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 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Methodology
 Practices and methods of handling...
 Costs per unit for packing
 The effect of volume upon...
 Grading efficiency






Group Title: Agricultural economics mimeo report - Department of agricultural economics. Florida agricultural experiment station - no. 59-7
Title: Packing costs and grading efficiency in Florida and Alabama potato packinghouses
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072004/00001
 Material Information
Title: Packing costs and grading efficiency in Florida and Alabama potato packinghouses
Series Title: Agricultural economics mimeo report - Department of agricultural economics. Florida agricultural experiment station ; 59-7
Physical Description: 37 p. : ; .. cm.
Language: English
Creator: Capel, G.L
Greene, R.E.L
Kushman, L.J
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1958
 Subjects
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by G.L. Capel, R.E.L. Greene and L.J. Kushman.
Funding: Agricultural economics mimeo report - Department of agricultural economics. Florida agricultural experiment station ; 59-7
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072004
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 67671262
clc - 000489573

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Methodology
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Practices and methods of handling potatoes
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Costs per unit for packing
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    The effect of volume upon costs
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Grading efficiency
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
Full Text
/ December, 1958


Agricultural Economics Mimeo Report No. 59-7


6Zwawa4


by

George L. Capel, R. E. L. Greene
and L. J. Kushman









Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


in cooperation with


Marketing Research Division
S Agricultural Marketing Service
SStates Department of Agriculture


4;Vaa/










CONTENTS



Page
PREFACE . . . . . ii

SUMMARY . . . . . iii

INTRODUCTION. . . . . . 1

METHOD OF STUDY .. .. . . .. .. 2
TheSample* 2
The Sample. . . .. 2
Collection and Allocation of Cost Data. . . 3
Method for Analyzing Grading Efficiency . 6

PRACTICES AND METHODS OF HANDLING POTATOES. ... ... . 7

Field Containers. .... . . 7
Storage . . o 8
Washing, Waxing, and Drying . . .. 8
S::ing. . . 9
Gra:-.ng . . . . 9
Bagging . . . .. . 10
Hadling Potatoes after Bagging. . 10
Packing Consumer Bags... . ....... 11

COSTS PER UNIT FOR PACKING. . . . 12

South Florida Firms . . . 12
The Hastings Area Firms . . .. 4
Alabama Firms .. . . . 18
Comparison of Costs for the Three Areas. . .. 20
Costs for Handling Size B and No. 2 Potatoes. . . 20

THE EFFECT C VOLUME UPON COSTS . . . 23

Effect of Total Season Volume upon Costs. . 24
Effect of Rate of Output per Hour upon Costs. . . 24
Evaluations of the Two Cost-size Comparisons. . . 26

GRADING EFFICIENCY. . . . . . 29

Analysis of Grading by Firms, . . . 32





PREFACE

Potato packers are frequently confronted with changing methods,

equipment, and containers for handling, packing, and shipping potatoes.

While these changes are often limited to one operation in the packinghouse,

they usually affect others. The packinghouse operator must assess these

innovations to determine those which are economically desirable for his

particular operation, taking into consideration the alternatives and the

possible effects upon all segments of his packing operation. Important

recent developments which affect Florida and Alabama potato shippers are

(1) bulk hauling of potatoes from the field to the packinghouse resulting

from the use of mechanical harvesters, (2) flumes for initial handling of

potatoes at the packinghouse, (3) scales which allow simultaneous filling

and weighing of 50- and 100-pound bags, (L) the adaptation of conveyor belts

for inplant transportation of packed potatoes, and (5) the interest in

packing potatoes in consumer-size packs (mainly 10-pound bags) at the

shipping point.

The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural

Marketing Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture undertook a stucd

of potato packing in the Southeast to provide information to aid packers in

making decisions about these changes. This project is a continuation and

extension of earlier regional work on factors affecting market quality and

the use of mechanical harvesters. It deals with problems in packinghouse

management and is specifically aimed at determining: (1) the most efficient

methods of performing the various packinghouse operations, (2) the most
efficient combinations of labor and equipment, (3) the efficiency of grading,

and (4) the levels of costs according to type of container. This report

presents data on average costs for the season for each type of container and

the basic data on grading. Subsequent reports will relate to specific

packinghouse operations.





SUMMABY


The cost of packing potatoes in 50-pound bags for 8 firms in South

Florida in 1956 averaged 25.63 cents per bag or 51.26 cents per hundredweight.

For 10 firms in the Hastings area, the costs per hundredweight in 1956 for

50- and 100-pound bags were 45.65 and 36.43 cents, respectively. For 5 firms

in Alabama, costs per hundredweight in 1957 averaged 54.94 and 43.*9 cents

for 50- and 100-pound bags, respectively.

In this study costs were divided into three general groups as follows
materials, labor, and other. The largest group of costs was materials--

chiefly bags--in all three areas, except for packing 100-pound bags in Alabama

where labor costs were largest. Firms in the South Florida area packed most

of their U. S. No. 1 Size A potatoes in 50-pound paper bags but a few houses

used 50-pound burlap bags. The 50-pound paper bags cost about 8 cents each.

The 50-pound burlap bags were about 10 cents each in the South Florida area,

11 cents in the Hastings area, and 12 cents.in Alabama. Packers in both the

Hastings and Alabama areas paid about 15 cents each for 100-pound burlap bags.

labor costs averaged 8.3 cents per 50-pound bag (16.6 cents per
hundredweight) in South Florida. Cost of labor to bag, weigh, sew, hand truck,

and load accounted for about half of this total* Grading labor cost about

1.5 cents per bag. Labor costs per hundredweight in the Hastings area were

14.28 cents and 12.05 cents for 50- and 100-pound bags, respectively. As in

South Florida, cost of labor to bag weigh, sew, hand truck, and load accounted

for about half of each total. Grading labor was 2.85 cents per hundredweight

for 50-pound bags and 2.46 cents for 100-pound bags. Labor costs in Alabama

were 22.52 cents per hundredweight for 50-pound bags and 21.40 cents for

100-pound bags. Labor to bag, weigh, sew, hand truck, and load made up
slightly over half the total. The cost for grading averaged 6.3l cents and

6.32 cents per hundredweight for 50- and 100-pound bags, respectively. The

iii







costs of labor to grade and to bag, weigh, sew, hand truck, and load were

markedly higher for B's and 2's than for A's, except for the South Florida

area,

The total for the items grouped as other costs was higher (on a hundred-

weight basis) for the South Florida firms, averaging 114.31 cents (or 7.16 cents

per 50-pound bag). For the Hastings area, these costs were about 9 cents per

hundredweight and about 5 cents for the Alabama firms. The largest items in

this group were depreciation and repairs. These two items made up half or

more of other costs in all three areas.

In packinghouses in Florida there appeared to be some relationship

between packing costs and both the annual volume packed and rate of output,

Packinghouses with lower rates of output and lower total season volume tended

to have higher costs.

Studies of grading efficiency showed there were area characteristics

in the type of defective potatoes arriving at the grading tables during the

years these studies were made. South Florida and Alabama firms had relatively

more potatoes defective because of greening and shape and appearance. These

are defects more prevalent in red potatoes than in white, South Florida and

Alabama produce a preponderance of red varieties. The Hastings area was high

relative to the other two areas in potatoes defective because of wireworm.

