTS TO BE HARVESTED
MECHANICALLY AND MANUALLY ON AN AVERAGE WEEKLY BASIS, 1975-76 and 1980-81


Average Hand Harvested
Average Hand Harvested Harvested for Processing
Period Weekly for Total Hand
Production Fresh Use Hand Mechanically Harvested
1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81

- - - - Million Boxes - - - - -

October .38 .46 .11 .14 .27 .32 .11 .14
November 1.58 1.91 .47 .41 .56 .55 1.50 1.03 41
December 4.59 5.55 1.37 1.66 2.67 .39 .55 3.50 4.04 2.05
January 7.43 8.99 2.23 2.70 4.65 2.49 .55 3.50 6.88 5.49
Early Peak 8.85 10.70 2.65 3.21 5.65 3.99 .55 3.50 8.30 7.20
February 7.08 8.56 2.12 2.57 4.41 2.49 .55 3.50 6.53 5.06
March 2.73 3.3G .71 .85 1.77 .25 2.45 2.48 85
April .40 .48 .12 .14 .11 .17 .34 .23 .14


SEASON
TOTAL* 105.00 127.00 31.50 38.10 61.55 24.44 11.95 64.46 93.05 62.54

*Totals are based on the following numbers of weeks at each month's rate: October 2; November and
January 5; December, February and March 4; April 3. All figures rounded to nearest hundredth.







TABLE 12


VALENCIA )RANGES. AMOUNTS TO BE HARVESTED
MECHANICALLY AND MANUALLY )N AN AVERAGE WEEKLY BASIS, 1975-76 and 1980-81


Average Hand Harvested
Average Hand Harvested Harvested for Processing
Period Weekly for arrested for ProcessiTotal Hand
Production Fresh Use Hand Mechanically Harvested
1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81

- - - - Million Boxes - - - - -

January .24 .28 .07 .08 .17 .20 .24 .28
Early Peak .31 .36 .09 .11 .22 .25 .31 .36
February .69 .80 .21 .24 .48 .56 .69 .80
March 2.28 2.62 .68 .79 1.32 .88 .28 .95 2.00 1.67
April 4.85 5.57 1.46 1.67 3.04 1.05 .35 2.85 4.50 2.72
Late Peak 7.20 8.23 2.16 2.47 1.53 2.61 .51 3.15 6.69 3.08
May 6.57 7.55 1.97 2.27 4.09 2.13 .51 3.15 6.06 4.40
June 4.37 5.02 1.31 1.51 2.51 1.01 .55 2.50 3.82 2.52
July 1.19 1.37 .36 .41 .22 .26 .61 .70 .58 .67


SEASON
TOTAL* 87.00 100.00 26.10 30.00 51.19 28.25 9.71 41.75 77.29 58.25


January 2; February,
hundredth.


*Totals are based on the following numbers of weeks at each month's rate:
March, April, June and July 4; May 5. All figures rounded to the nearest









TABLE 13

GRAPEFRUIT. AMOUNTS TO BE HARVESTED
MECHANICALLY AND MANUALLY ON,AN AVERAGE WEEKLY BASIS, 1975-76,and 19-80-81


Average Hand Harvested
Average Hand Harvested Harvested for Processing
Period Weekly for Hvested for Total Hand
Production Fresh Use Hand Mechanically Harvested
1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81 1975-76 1980-81
- - - - Million Boxes -- - - - - -
September .07 .08 .05 .05 .02 .03 .05 .05
October .65 .74 .42 .44 .10 .13 .30 .52 .44
November 1.10 1.25 .72 .75 .25 .12 .13 .38 .97 .87
December 1.25 1.41 .81 .85 .31 .18 .13 .38 1.12 1.03
January 1.43 1.62 .93 .97 .37 .27 .13 .38 1.30 1.24
Early Peak 1.55 1.77 1.01 1.06 .41 .33 .13 .38 1.42 1.39
February 1.50 1.70 .98 1.02 .39 .30 .13 .38 1.37 1.32
March 1.82 2.07 1.18 1.24 .51 .35 .13 .38 1.69 1.59
April 1.41 1.61 .92 .97 .36 .26 .13 .38 1.28 1.23
Late Peak .97 1.11 .63 .66 .21 .07 .13 .38 .84 .73
May .65 .74 .42 .44 .10 .13 .30 .52 .44
June .25 .28 .16 .17 .09 .11 .16 .17
July .10 .11 .07 .07 .03 .04 .07 .07

SEASON
TOTAL* 44.00 50.00 28.60 30.00 10.33 7.88 5.07 12.12 38.93 37.88


2: October,
figures


*Totals are based on the following numbers of weeks at each month's rate: September
December, February, March, April, June and July 4; November, January and May 5. All
rounded to nearest hundredth.













Total Labor Requirements

Given the amounts of fruit to be harvested both manually and

mechanically total employment for each period can be estimated. The

labor requirements for harvesting fruit manually can be calculated with

the help of equations I-b, I-c and I-d. In the case of mechanically

harvested fruit, the labor requirements are found by dividing the figures

on Table 9 into the corresponding number of boxes to be harvested. The

total amounts of fruit to be harvested and the number of workers required

in each case, as well as the total labor requirements, are shown in

Tables 14 and 15.

Table 16 shows a comparison between the labor requirements esti-

mated for 1975-76 and 1980-81 and those for the 1969-70 season on the

basis of the October 1969 crop estimate. A comparison of the three

columns will show the impact that the adoption of mechanical systems

will have upon the demand for harvesting workers. Even in 1975-76 with

only about 10 percent of the citrus crop being mechanized, the increase

in labor requirements is lower throughout the season than the corres-

ponding increase in crop size. Employment during the peak week of the

season is expected to reach 28,410 workers in 1975-76 compared with

25,340 estimated for the 1969-70 season or an increase of 12 percent in

the number of workers required to harvest a crop 30 percent larger.

The difference between the percentage increases in crop size and

in the number of workers required is much wider in the case of the 1980-81

season, as would be expected. Labor requirements during the peak week of

the season are only 13 percent higher than in the 1969-70 season in spite

of a crop over 50 percent larger. It was pointed out earlier in this











TABLE 14

ALL CITRUS. TOTAL HARVESTING LABOR REQUIREMENTS
MANUAL AND MECHANICAL, 1975-76



Manually Harvested Mechanically Harvested
Workers Workers Total Number of
Period Production Needed Production Needed Workers Needed

Mil. boxes Workers Mil. boxes Workers Workers

September .05 680 .02 20 700

October .67 3,550 .40 440 3,990

November 2.51 12,070 .68 750 12,820

December 5.27 18,820 .68 750 19,570

January 8.92 25,110 .68 750 25,860

Early Peak 10.40 27,660 .68 750 28,410

February 8.89 25,060 .68 750 25,810

March 6.35 20,510 .66 750 21,260

April 6.07 19,760 .65 750 20,510

Late Peak 7.54 23,730 .64 750 24,480

May 6.59 21,160 .64 750 21,910

June 3.98 14,120 .64 750 14,870

July .65 5,140 .64 750 5,890


Production figures rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Workers figures rounded to the nearest ten.










TABLE 15

ALL CITRUS. TOTAL HARVESTING LABOR REQUIREMENTS
MANUAL AND MECHANICAL, 1980-81


Manually Harvested
Workers
Period Production Needed

Mil. boxes Workers

September .05 680

October .63 3,190

November 1.95 9,480

December 4.49 17,480

January 7.64 22,900

Early Peak 9.42 25,970

February 7.58 22,800

March 4.34 15,090

April 4.16 14,610

Late Peak 5.83 19,110

May 4.77 16,250

June 2.69 10,640

July .74 5,380


Mechanically

Production

Mil. boxes

.03

.62

1.88

3.88

3.88

3.88

3.88

3.78

3.57

3.53

3.53

2.61

.74


Harvested
Workers
Needed

Workers

20

440

1,330

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,750

2,040

570


Total Number of
Workers Needed

Workers

700

3,630

10,810

20,230

25,650

28,720

25,550

17,840

17,360

21,860

19,000

12,680

5,950


Production figures rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Workers figures rounded to the nearest ten.