There was a wide variation in performance in removing the defective potatoes

both between areas and also among packinghouses within areas. In nearly all

cases, however, many potatoes were removed from the U. S. No. 1 grade which

met the requirements of the grade.








PACKING COSTS AND GRADING EFFICIENCY IN FLORIDA
AND ALABAMA POTATO PACKINGHOUSES

by
George L. Capel, R. E. L Greene,
and L. J. Kushman'


INTRODUCTION

Cost data are useful to business firms in many ways. They show segments

of operation that are more costly and thereby indicate the areas where effort

to reduce costs will yield the largest returns. Costs for groups of firms

are useful to each to locate specific segments of their individual operations

which are high relative to the group. Of course, high costs do not necessarily

represent inefficiency. Managers can purposely perform a more costly job with

the expectation of receiving higher returns. Higher grading costs, for example,

are justified if the firm receives sufficiently higher prices.

Potato packers have special problems in controlling costs. Their

season is short, limiting the time available for making adjustments in organi-

zation and observing the effects. The problems of recruiting and holding a

labor force often preclude experimenting to determine the least-cost organizaa

tion. Packers confronted with this set of problems stand to benefit from a

comparison of their individual costs with those of others operating under

similar conditions. Such a comparison allows a firm to determine the relative

level of its costs for all operations. This report is designed to provide


1Agricultural Economist, Market Organization and Costs Branch,
Marketing Research Division, AMS, USDA; Agricultural Economist, Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station; and Physiologist, Biological Sciences
Branch, Marketing Research Division, AMS, USDA, respectively.









such information to shippers cooperating in the study and to others for the

purpose of comparing their costs with the group for which costs were summarized

Specifically, the purposes of this report are:

(1) To provide an estimate of the cost of packing potatoes in Florida
and Alabama;

(2) To show the variation in costs among different firms;

(3) To provide a basis upon which packers can compare their costs
with a number of others operating under similar conditions; and

(L) To determine how grad-.ng controls quality through removing
defective potatoes. from existing lots.


METHOD OF STUDY
This report is a part of a larger study of cost and efficiency in the

handling of potatoes in Florida and Alabama, in which data have been collected

from a sample of firms in the two states. Data. on costs were obtained from

the records of the firms for ths years studied. Direct observations were made

of the use of labor and equipment and the efficiency of grading in the sample

houses at different periods during the packing season. This report presents

the analysis of the cost data obtained. Subsequent reports will be prepared

to give costs analyses for specific handling operations, based on the direct

observations of the use of labor and equipment,


The Sample
Ten potato packinghouses in South Florida, 10 in the Hastings area,

and 6 in Alabama were selected for study. Usable cost data were obtained from

8 firms in South Florida, 10 in the Hastings area, and 5 in Alabama. The

efficiency of grading potatoes was measured in 8 houses in South Florida,

8 in the Hastings area, and 5 in Alabama,

The sample was selected primarily for the study of handling methods.









The primary considerations used in selecting sample firms were the volume of

potatoes packed and handling methods used. The sample was not necessarily

representative of all houses in the area.and consequently, the costs presented

in this report cannot be safely generalized to represent the areas. However,

they are useful in showing the approximate level of costs and variation in

costs among firms and among cost items. It is estimated that the sample

selected from the two areas in Florida constituted about O0 percent of all

packinghouses operating in those areas. The proportion for Alabama was some-

what lower.


Collection and Allocation of Cost Data

The cost data used in this study were for the 1956 season for the

firms in Florida and the 1957 season for the Alabama firms. Data were obtained

on various items of costs and also on the volume of potatoes packed according

to grade and size of container, the number of hours the plant operated, and

the total hours of labor used in the season and the original and depreciated

value of the physical assets. The cost data were grouped as materials, labor,

and other. All items of cost were allocated to each grade and type of container

packed by the firm, according to certkan criteria as indicated in the following

discussion.

Materials.--The costs of (1) fuel; (2) wax; (3) bags; (4) twine, tags,

wire, and needles; and (5) pads and paper made up the total materials cost.

Fuel and wax costs were usually found in a summarized total for the season

and were allocated to each grade and size of bag, except creamers, in propor-

tion to volume packed. Bag costs were computed by multiplying the prices paid

for bags times the total pack, increased by a standard percentage for wastage.

Theirmt' records could not be relied upon for bag costs because of the lack









or inadequacy of inventory records. Bag costs were charged directly to

grades and containers as appropriate.

The costs of twine, tags, wire, and needles were taken from records,

supplemented in some cases by estimates of firm personnel. The costs of twine

were charged directly to all grades and burlap containers, except that the

charge to 0O-pound bags was 50 percent higher than to 100-pound bags. Tags

were charged directly to each grade and container using tags. Needle costs

were charged to burlap bags in the same way as twine costs. Wire costs were

charged directly to paper bags in relation to volume. The costs for pads and

paper were usually computed from the firm's record of prices paid times an

estimate of use based on total shipments plus a standard wastage factor. Their

costs were charged proportionately by volume to each grade and container.

Labor.--The total labor cost was usually available from the records

of the firms. It was necessary to make all or part of the divisions into the

following subclassifications: (1) foreman, (2) receiving, (3) grading, (4) bag,

hand truck, and load, (5) haul to transportation, and (6) miscellaneous. The

direct observation of labor used provided bases for dividing the total labor

cost into the subc3assifications. Labor costs were allocated in various ways

depending upon the specific item. The costs for foreman labor, labor to

receive and dump, haul to transportation, and miscellaneous were allocated

to grades in proportion to volume.

The costs of grading and of bag, hand truckand load were charged

directly to grades according to the number of workers performing the job for

each grade. For example, if a packinghouse used 8 graders on the main grading

table and 1 each on Bas and 2ts, then 80 percent of the grading 3abor was

charged to A's and 10 percent each to B's and 2's. The same procedure was

used for the costs of labor to bag, hand truck, and load. In cases where









separate grading tables were not used for B's or 2's, the grading labor was

allocated in proportion to volume,

All labor costs were allocated between 100- and 50-pound containers

in proportion to the rate of output of the two. In the Hastings area, the

ratio of output of 100- to 50-pound bags was about 1.2 to 2. This ratio was

determined for each firm and labor costs were then allocated between size of

containers in proportion to volume, adjusted by the ratio.

The haul to transportation is not solely a labor cost. It covered

the hauling of packed potatoes from the packinghouse to the railroad siding,

and, obviously, was for those packinghouses not located on a rail siding but

shipping a portion of their volume by rail. This charge was included with

labor because: (a) a large part of the total was labor, and (b) firms which

operate in this way were generally able to save on other labor costs--loading

costs may be expected to be lower if only trucks are loaded,

Other.--The costs of telephone and telegraph, office, power and water,

repairs, insurance, taxes, depreciation, and miscellaneous items were grouped

as other costs. They were determined directly from the records of the firms,

supplemented by some estimates; repairs, especially, required estimates. All

other costs, except power and water, were charged to all grades and containers

in proportion to the total volume of each. Power and water costs were charged

to grades and containers on the same basis as labor costs.

Three items of costs closely associated with packing are not included

in this report. These are: selling, field containers, and extra potatoes

used in smaller containers. Selling costs may be separated fram packinghouse

costs, although they are not entirely unrelated. Selling considerations may

affect packinghouse costs. The cost of field containers may be properly

charged either to the field or packinghouse operation. They were omitted in









this study because they have been adequately treated in other research.2 Costs

of extra potatoes paced in containers were not included because they must be

computed on the basis of a market price and, therefore, are more logically

done at the time of sale. Usually two 50-pound bags included 2 to 4 more

pounds of potatoes than one 100-pound bag. Therefore, to cover total cost,

the price differential of two 50-pound bags over one 100-pound bag should be

more than the extra packing and handling costs*


Method for Analyzing Grading Efficiency3
To determine how potatoes were sorted at the main grading table in
each house, samples were collected and examined in the following manner: in

houses where the presumably defective Size A potatoes were placed in one

channel and later re-sorted to remove culls, twelve 25-pound samples were

collected; four from each side of the grading table as the potatoes left the

grading table (U.S. No.:l) and four from those sorted out (pickouts), In

houses' where culls were removed directly (although some regrading may have

been given the other presumably defective potatoes removed) two additional
25-pound samples were taken from the culls.

The potatoes in each sample were classified according to the kind and
seriousness of external defects. Such defects as bruises, greening (sometimes
called sunburn), wireworms, grass damage, scald spots (due to exposure or

dessication), various tuber rots, etc. were determined. A defect that did not


2For example, see: "An Analysis of Quality and Cost of Harvesting
and Handling Potatoes with Mechanical Equipment," by R. E. L. Greene,
L. J. Kushman, and H. C. Spurlock, TBulletin manuscript, Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station.
3The term "grading efficiency" as used in this report, refers to the
extent to which graders were accurate in performing their job. Graders make
two kinds of errors (a) missing below-grade potatoes and (b) removing
- taoosftt -whicbh-oan properly remain in the grade.









exceed U. S. No. 1 grade tolerance was considered minor, major if it exceeded

U. S, No. 1 grade tolerances, and serious when it exceeded U. S. No. 2 grade

tolerances. From a practical point of view, major defects caused more than

5 percent waste and serious defects more than 10 percent. In case of doubt,

the percentage of waste was checked by cutting out the defect and checking the

result with a mall scale. All potatoes affected with rot were classed as

seriously defective regardless of the extent of the decay. The classification

of certain items such as growth cracks and shape defects which were necessarily

based on judgement, was made as nearly as possible the same as was done by the

Federal-state Inspection Service.

By timing the sampling operation to coincide with the grading of a

field load, bin or similar quantity of potatoes and recording the length of

time required to grade the potatoes and the grade out, it was possible to

determine the amount graded in a unit of time. An estimate of the composition

of the Size A potatoes before and after grading was then possible by combining

sample and grade-out lots. These data gave an indication of grading efficiency.


PRACTICES AND METHODS CO HANDIIN POTATOES

Practices and methods used in handling potatoes in packinghouses have

a considerable effect upon costs. For this reason it is desirable to describe

handling methods before discussing the composition of costs by firms and areas.

While there are variations among firms in an area, there are area character'-

istics. Therefore, a brief description will be given of general methods with

the area differences specified.


Field Containers

In the three areas studied, potatoes are handled from the field to the

a..._ jse. in bags, in boxes, and in bulk. In South Florida, the field box









is the predominant field container. In this sample, field boxes were used in

five of the South Florida houses, field bags in two, and the bulk system in

one. In the Hastings area, all of the potatoes in seven packinghouses were

hauled in bags; in two houses, a combination of bulk and field bags; and in

another, the bulk system was used exclusively. In Alabama, the use of field

bags predominated. Of the five houses from which data were obtained, bags

were used for most of the potatoes handled. In one house, a portion of the

potatoes were hauled in bulk.



Some moans of temporary storage is normally provided at the packing-

house, with the potatoes stored in the field containers or in bins. In South

Florida, all the storage observed was in field boxes. In the Hastings area,

potatoes were stored both in bags and in bins. Potatoes stored in bags were

set on the packinghouse floor in partitioned areas called racks. Those stored

in bins were dumped directly into the bins from the field truck. Little

storage of potatoes was done in Alabama. In general, the greater the provision

for storing the potatoes at the packinghouse, the less time trucks were required

to wait to unload*


Washing, Waxing, and Drying

Potatoes were washed in each house studied in all three areas. A spray-

type washer equipped with roller brushes and a section for drip drying or

absorbent rollers was standard.

Only red-skinned potatoes were waxed. Since red varieties predominate

in South Florida and Alabama, it was in these areas that waxing was observed.

With the exception of the Fort Myers area, nearly all of the red potatoes

packed in the South Florida area were waxed. There were only a few instances









of waxing in Alabama, however.

The potatoes were run through mechanical dryers after washing or

waxing in many packinghouses in South Florida and the Hastings area. The

driers supplied heat, supplemented by fans in some cases. In South Florida,

six of the eight firms in the sample used driers. In the Hastings area, six

of the ten firns dried potatoes. No hot-air driers were used in the houses

studied in Alabama.



Potatoes were usually separated into three or four size groups by

mechanical sizers. The so-called creamer and "peewee" size potatoes were

removed immediately before or after washing. Size B potatoes were usually

taken out immediately ahead of the main grading operation or, infrequently,

immediately after the main grading operation. Potatoes not passing through

various sizing chains were classed as Size A.


Grading
Except as noted below, all the houses in the sample used the standard

method of one main grading table for Size A potatoes, one small belt for Size B,

and another small belt for regrading those picked out of the Size A potatoes

at the main grading table. The U. S. No. 1 Size A potatoes remained on the

main line4 The potatoes removed made various inferior grades (U. S. No. 2,

commercials, utilities, and culls) depending upon how they were regraded to

remove culls.


4Thsse did not always meat U. S. #1 specifications but it was the
intent of the grader that they would unless a lot was extremely poor in
quality.









In some packinghouses in South Florida, pickers at the main grading

table separated the poorer culls from those picked out by placing them directly

into boxes by their sides. In one packinghouse in South Florida culls were

removed at a special grading table preceding the main grading table, and in

another house the B sizing operation was performed after the potatoes had

passed over the main grading table instead of before as in other houses sampled.

Pickers in one packinghouse in South Florida and another in the Hastings area

performed all grading operations at the main table by placing salable potatoes

(No. 2's, etc.) on one conveyor and cull potatoes on another.


1g Sin
Potatoss were shipped from the three areas in 10- and 50-pound paper

bags or in 50- and 100-pound burlap bags. Most of the potatoes from South

Florida were packed in 50-pound paper bags but a few houses used burlap. The

use of 50-pound paper bags was confined almost exclusively to this area, Two

of the houses using burlap bags were not equipped to dry the potatoes with hot

air after washing. The 50- and 100-pound burlap bag was used almost exclusively

for bagging potatoes in the Hastings and Alabama areas except for houses packing

potatoes in 10-pound consumer bags. After the bags were filled, or as they

were filled, their weight was checked. The tops of the bags were securely

closed by hand sewing, in the case of 50- and 100-pound burlap bags, or by hand

wire tieirg, in the case of 50-pound paper bags. A hand wire twisting machine

was used for the wire tieing process.