TABLE 16

COMPARISON OF PRESENT AND FUTURE LABOR REQUIREMENTS
UNDER ASSUMED MECHANIZATION INTENSITY


Period


September

October

November

December

January

Early Peak

February

March

April

Late Peak

May

June

July


1969-70"



730

3,800

11,980

19,030

22,970

25,340

23,130

18,220

16,660

19,460

17,490

12,340

5,890


Labor Requirements
1975-76

- -Workers- -

700

3,990

12,790

19,570

25,860

28,410

25,810

21,260

20,510

24,480

21,910

14,870

5,890


Based on utilization
Florida.


estimated by Citrus Industrial


Council, Lakeland,


1980-81



700

3,630

10,810

20,230

25,650

28,720

25,550

17,840

L7,360

21,860

L9,000

12,680

5,950


-----------













chapter that the period from 1975 to 1980 would be a critical one for

mechanization. This will be reflected in the labor market as can be

observed by comparing the last two columns in Table 16. In spite of an

increase of almost 20 percent in the size of the crop between the 1975-76

and the 1980-81 seasons, the number of harvesting workers required shows

a significant drop in every period with the exception of the peak months

(January and February) where the differences are negligible and December

which shows a slight increase.

The figures in Table 16 show that the use of labor in citrus har-

vesting will remain highly seasonal in spite of mechanization because of

the seasonal characteristics of production. The need for variable

numbers of workers arises from the fact that building up a mechanical

capacity to take care of the peaks would imply having part of the

equipment and the skilled personnel that operates it idle during most of

the year. A feasible improvement in the pattern of labor usage shown in

Table 16, however, would be to reduce the difference between the number

of workers required during the peak months of January and February and

the other months of the season and to increase labor requirements in

May. It is not difficult to conceive of an arrangement by which the

operators of mechanical harvesters would work longer hours during the

peak months in exchange for time off during the slack period, since

this would insure them of stable employment.

Based on the projected production pattern, it is possible to increase

the number of boxes harvested mechanically by 50 percent during January

and February and by 25 percent in May without increasing the percentage

of mechanically harvested fruit beyond reasonable limits. Furthermore,












the peak weeks might be eliminated if the industry would be willing to

spread mechanical harvesting evenly over the peak months. This may

imply a small sacrifice in quality by picking some of the fruit before

and some after the time when it is regularly picked. With labor

scarcity the industry may have to make that sacrifice for the sake of

harvesting efficiency. Assuming 60 hour work weeks during January and

February, 50 hour work weeks in May, and the even spreading of harvesting

in order to eliminate the peaks, the labor requirements would be as

shown in Table 17. Under these assumptions it can be observed that the

larger 1980-81 crop will, in general, require a few workers less to har-

vest it than the 1969-70 crop. Comparing the 1980-81 requirements with

those of 1975-76, however, a significant reduction in numbers can be

observed. It seems then that the impact of mechanical harvesting on

the total labor requirements will not be felt until 1975 and later.

During the period 1975-1980, which has been assumed here to be the crit-

ical period for mechanization, there will be a reduction in the number

of workers of between 10 and 15 percent. These figures are by no means

indicative of a great impact such as occurred in other industries, the

reason being that the increases in labor productivity brought about by

mechanization will be partially offset by increases in total production.


Skill Requirements

The real impact of mechanization will be reflected on the skill

structure of the labor force. As was pointed out earlier the bulk of

the harvesting labor force used now is made up of relatively unskilled

labor. At the present time, approximately one out of every eight workers

can be classified as being skilled or semi-skilled. These are the crew













TABLE 17

COMPARISON OF PRESENT AND FUTURE LABOR REQUIREMENTS ASSUMING ELIMINATION
OF PEAK WEEKS, A 60 HOUR WORK WEEK DURING JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
AND A 50 HOUR WORK WEEK IN MAY



Labor Requirements
Period
1969-70 1975-76 1980-81

- - Workers - - -

September 730 700 800

October 3,800 3,990 3,630

November 11,980 12,790 10,810

December 19,030 19,570 20,230

January 22,970 25,270 22,310

February 23,130 25,220 22,210

March 18,220 21,260 17,840

April 16,660 20,510 17,360

May 17,490 21,480 16,870

June 12,340 14,870 12,680

July 5,890 5,890 5,950













leaders who must have some supervisory ability and the highlift truck

and tractor operators. By 1980 the required ratio of skilled and semi-

skilled workers to relatively less skilled will increase to one out of

every four. The total labor requirements by skill types for the three

seasons being considered in the study are shown in Table 18. The total

number of skilled and semi-skilled workers is the sum of those required

for manual harvesting as calculated from the equation (I-a) and those

required to operate the mechanical systems.

It can be observed from Table 18 that the effect of mechanization on

the labor requirements will be two-fold. First, there will be a reduction

in the total numbers of unskilled workers needed; the number of unskilled

workers displaced varies according to the month, but is as high as 3,250

workers in the month of February when comparing 1980-81 with 1969-70

and as high as 5,850 workers in the month of May when comparing the

1980-81 with the 1975-76 season. Secondly, there is a substantial

increase in the number of skilled and semi-skilled workers required; the

number of these workers more than doubled in several cases from 1969-70

to 1980-81.

These results imply that in order to avoid a situation where

unemployment exists in one sector of the citrus harvesting labor market

wt.:le there is scarcity of qualified personnel in the other sector of

that market, efforts must be made to upgrade the skills of the workers

in order to facilitate mobility from one sector to the other. What is

encouraging about these results is that if the necessary steps are taken,

no hardship is anticipated in terms of unemployment resulting from

mechanical harvesting. There seems to be reasonable time available






TABLE 18

COMPARISON OF PRESENT AND FUTURE LABOR REQUIREMENTS BY SKILL TYPES
UNDER THE ASSUMPTIONS OF TABLE 24




Number of Workers Required

Month Relatively Less Skilled Skilled or Semi-skilled

1969-70 1975-76 1980-81 1969-70 1975-76 1980-81

-----------------------------Workers--------------------------------

October 3,200 2,980 2,660 600 1,000 970

November 10,440 10,520 8,230 1,540 2,300 2,580

December 16,680 16,490 15,310 2,350 3,080 4,920

January 20,170 21,540 17,150 2,800 3,730 5,160

February 20,310 21,490 17,060 2,820 3,730 5,150

March 15,960 17,990 13,290 2,260 3,270 4,550

April 14,580 17,320 12,770 2,080 3,190 4,590

May 15,310 18,180 12,330 2,180 3,300 4,540

June 10,760 12,330 9,250 1,580 2,540 3,430

July 5,050 4,380 4,600 840 1,510 1,350









65



for the industry and Government to take the necessary steps to trans-

form the structure of the labor force in order to adapt it to the

future needs of the industry.









CHAPTER V

SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS



As the name of this study suggests, its main purpose was to explore

the impact of the adoption of mechanical harvesting equipment on the

demand for labor in the citrus industry. Consequently, most of the

research time was used in studying the economic and physical features of

the different harvesting systems, the state of the art in general and the

possible mechanization patterns. Some assumptions were made about the

future behavior of the other variables that affect employment of har-

vesting labor and the final product was a set of estimates of the future

harvesting labor requirements both total and by skill categories. There

are certain considerations, however, that even though they are not

directly related to the demand side, will help to make better use of the

results of the study and may prove useful for policy purposes. These

considerations will be treated in this chapter under three separate

headings: some supply considerations, opportunities for off-season

employment, and topics for additional research.


Some Supply Considerations

One of the reasons why the adoption of mechanical harvesting methods

has not taken place is that so far the citrus industry has been able

to recruit the necessary harvesting labor among both Florida residents

and migrants from neighboring states. This labor has been available at

wages that, even though they have been increasing rapidly, are still

competitive with what per box costs would be for the mechanical systems.












Considering the anticipated increase in citrus production, however, this

situation is not likely to continue into the future. All agricultural

labor in Florida is becoming scarce. Workers leaving the agricultural

labor force are not being replaced at a comparable rate by people

entering the labor market.