Handling Potatoes after Bagging

The bags of potatoes ready for shipping were handled from the packing

line to the rail car or motor truck on hand trucks or conveyor belt systems,

but hand trucking was the predominant method. Conveyor systems ranged from









those set up to handle the potatoes from the packing line all the way to the

load to those which handled the potatoes for only a portion of this distance,

In South Florida, six of the eight firms for which data are included used

hand trucks exclusively; five of ten at Hastings; and four of five in Alabama.

Of the two in South Florida not using hand trucks exclusively, one had a

conveyor system which required no hand trucking of Size A potatoes and one

used a conveyor system for part of the operation. Of the five firms in the

Hastings area using conveyor systems, three were not located on rail sidings and

consequently, loaded all the potatoes directly into trucks. Two firms in the

Hastings area had mare extensive conveyor systems which permitted loading

trucks and rail cars. In the Alabama area, one firm used a conveyor system

c~nbined with the use of hand trucks. In all houses in each area conveyor

systems were used primarily to handle U. S. No. 1 Size A potatoes. Those of

lower grades and smaller sizes were usually handled exclusively on hand trucks.


Packing Consumer Bags
Four houses in the sample were equipped to pack consumer bags. This

was done on special equipment of several types. The usual practice was to

divert a certain volume from the U. S. No. 1 Size A bagging station to the

10-pound bagging equipment. In this sample, two in the Hastings area packed

a small volume of 10-pound bags and two packinghouses in Alabama packed a

relatively large volume. This report does not include costs for 10-pound bags

because a detailed analysis of this operation will be published in a subsequent

report. However, in the analysis of the data pertaining to 50- and 100-pound

bags, costs were allocated to the 10-pound operation to make those for the

other containers more accurate.









COSTS PER UNIT FOR PACKING

South Florida Firms

The average total cost for packing Size A potatoes in 50-pound bags

for the 8 firms in South Florida was 25.63 cents (Table 1).5 Costs ranged

from a low of 20,08 cents for Firm 2 to a high of 33.4? cents for Firm 3.

If hauling charge was omitted from the costs for Firm 3, Firm 8 with a cost

of 30091 cents was the highest. The firm with the second lowest costs was

Firm 7 with costs of 22.43 cents per bag,

The largest item of materials costs for houses in South Florida was
cost of bags, which averaged 8.37 cents. This figure included an average for

both 50-pound burlap and paper bags* Burlap bags were more expensive,

averaging about 10 cents each. The second largest item of material cost was

wax which amounted to 083. cent per bag. Pads and paper for use in loading

trucks and rail cars cost 0.45 cent per bag.

Labor cost 8,3 cents per bag, the largest item of which was for bagging,

hand trucking, and loading ihich averaged 3.79 cents per bag. Grading labor

was the next largest item. Total labor costs ranged from 5.13 cents to nearly

15 cents per bag. The high cost was for Firm 3 and included a hauling charge

of over .cents_as.the packed bags were hauled about 10 miles to be loaded on
- railroad cars. The next highest labor cost was Firm 8 which had costs of 13,31

cents per bag. The variation in bag, hand truck, and load labor was from a

low of 2.84 cents to over 7 cents per bag. Firms which placed a higher

proportion of their packed output into temporary storage had higher costs for

5The standard unit of output in packinghouses in South Florida is the
50-pound bag. Consequently, the data presented in this section and in Table 1
are expressed in terms of 50-pound units. In the Hastings area and Alabama,
the standard unit is the 100-pound bag and the data for those areas are all
expressed in terms of this unit. Later in the report where costs from the
three are as.neomped (Tables 4 and 5), the costs are computed for 100-pound
,unita.







TABLE 1


COSTS PER BAG FOR
50-POUND BAGS


PACKING SIZE A POTATOES IN
IN SOUTH FLORIDA, 1956


Materials
Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine, tags,wire,
needles
Pads and paper
Total materials
Labor
Foreman
Receive and dump
Grade
Bag,hand truck,
load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous
Total labor
Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity and
water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous
Total other costs

TOTAL ALL COSTS


0.29
0.59
8.76
0.1J
0.30
10.08

0.76
0.38
2.15

3.51

0.73
7.53


1.614
0.55

0.70
1.04
1.93
0.26
4.79
0.52
11.43

29.04


0.25
0,94
8.04

0.14
1.10
LO.47


1.27
1.31

2.84

0.74
7.11


0.07
0.01

0.26
0.36
0.12
0.12
1.56

2,50

20,08


0.23

7,73
o,14
1.37




1.614
2.47

1.77
5.33
0.65
14.86


0.26
o,09

0,59
1,91
1.04
0.13
4.65
0.47
9.14

33,47


0.19
1.25
7.52

0.13
0.31
9.40

0.14
1t49
1.07

3.69
0.441
7.13


0,36
1.061

0.71
2.59
0.86
0.31
0.93
0.46
7.26


cents


0.19

0,10

0.4 4
0.70
11.43

0.78
0.91
2.31

3.02

0.61
7.63


0.22
0.44
0.89
3.07
0.65
0.17
3.98
0.35
9.77


23.79128.83


0.24
0.71
7.29

0.12
0*31
8.67

0.96
2.19
1,38

3.94

0.79
9.26


0,32
0.51


1.07
10.61

0.24
0.30
12.22

0.41
0.46
0.75

3.18

0.33
5.13


0,38
0.03


0.78 0.34
2.22 1.14
1.21 1.08
0.31 0.36
2.49 1.52-
0.08 0.23
7.92 5.08

25.85 22.143


Area
Average


1.09
9.45
1.00
0.45
11.99

0.76
2.24
2,20
2*20

7.11

1,00
13.31


0.03
0.03

0,214
0.27
o.57,
1.30
3 17

$.61

30.91


0.19
0.83
8.37

0.2-4
0.54
10.17

0.65
1.34
1.55

3.79
0.34
0.63
8.30


0.42
0.149

0.59
1.73
0,90
0.33
2.42
0.28
7.16

25.63


--~- ---~~ I~ --


- - - -


- -








bag, hand truck, and load than those following the practice of loading practi-

cally all of their output directly after packing. Grading labor ranged from

0.75 cent to a high of 2.31 cents per bag. The variation in grading labor was
caused by: (&) the decision of management regarding the strictness of grading

and (b) the average quality of potatoes received from the field. The variation

in the cost of receiving labor was quite large, and was affected by handling

methods. If bags were used and the potatoes dumped upon receipt at the packing-

house, receiving costs were quite low. For example, note the low receiving

costs for Firms 1 and 7 which used this method. If the potatoes were handled

in field boxes, cost was higher. Firm 8, for instance, had receiving costs of

2.24 cents per bag.