Several factors contributing to this situation are listed in the

Florida DARE Report of 1969-/: the fact that we live in a more affluent

society with more alternatives for people; the broadening of the horizons

of the rural population caused by improved transportation and communi-

cation systems and better opportunities for education and training in

other fields; the widespread efforts by many groups to divert workers

from the migratory stream, and the publicity on undesirable aspects of

agricultural work. Another important factor which affects the supply of

hired agricultural labor is technological change and its consequent labor

displacement effect. Although this may seem paradoxical at first, when

the change has the effect of reducing the span of time in which the

worker can be effectively employed the result may be to cause him to

move out of the agricultural labor force entirely rather.than make him

available for employment in other sectors of agriculture.

The average number of workers on Florida farms has been declining

continuously. During the period 1960-64 an average of 120,000 workers,

including family and hired labor, were working on Florida farms. This



/ DARE Report 1969, University of Florida, Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. October 1969. p. 152.












figure had declined to 116,000 by 1967 and in 1969 there were 112,000

farm workers.- This tendency is expected to continue:

Unless substantial changes occur in present trends
regarding non-agricultural employment opportunities,
total U. S. unemployment or wage levels, the supply
of domestic agricultural workers will probably decline
during the next decade. It is expected that the
number of Florida residents available for agricultural
labor will drop to about 90,000 by 1980. 3

Since the declining tendency of available agricultural labor is

characteristic not only to Florida but is rather widespread across the

nation, and the South in particular, increasing difficulty will be encoun-

tered in recruiting labor from the neighboring states.

The implication of these trends in agricultural labor supply is to

reiterate what was said at the end of Chapter IV: If the assumptions of

this study prove to be right, there will be a minimum of hardship on the

labor force, provided the necessary steps are taken towards the

training of part of the unskilled workers.


Opportunities for Off-season Employment

The results of Chapter IV indicate that even after the industry is

partly mechanized, the harvesting labor requirements are likely to remain

highly seasonal. Traditionally the industry has adjusted its recruiting

practices to the seasonality of production and only a very small minority

of harvest workers enjoy year-round employment within the citrus



Farm Labor Reports, United States Department of Agriculture,
Statistical Reporting Service, Crop Reporting Board, Washington, D. C.
Several issues.

/DARE Report 1969. p. 152.












industry. Since any worker regardless of skill can pick citrus, the

industry has been able to obtain labor on a "hire them when you need

them" basis.

With the advent of mechanization, harvesting concerns will be faced

with a different situation. They will find themselves competing for

skilled labor; the operator of a mechanical harvester must be able not

only to operate specialty equipment but he also needs to be able to do

some trouble shooting, minor repairing and maintenance on the machine.

Workers meeting these qualifications will not be easy to find for

temporary jobs. Not only will the skilled workers be demanding some

employment security but the producers and owners of the machinery will

find it more desirable to trust expensive equipment to a permanent

employee. In other words, the industry will find it both desirable and

necessary to provide year-round employment for the operators of mechanical

harvesting equipment.

The only possibilities for off-season employment within the industry

would be in production activities, or in new activities associated with

mechanization. The number of workers employed in production activities

during the 1968-69 season was shown in Figure 1, page 8, by the broken

line labeled "non-harvest". It varied from 7,029 workers during the

second week of March to 9,446 workers during the last week of August, a

difference of 2,417 workers. With the exception of the years following

a freeze, in which extra labor is required for replacement of trees and

other extraordinary activities, the figures for "non-harvest" workers

have not shown any significant variation over the last ten years in

spite of the increase in planting. Even if future increases in planting











were to increase the use of non-harvest labor, the increase should be

expected to be small due to the off-setting effect of improved technology

in production practices, and the difference between the trough and the

peak would remain in the same order of magnitude. Since the months of

low employment in non-harvest activities coincide with the peak employment

months in harvesting and vice versa, it is evident that some labor can be

and presently is transferred from one activity to the other.