The items listed as other costs totaled 7.16 cents per bag on the
average but varied from 2.5 to 11.43 cents. More than half of the total other

costs was for depreciation and repairs. Depreciation costs varied from less

than 1 cent per bag to nearly 5. The cost of repairs was quite variable also,

ranging from 0.36 to over 3 cents,


The Hastings Area Firms
The average total cost per hundredweight for packing potatoes for the
houses in the Hastings area was 36.43 cents for 100-pound bags and 45.65 cents

for 50-pound bags (Table 2). Total costs per hundredweight for these firms

ranged from 30.37 cents to 47.29 cents for 100-pound bags and from 38.26 cents

to 58.75 cents for 50-pound bags.

Materials were the largest item of costs. The cost of bags averaged
15.22 cents for 100-pound bags and 21.52 cents per hundredweight for 50-pound

bags. Firm 13 was able to acquire bags at a very low cost relative to most of

the others. Firms 1 and 15 had the highest costs for bags. In each house









TABLE 2


COSTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR PACKING SIZE A POTATOES IN 50- AND 100-
POUND BAGS IN THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956


50-Pound Bags Area
Item Firm Fim Firm Firm Firm Firm Firm Finr Firm Firm Aver-
11 12 13 1 15 16 17 18 19 20 age
!9ag


Materials
Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine, tags,
wire, needles
Pads and paper

Total materials
Labor:
-oreman
Receive & dump
Grade
Bag, hand truck,
load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous

Total labor
Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity
and water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous


20.20

0.52


20.72

0.63
0.31
2.80

5.92

0.77

10.43


0,04
0.07

0.34
2.00
0.93
0.16
2.87
0.70


Total other costs 7.11


TOTAL ALL COSTS


21.47

0.52
.e...

21.99

0.58
2.08
3.02

9.14
0....
2.69


0....
**l *
L9.00

0.53
...* .


0.59

22.22

0.52
* *


L9.53 123.33


...** .
2.70
4.21

8.25
0.64
1.79


3.71
0.63
2.89

7,84

2.08


?6.26

0.52


26.78

0.60

1.68

5.93
1.33
0,50


rcents- --


0.20

22,22

0.52


22.94

2.00
0,27
1.75

6.40
90.60
0.60


17.51 17.59 17.15 po104 u11.02


0.13
2.03

0.28
2.22
0.57
0.22
2.48
0.19

8.12


0.82
2.03

0.83
0.27
0.15

3.72
0.57


0.36
0.61

1.64
3.52
0.79
0.12
5.99
99S* *


8.39113.03


0.03
0.01

0.25
1.06

0.08
1.79


3.22


38.26 47.62 45.51153.51 140.04


0.24
2.18

1.13
3.94
0.12
0.31
2.75
0.12

10.79

41.75


I...

L9,53

0,52
* 0*0*


0.40
.O...
21.47

0.52
* *


0.10

21.47

0,52
* *,s *


20.05 122.39 122.09


1.461
1.52
1.98

5.59

1.44

11.99


0,88
0.88

0.83
0.15
0.72
3.44
7.13
0.15

14.18

46.22


0,26
1.91
3.04

8.19

0.88


1.52
0,25
3.53

9.50

1,08


14.28 15.88


0.06
0.46

0.44
1.50
0.47
0.11
1.29
0.....

4.33

41.00


0.06
0.18

0.50
2.50
0.41
0.31
4.43
0.39

8.78

46.75


0.80

26.26

0.52


27.58

3.04
0.67
4.27

8.23.

S068

16.89


0.03
0.57

0.89
4.70
1.31
0.81
5.88
0.09

14.28


58.75 45.65


0.22

1.52

0.52


22.26

1.39
1.03
2.85

7.71
0.06
1.24


0.26
0.64

S0.69
1.98
S0.56
0.79
4.01
0.18

9.11





- -


- -


-, -~ -m -









TABIE 2.--Continued


..100-Pound Bags Area
Item Firm Firm Firm Fim Firm iFirm Firm Firm Firm Firm Aver-
11 12 13 1 15 16 117 19 20 age


Materials
Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine, tags,
wire, needles
Pads and paper

Total materials
Labor:
Foreman
Receive & dump
Grade
Bag, hand trucd
load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous
Total labor
Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity
and water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous
Total other costs


***,... ....

15.15 14.20

0.35 0.35


15.50 l4.55


0.52
0.26
2.32

4.91
.....
0.64
8.65


0.04
0,07

0.28
2,00
0.93
0.16
2.87
0.70
7.05


0.47
1.70
2.46

7.45
2.19
1.427


0.13
2.03

0.23
2.22
0.57
0.22
2.248
0.19
8.07


I.....

13,17

0.3
S.* 35
.. 000


0o.54

17.67

0.35
* # *


13.52 j18.56


2.25
3.51

6.88
0.53
1.49


3.43
0.58
2.66

7.23

1.92


14.66 15.82


0.82
2.03

0.69
0.27


3.72
0.57
8.25


TOTL ALLL COSTS 31.20 36.89136.43


0.36
0,61

1.52
3.52
0.79
0.12
5.99

12.91

47.29


- -cents- - - - -


...9
L8.18

0.35

L8.53

O.51
... .
1.42

,498
1.33
0.42
8,66


0.03
0.01

0.21
1.06

0,08
1*79

3.18

30.37


0.14
* ....,
16.16

0.35
... *


1.48
0.20
1.29

4.71
....,
0.44
8.12


0.24
2.18

0.83
3.94
0.12
0.31
2.75
0.12,
10.49

35.26


L4.51

0.35
*.*..


0.351

14.20

0.35
..'..


0.09

14.20

0.35
*


0.62
* *.....
16.16

0.35
e ....


14.86 14.90 11.64117.13


1.33
1.37
1,80

5.08

1.31


0.23
1.68
2.68

7.21


10.89 12.58


0.88
0.88

0.75
0.15
0,72
3.44
7.13
0.15
14.10


0.06
0.I46

0.38
1.50
O.47
0.11
1.29

4.27


1.34
0,22
3.12

8.40


124.02


0.06
0.18

0.45
2.50
0o,41
0.31
4.43
0.39
8.73


2.36
0.52
3.32

6.40
.....
0.53
13.13


0.03
0.57
0,69
4.70
1.31
0.81
5.881
0.09
34.081


0.19
o 1 *9
L5.22

0.35

L5.76

1.12
0.86
2.46


0.11
1.02
12.05


0.20
0.98

0.60
2.43
0.51
0.31
3.37
0,22
8.62


39.85131.75137.41144.34136.43


-- -- a- ---


r r
0,78 I 0,96








there was saall additional material costs for fuel, twine, and needles.

The second largest group of costs was labor which averaged 12.05 cents

and 14.28 cents per hundredweight for 100- and 50-pound bags, respectively.

The largest item in this group was for labor to bag, hand truck, and load,

amounting to 6.48 cents for 100-pound bags and 7.71 cents for 50's. Grading

labor was the next largest item. Receive and dump labor was a modest amount

because much of this was performed as part of the hauling operation. Variation

in total labor costs ranged from a low of 8.65 cents to a high of 15.82 cents

for handling 100-pound bags and from a low of 10.04 to a high of 17.59 cents

for handling 50-pound bags.