The adoption of mechanical harvesting will create additional employ-

ment opportunities in the industry. Qualified personnel will be required

for the repair and maintenance of the equipment. Although part of these

activities will have to be carried on during the harvesting season, it

is reasonable to assume that major overhauls and preventive care will be

done during the off-season whenever possible. With over 2,000 different

machines, not counting trucks, operating by 1980, there will be oppor-

tunities for employment for about 400 to 500 workers in repair and

maintenance activities during the off-season. Additional employment

opportunities will exist during the off-season due to the necessity of

conditioning the trees for mechanical harvesting. Trees will have to be

hedged and skirted, and/or openings must be made in their canopies in

order to permit the operation of the machinery. So far, the only tree

conditioning that has been done was in connection with one of the experi-

mental systems; the operation involved 3 minimum wage workers, one

foreman and one hand saw. That operation could be almost completely

mechanized and on a commercial basis the labor requirements could be

reduced to the point where one man could take care of about 5 trees per

hour or more as compared to 2 in the above mentioned case. Based on a












total of around 30 million trees to be harvested mechanically by 1980,

and assuming that each tree has to be conditioned every five years, and

that most of the conditioning is done in the 20 weeks when harvesting

activities are lower, then, around 1,500 workers would be needed during

the off-season.

Between production, repair and maintenance of machinery and tree

conditioning activities it seems that there will be enough off-season

job opportunities for the industry to be able to offer year-round employ-

ment to its skilled operators without any financial strain.

Unskilled workers have traditionally been hired on a seasonal basis.

Many of them are brought from their homes in the neighboring southern

states during the peak months of the season and returned when work oppor-

tunities become scarce. Many others are part of the migratory current

that originates in Florida and follows the eastern seaboard as far north

as New Hampshire. Still others are able to find employment in other

activities within the state. From a welfare standpoint it would be

desirable to be able to assure all workers year-round employment. This

would not only offer them the opportunity to improve their standard of

living but would provide the industry with a more productive and reliable

labor force. It would be beyond the scope of this study to undertake the

task of exploring in detail the possibilities for off-season employment

for all workers. This would involve not only an interdisciplinary study

with many of the social sciences involved, but it would also imply a

study at the county level of all the activities and industries that could

offer employment during the summer months. That difficulties will be

encountered in providing year-round employment for all citrus workers,












however, can be observed in the employment indexes illustrated in Figures

6 and 7. The other important crops in the state, from the standpoint of

labor use, exhibit seasonal characteristics very similar to those of

citrus. Non-agricultural employment, illustrated in Figure 7 does not

seem to offer better alternatives with the-exception of contract con-

struction. Although it is true that the groups shown correspond to a

very broad classification and that certain sub-sectors within a group

may present different characteristics, it is also true that there is much

more labor mobility within a group than between groups.


Topics for Additional Research

This study was intended to be, and is in fact, of a partial nature.

First it is partial in the sense that it looks only at the demand side;

it is also partial since citrus employs only about one third of the total

hired agricultural labor force. As such it should be considered as a

starting point toward more comprehensive research in the agricultural

labor field.

One of the areas in which work is needed is in estimating the total

future labor requirements for Florida agriculture. Technological changes

are taking place in most other crops, particularly vegetables and sugar

cane which will cause changes in per unit labor requirements, while

changes in total requirements will take place due to changes in the

levels of activities. Research along these lines should answer, in a

state-wide all-crops fashion, the same questions that this study answers

for the citrus industry.

Research on the impact of technology on labor requirements is needed

not only on a state basis but on a regional basis as well. Because of








FIGURE 6
FLORIDA MONTHLY EMPLOYMENT INDEXES FOR SELECTED CROPS
Mixed
Citrus Vegetables

100




1 / 50


J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sugar Cane t


J F M A M J J A S T N
._.-- Tomatoes


J F M A M J J A S O N D J F A MJJASO N
Strawberries Other


J F M A M J J A S O N


SOURCE: 1968 Annual Farm Labor Report, Florida Industrial Commission,
Tallahassee, Florida.


J F M A M J J A S N D










FIGURE 7

FLORIDA. MONTHLY NONAGRICULTURAL EMPLOYMENT INDEXES
BY INDUSTRIAL GROUPS (5-yr. Average)


Manufacturing


Mining


105


100


95


J F M A M J J AS N D


105


100


Contract Construction


105


100


95







J F M A M J J AS ND


Transportation,.Communi-
cations, and
Public Utility


J F M A M J J A S O N D


J F M A M J J A S O N D










FIGURE 7 (Cont.)


Services
(Miscellaneous)


105


100


95


J F M A M J J A S O N D


J F M A M J J A S O N D


Government


J F M A M J J A S 0 N D
JFMAMJJASOND




SOURCE: Florida Employment Statistics, Florida Industrial Commission,
Tallahassee, Florida.


Trade













its nature, the availability of migrant workers is dependent not only on

the conditions in Florida, but also on any developments that take place

in the eastern seaboard states from Georgia to New Hampshire. Any tech-

nological labor saving improvement that takes place in those states will

have an impact on the availability of migrant workers to Florida agri-

culture and vice versa.

More sociological and psychological research concerning the charac-

teristics of workers and their motivation would improve the knowledge

necessary to estimating the changes that will take place in the size of

the available agricultural labor force. The future supply of agricultural

labor will in a way affect the demand for that labor, the reason being

that employers have to adjust their activities to the availability of

inputs. If a shortage of labor becomes persistent the tendency will be

toward structuring agriculture in favor of those activities that can be

more readily mechanized. Those activities where labor saving techniques

are difficult to adopt will tend to disappear. Such may be the case with

strawberries, and for that matter, with fresh citrus. Changes in the

structure of agriculture will in turn bring about changes in the demand

for labor. Knowledge of future total demand and local supply will also

assist in making decisions concerning policy toward migrant labor.

Also needed is research on the opportunities for off-season employ-

ment for the unskilled workers. Whether it would be possible for them

to find work given their present skills is a question that needs to be

answered. What would be the possibility of upgrading their skills, what

would be the optimum way of doing it and what it would cost also need

to be investigated. Finally, whether the workers would be willing to








77



return to the citrus harvesting activities after working during the

off-season in activities that require higher skills is something that

should be inquired. As more opportunities are opened outside agri-

culture, and more workers strive for better working and living conditions,

the problem of finding year-round employment for its workers may very

well turn out to be the most crucial one that the citrus industry will

have to face in the future.







































APPENDIX













APPENDIX TABLE 1

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EQUIPMENT


Systems Initial Useful Salvage Fuel
and Units Cost Life Value Consumption
Equipment C t S f


I. Air Blast

1. Tractors

2. Blower

3. Catchers

4. Highlift
truck

II. Shaker
Catching-frame

1. Tractors

2. Catchers

3. Highlift
truck

III. Shaker-Windrower-
pick-up

1. Tractors

2. Shakers

3. Windrower

4. Pick-up
machine

5. Highlift
truck


dollars

67,000

10,000


50,000


1 7,000


1/2


37,189

10,760

22,929


3,500


94,000

30,000

25,000

2,000


1 30,000


years dollars



10 2,500


5



5





10

5


5





10

5

4


5


5,000



2,000





2,690

2,293


1,000





7,500

2,500

200


3,000


gallons/day



30

320





15





41.2


120


1 7,000 5


2,000 15



















APPENDIX TABLE 1 (Extended)
Price of Harvesting Harvesting Relative
Fuel Rate Efficiency Quality of
P Picked Fruit


Percent


In Between












Highest










Lowest


$/gal.


trees/hr.


29.5


.135

.235


.235


15.0


.135


.235


43.0


.135


.235


.235













APPENDIX TABLE 2

LABOR AND NON-LABOR COSTS OF OPERATING DIFFERENT MECHANICAL SYSTEMS



Cost Item Depreciation Interest, Taxes Repair Lubricants
Housing and and
Insurance Maintenance
System D I R L

- - dollars per year - - -


Air Blast 10,750 2,875 10,050 1,676


Shaker and
Catching Frame 5,434 1,561 5,578 148


Shaker-Windrower
Pick-up 13,600 3,940 14,100 515



-Based on 135 8-hour days of operation per harvesting season.