Firms 11, 15, and 16 had the lowest labor costs. They were especially
low in labor for bagging, hand trucking, and loading. Two of these were not

on a railroad siding and consequently loaded trucks only, sLmplifying the

handling problem. Of course, it required that packed bags be hauled to railroad

sidings if rail shipments were made. There are other considerations in locating

at a point not served by a rail siding. The installation of a rail siding,

higher investment in land, and lower costs for field to packinghouse hauling

are factors, also. Some packinghouses are willing to incur the costs of

hauling to the rail siding or locating at a siding in order to obtain the

flexibility in their sales program afforded by being able to make both rail

and truck shipments. Firm 16 has the lowest handling costs for any firm in

the Hastings area located on a rail siding.

Other costs made up 8.62 and 9.11 cents per hundredweight for 100- and

50-pound bags, respectively. Of these costs, the tw largest items were

depreciation and repairs which made up over half of this group of costs, just

as in South Florida. The only other items that accounted for an appreciable

amount were office expenses, lights, power and water expense, and taxes; but all








of these charges were quite modest. Depreciation costs ranged from a low of
slightly over 1 cent to nearly 6 cents per hundredweight. This variation was
caused by different valuations on facilities and by differences in the percent
of capacity at which the packinghouse ran. The costs of repairs ranged from
almost nothing for Firms 13 and 17 to a high of almost 4 cents for Firm 16 and

4.7 cents for Firm 20. This coat was affected primarily by the age of the
building and the equipment.


Alabama Firms
The total cost per hundredweight of packing 100- and SO-pound bags in
Alabama averaged 43.49 and 5h.95 cents, respectively (Table 3). For 100-pound

bags, the range was from a low of 35.23 cents per hundredweight to a high of

$2.22 cents for Firms 35 and 33, respectively. For the 50-pound bags, the range
was from about 52.90 cents to 64.47 cents.

Materials costs amounted to 17.15 cents per hundredweight for 100-pound
bags and 27.31 for S0's. Bag cost was again the largest item. The cost of tags,
not used in other areas, increased materials cost for the Alabama firms This
was especially important on 50-pound bags since two tags were used per hundred-
weight. Tags accounted for the largest part of the approximately 2 cents per
hundredweight for twine, tags, wire, and needles for 50-pound bags. There was
little variation between firms in the cost of materials, except that Firm 31
paid a somewhat higher price for 50-pound bags.

labor costs showed a marked lack of variation between firms except for
the low labor costs for handling 100-pound bags by Firm 35. There was somewhat
more variation in the costs of handling 50-pound bags.

Other costs were somewhat lower than the average for the houses from the
two areas in Florida. The largest items were for depreciation and repairs which
accounted for over half of other costs.









TABLE 3

COSTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR PACKING SIZE A POTATOES IN 50- AND
100-POUND BAGS IN AIABAMA, 1957


50-Pound Bags 100-Pound Bags .
Area Area
Item Firm Firm Firm Firm Aver- Firm Firm Firm Firm Firm Aver-
30 31 33 34 age 30 31 33 3 35 age
- ------ -- - cent- - - -------
.. ... -. "cents- -. *- -*** -*


Materials
Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine, tags,
wire, needles
Pads and paper

Total materials

Labor:
FIoreman
Receive & dump
Grade
Bag, hand truck,
load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous

Total labor

Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity
and water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous

Total other costs

TOTAL ALL COSTS


0.64
21.21

2.17


24.02


1.35
20,
.4,62

11.51

1.23

20.75



0*55
0,76

0,83
1.09
0.36
0.18
U.36
*0S C

8.13

52.90


0.22
25.25

2.12
1.10

28.69

0.39
2.29
6.27

L2.23

0.75


22..22 22.22
22,22 22.22


2.09
....


2,11
e*0*0


24.31124.33


0.76
2.33
8.23

15.86

0.62


0.58
2.25
9.07

13.72

1.23


0.26
24.16

2.13
0.76

27.31

0.59
2.25
6.34

12.89


21.93 27.80 26.85 22.52


0.14
0.56

0.43
1.45
4....
0.05
0.96
a....

3.59

54.21


0.39
2.00

0.75
2.40
1.16
2.67
2.97
0.02

12.36

64.47


0.16
0.63

0.65
1.47
0.30
0.01
1.63
0,12

4.97


0.23
0.71

0.54
1.47
0.17
0.27
1.71
0.01

5.11

54.94


.* .
0.66U
L5.15


0.22
15.15


1.20' 1.16
..... 1.10


L6.99

1.13
1,70
3.85

9.59
i ....
1.03


17.63

0.39
2.29
6.27

12.23
0.75
0.75


L7.30 21.93


0.55
0,76

0,69
1.09
0.36
0.18
4.36
*....

7.99

42.28


0.14
0.56

0.43
1.45

0.0o5
0.96
.. .. .

3.59

43.15


C....

15.66

1.14


16.80

0.64
1.946
6.86

13.22

0.52

23.18



0,39
2.00

0.62
2.40
1.17
2.67
2,97
0.02

12.24

52.22


15.15
15.15


15.15
.15.15


1.15 o.4l
OOO,016"0


0.18
15.19

1,12
0.66


16.30 15.56117.15


o.48
1.86
7.49

11.33
C....
1,02

22,18



0.16
0.63

0.54
1.47
0,30
0.01
1.63
0.12

4.86

43.34


.....
0.72
5.90


0.47
2.06
6.32


8.00 11.73
*.... 9* 6.
1.09 0.82

15.71 21.40


.....


0.32
0.28
0,37
0.14
2.85


3.96


0.19
0.68

0.49
1.45
0.20
0.28
1.63
0.02

4.94


35.23 43.49









Comparison of Costs for the Three Areas

Costs were lower for the Hastings area firms than for either of the

other two areas (see Table I). The cost per hundredweight for 50-pound bags of

45.65 cents in the Hastings area was considerably lower than the cost of 51.25
cents for South Florida or almost 55 cents for Alabama. For 100-pound bags,

the Hastings area costs were about 7 cents under the costs in Alabama.

The difference in the cost of packing 50-pound bags in the Hastings and

South Florida areas was due primarily to lower other costs and, to a lesser

extent, lower labor costs. The difference in costs in Alabama was due primarily

to lower costs for bags, other materials, and labor. The difference of 7 cents

per hundredweight in cost of packing 100-pound bags in the Hastings area and in

Alabama was due mainly to lower labor costs and partly to lower materials costs

other than bags.

The Hastings area firms had lower labor costs per unit because of higher

average rates of output than those in either of the other two areas; because of

this they were able to make more efficient use of their labor resources. The

costs for the items grouped as other costs were higher for the firms in South

Florida because they generally had more elaborate and expensive facilities. The

largest items in other costs were depreciation, repairs, insurance and taxes on

buildings and equipment.


Costs for Handling Size B and No. 2 Potatoes

The costs computed in this study for handling potatoes below the U. S.
No. 1 Size A grade were considered to be the same for most items. The costs of

labor to grade and bag, hand truck, and load was different, however, as workers

were usually assigned to these jobs for 2's and B's only. Data in Table 5 show

a comparison of average costs for these two items for all three areas for A's,

2's, and B's.







TABLE 4
COMPARISON OF COSTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FCR PACKING SIZE A POTATOES IN SOUTH
FLORIDA AND THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956 AND ALABAMA, 1957


South
Florida Hastings Area Alabama
Item 50-pound 50-pound 100-pound 50-pound 100-pound
bags bags bags bags bags


Materials:
Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine, tags, wire
needles
Pads and paper

Total materials


Labor:
Foreman
Receive &


dump


Grade
Bag, hand truck,
load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous

Total labor

Other costs
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity and
water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous

Total other costs

TOTAL ALL COSTS


0.38
1.66
16.73

0.148
1.09

20.34


1.30
2.68
3.09

7.58
Oo69
1.26

16.60



0.83
0.98

1.18
3.46
1,80
0.66
4.84
0.56

14.31


51.25


0.22

21.52

0.52


22.26


1.39
1.03
2.85

7,71
0.06
1.24

14.28


0.26
0.64

0.69
1.98
0.56
0.79
4.01
0.18

9.11


- -ceni-E - - -


0.19

15.22

0.35


15.76


1.12
0.86
2.46

6.148
0.11
1.02

12.05



0.20
0.98

0.60
2.43
0.51
0.31
3.37
0.22

8.62

36.-3


0.26
24.16

2.13
0,76

27.31


0.59
2,25
6.34

12.49

0.85

22.52



0.23
0.71

0.54
1.47
0.17
0,27
1.71
0.01


54.94


.....
0.18
15.19

1.12
0.66

17.15


0.47
2.06
6.32

11.73

0.82

21.40



0.19
0.68

0.49
1.45
0.20
0.28
1.63
0.02


- - - -










AVERAGE LABOR
FOR U. S.


TABLE 5
COSTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR GRADING AND BAG, HAND TRUCK, AND LOAD
NO. 2 SIZE A AND U. S. NO. 1 SIZE B POTATOES FOR SOUTH FLORIDA
AND THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956 AND ALABAMA, 1957


Labor Costs for:
Area Grade Container Grading Bag,Hand Truck,Load

pounds - cents- - -
South Florida A 50 3.21 8.08
B 50 3.99 8.50
2 50 3.81 9.86
Hastings Area A 100 2.92 7.11
A 50 3.37 8.50
B 100 7.29 12.60
B 50 7,i 0. 13.23
2 100 3,76 6.07
2 50 6,32 9.02
Alabama A 100 7.89 9.31
A 50 8.08 12.90
B 100 16.39 14.30
B 50 17.96 11.27
2 100 14.55 9.73
2 50 13.94 14.37


In general, the output of workers on No. 2's and B Size potatoes was

lower than the output of workers on Size A's because it was more difficult to

get good crew balance as the output of these lower grades was considerably

smaller (Table 6). In most cases, too much, rather than too little labor was

assigned to handle B's and 2's. There were at least two reasons for this. The

output of these lower grades varied between lots of potatoes and enough labor
had to be assigned to handle the maximum volume. Less than one person could

not be assigned for very small lots. Most firms kept enough workers grading

and handling B's and 2's to prevent slowing down other functions of the packing-

house when a lot with a high proportion of these grades was run. The costs

varied less between grades for the firms in South Florida. Costs of labor for








grading in the Hastings and Alabama firms varied considerably between grades;

costs to bag, hand truck, and load varied to a lesser extent.


TABLE 6

AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF THE OUTPUT OF PACKINGHOUSES BY AREAS,
SOUTH FLORIDA AND HASTINGS, 1956 AND ALABAMA, 197
.... ---- ,,, ___.- ,

Area
Grade and Size South Floria Hastings Alabama

--- - - --percent- - ----

U. S. No, 1 Size A 82,6 83.8 80.6

U. S. No, 1 Size B 6,3 6,0 7,4

U. S. No. 2 Size A 11.1 10,2 12,0

TOTAL 100,0 10 OO 100.0




THE EFFECT OF VOLUME UPON COSTS

The volume handled in a packinghouse is likely to have some effect upon

costs. It is not always possibles however, in using costs from a group of firms

to show such a relationship precisely. This was especially true in this case

because the sample size prohibited dividing the firms into volume groups of

ample size to estimate costs accurately. Another problem in using annual data

is that factors other than volume effect the level of costs in individual firms.

Some of these are quality of potatoes received, the level of quality firms

attempt to turn out, and other individuallyy determined factors. Other studies

in this series will deal directly with thq effect of volume upon costs holding

constant the other factors which affect cost. It was deemed desirable however,

to make a comparison in this report of the relationship between volume handled

and total costs. Two measures--total season volume and the rate of output per

houre-were analyzed.









Effect of Total Season Volume upon Costs

Data in Table 7 show average costs per hundredweight for South Florida

firms for handling potatoes in 50-pound bags and for the Hastings area firms in

50- and 100-pound bags, according to three volume groups. Such a comparison

was not made for houses in Alabama because of the small number in the sample.

In South Florida, the small volume group had costs of over 57 cents per hundred-

weight as compared to about 50 cents for the medium and large volume groups. In

the Hastings area, for both 50- and 100-pound bags, costs were about the same

for the small and medium groups and asmehat lower for the large volume group,

For 50-pound bags, costs per hundredweight were about 47.5 cents for firms

packing under 50,000 hundredweight or from 50,000 to 100,000; while for firms

handling over 100,000 hundredweight, costs averaged 43.92 cents. The costs for

packing 100-pound bags were about 38 cents for each of the two smaller volume

groups and about 34.5 cents per hundredweight for the group handling over

100,000 hundredweight in the season*

Average total labor costs for the South Florida firms appeared to be
related to volume, with the costs decreasing as the amount packed increased,

The primary difference for the small group was in higher costs for bagging,

hand trucking, and loading; and the additional haul to transportation charge.

For the Hastings area firms, the same relationship held for 50-pound bags. In

each group volume appeared to have little effect upon the items listed as other

costs.


Effect of Rate of Output per Hour upon Costs

Summarizing the packinghouses in each area according to the rate of
output per hour produced somewhat different grouping because not all packing-

houses operated the same number of hours. Comparing costs with the rate of

operating tended to relate costs to capacity since the packinghouses





TABLE 7
COST PER BUNDREDWEIGHT FOR PACKING SIZE A POTATOES ACCORDING TO TOTAL SEASON VOLUME
FOR SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956


Sousth Florida I Hastings Area
50-pound Bags 50-pound Bags 100-pound Bags
000Area 50,000 Area 50,000 Area
Item Under to Over Aver- Under to Over Aver- Under to Over Aver-
50,o 000 o100o, o 100,000 age 50,000 100, 000 100,000 age 50,000 100,000 100,000 age


Fuel
Wax
Bags
Twine,tags,wire
needles
Pads and paper
Total materials
Labor:
o"F-rean
Receive & dump
Grade
Bag, truckload
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous
Total labor
Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity and
water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes
Depreciation
Miscellaneous
Total other costs