2/Based on wages listed in Appendix Table 3.
- Based on wages listed in Appendix Table 3.




















APPENDIX TABLE 2 (Extended)
Annual Non-Labor Costs Labor Costs
Fuel Total Per Hour- Total Per Hour/
Consumption 2/
F Wl2

-- - dollars $/hr. dollars $/hr.
(yr.) (yr.)

11,175 36,526 33.82 11,722 10.85



989 13,710 12.69 7,640 7.07



3,425 35,580 32.94 26,355 24.40
















APPENDIX TABLE 3

TYPICAL WAGES USED IN COMPUTING LABOR COSTS*


Class


Non-skilled worker

Tractor driver

Blower operator

Highlift truck driver

Tractor driver-shaker operator

Pick-up machine operator

Windrower operator


dollars per hour

1.30

1.65

1.65

2.50

2.50

2.50


2.50


*At prevailing 1969 wage levels.


Wage









BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Agricultural Engineers
Yearbook, Fourteenth Edition, 1967.

2. Camp, A. F., Homer E. Hooks and L. G. MacDowell. Citrus Industry
of Florida, Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 2, R-July 1961.

3. Cargill, B. F. and G. E. Rossmiller (ed.). Fruit and Vegetable
Harvesting Mechanization Technological Implications, RMC Report
No. 16, Rural Manpower Center, Michigan State University, East
Lansing, 1969.

4. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 1969 DARE Report,
University of Florida, Gainesville, October 1969.

5. 1965 DARE Report, University of Florida, Gainesville,
1965.

6. Davis, Velmar W. Economic Implications of Future Horticultural and
Engineering Technology in the Production of Fruits and Vegetables,
paper presented in the Colloquium on Agricultural Manpower Impli-
cations in a Changing Fruit and Vegetable Industry, Michigan State
University, July 21-23, 1969.

7. Florida Canners Association. Statistical Summary, 1967-68, Winter
Haven, Florida, 1969.

8. Florida Citrus Mutual. Annual Statistical Report, 1967-68 Season,
Compiled by Statistics and Economics Division.

9. Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. Commercial Citrus
Inventory, Orlando, September 1968.

10. Florida Department of Agriculture. Citrus Summary 1968, Florida
Agricultural Stat.istics, Tallahassee, 1968.

11. Florida Industrial Commission. Annual Farm Labor Report 1968,
Tallahassee, Florida, June 1969.

12. Florida Employment Statistics, Monthly Report
Tallahassee, Florida.

13. _. Florida 1967 Farm Labor Report, Tallahassee, Florida.

14. Survey of Citrus Harvest in Florida, 1966-67,
Tallahassee, Florida.










BIBLIOGRAPHY (Continued)

15. Survey of Citrus Harvest in Florida, 1967-68,
Tallahassee, Florida.

16. Hall, Carl W. Crystal Balling The Engineering Prospects, paper
presented in the Colloquium on Agricultural Manpower Implications
in a Changing Fruit and Vegetable Industry, Michigan State Uni-
versity, July 21-23, 1969.

17. Maddox, James G. The Advancing South, Manpower Prospects and
Problems, New York: The Twentieth Century Fund, 1967.

18. Polopolus, Leo and W. B. Lester. Estimation of Florida's Orange
Production Over the Next Fifteen Years by the Random Sampling
Technique, Economic Research Department, Florida Citrus Commission
University of Florida, Gainesville, September 1968. (14 pages,
unpublished).

19. Polopolus, Leo. A Mathematical Determination of Weekly Harvest
Labor Requirements for Florida Citrus, Economic Research Depart-
ment, Florida Citrus Commission, University of Florida, August
1968, 36 pages. (Unpublished).

20. Spurlock, A. H. Costs of Picking and Hauling Florida Citrus Fruits,
1950-1968, Annual.

21. U. S. Department of Labor. Report of Employment 1963-68, Wash-
ington, D. C.

22. Whitney, Jody. Importance of Citrus Harvesting Mechanization,
Citrus Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida. (Unpublished).




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