TOTAL ALL COSTS' 57.39


0,21
1.05
19.15
0.93
1.36
22.70

1.05
2-54
3386
8,80
2.20
1.29
19.74

0.154
0.33
1.08
3.36
1.63
0.96
6,63
0.52
14.95


3
0,52
1,52
16.04
Oc27
1,214
19.59

1.80
2,s8
3.17
6.76


15,82

1.22
0.65
1.10
2,23
1,99
0.44
5,60
0.36
13.64
49.05


- cents-

0.17

20.68

0.52

21.37


0.38
2.50
15.014
0026
0.62
18.80

0"89
2.98
2.11
7.37

0,89
14.27

0,73
2.12

1.41
$.17
1.71
0.63
1.86
0.89
14.52
47.59


3
0.30

25.70
0.52
.....
26.52

1.47
0,,46
0 6
2,85
6.97
0,78
0.67
13.20

0.09
0,38

0,53
2.36
0,50
o,035
3.47
0.08
7.76
47.,48


3
0.25

21.51t
0.52
*0...
22.31

0.98
1.01
3.14
8,61
..-..
0.95
14.69

0.08
0.49
0.53
2,17
0.41
0.22
2.83
0,19
6.92
h3.92


3
0.22

15.45

0,35

16.02


0.22


0.52

22.26

1.39
1,03
2.85
7,71
0.06
1.24
14.28

0.26
0.64

0.69
1 98
0.56
0.79
4.01
0.18
9.11
5.65


- -


4
0.16
....0.
15.51
0.3
S***
16.0!

1.4
0.8'
2,.
6.3!

1.5!
12.6

0.2,
0,9'
0.6
2.3w
0.7
0.4;
3.9;
0.2,
9.6:
38.3


--- -
3
S 0.21

14.91
S 0.35

S 15.47

2 0.98
9 0.75
2 2.30
9 6.63
.....
5 0.70
7 11.36

3 0.12
3 1.01
6 0.56
6 2.65
6 0.33
2 0.24
9 2.66
9 0.15
1 7.72
3 34.55


0.38
1.65
16.73
0.o48
1009
20.34

1.30
2,68
3,09
7,56
0.69
1,26
16=60

0.83
0098
1.18
3o.46
180
o066
4.84
0.56
14.31


0.96
1.09
2.93
6.25
0.54
0.89
12.66

0.35
1,02

0.57
2.02
0.52
0.30
4.01
0.26
9.05
37.73


1.814
1.17
2.51
6.80

1.70
114.02

0.50
0.85
0,90
1.68
0,75
1.54
5.48
0.19
11.89

47.28


-- -


0.19

15.22

0.35

15.76

1.12
0.86
2.46
6.48
0.11
1.02
12,05

0.20
0.98
0.60
2.43
0.51
0.31
3.37
0.22
8.62
36.43









operated more or less at a given capacity and varied output by varying the

hour operated.

South Florida firms were grouped according to the output per hour in

hundredweight as follows: (a) under 225, (b) 225 to 300, and (c) over 300;

and the Hastings area firms: (a) under 330, (b) 330 to 400, and (c) over L00.

Data are given for the Hastings area only for the 100-pound bags. Average total

costs for the South Florida firms were lowest for the middle-rate (b) group

(see Table 8). For the Hastings area, the middle-rate group had substantially

higher costs than the other two.

Materials costs for South Florida houses were higher for the (a) and (b)
groups. Some of the firms in these two groups used burlap bags. Labor costs

did not show a consistent tendency between the groups although the middle-rate

group costs were the lowest. Other costs increased as the rate increased.

Depreciation, the largest item, was highest for the (a)-rate group. Repairs

increased directly as rate of output increased.

For the Hastings area, houses packing 330 to 400 bags per hour had the

highest costs for materials. Labor costs were materially lower for the highest-

rate group. Other costs were substantially higher for the 330 to 400 group,

accounting in a large part for the difference between this group and others in

total costs. The explanation for the higher costs for this group is not found

in the rate at which the packinghouses ran.


Evaluations of the Two Cost-size Comparisons

It is difficult to explain the comparisons of costs and size of firm as

shown by the preceding data. One explanation may be that there is no relation-

ship between total season volume or between rate of output and costs, although

this is not regarded as a likely possibility. The explanation probably lies in










TABLE 8
COSTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR PACKING SIZE A POTATOES ACCORDING TO
RATE OF OUTPUT FOR SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956


South Florida--50-Pound Bags Hastings Area--100-Pound Bags
Hundredweight per Hour Hundredweight per Hour
Item Under 225- Over Area Under 330-i Over Area
225 300 300 Average 330 400 400 Average
- - -cents - r -


No. of Firms
Materials
Fuel-
Wax
Bags
Twine,tags,wire,
needles
Pads and paper
Total materials
labor:
"oreman
Receive & dump
Grade
Bag,truck, load
Haul to trans.
Miscellaneous
Total labor
Other costs:
Telephone and
telegraph
Office
Electricity and
water
Repairs
Insurance
Taxes.
Depreciation
Miscellaneous
Total other costs

TOTAL ALL COSTS


3
0.14
1.52
18.69
0.95
1.34
22.64

0.82
2.86
3,52
10,03
3.18
1.32
21.73


0.44
0.10


4
0.45
1.75
16.48
0.36
1.10
20.14

1.34
2.31
3.00
6.71

1 18
1.18



1.00
1.26


0.77 1.25
2.13 3.72
1.78 1.68
1.24 0.48
6.05 4.41
0.44 0.68
12.95 11.48

57.32 !49.36


0.47
1.42
14.58
0.25
0.61
17.33


1.93
4.37
2.79
7.87

1.57
18.5$3


0.65
1.02
1.55
4.44
2.42
0.62
4.97
0.17
15.814

51.70


0.38
1.66
16.73
0.48
1.09
20.34

1.30
2.68
3.09
7.58
0.69
1.26
16.60


0.83
0.98
1.18
3.46
1.80
0.66
4.84
0.56
14.31

51.25


4
0,03
..1..1
14.51
0.35

14.89

0,68
1.06
2.79
7.32
0.30
1.35
13.50


0.25
1.10
0.41
1,72
0.34
0.18
3.36
0.32
7.68

36.07


3
0.50

16.69

0.35

17.54

2.75
0.66
2.79
6.64

1.32
14.16


0.31
0.63
1.11
3.51
0.97
0.82
6.10
0.05
13.50

45.20


3
0.19
15.16

0.35
at..**
15.70

0.77
0.79
2.07
5.73

0,62
9.98


0.12
1.03
0.53
2.54
o.44
0.20
2.21
0.21
7.28

32.96


0.19

15.22
0.35

15.76

1.12
0.86
2.46
6.48
0.11
1.02
12.05


0.20
0.98
0.60
2.43
0.51
0.31
3.37
0.22
8.62

36.43


- &


. .. .. Ii ii I I I I I lie I


1


I








the size and type of sample. As pointed out earlier, the size of sample is

neither large enough nor properly representative to generalize the results to

the entire industry, The same is true, and to a greater extent, when the

sample is broken into volume groups.

Specific factors which may have offset the effect of volume in dividing

the sample into groups are: First, thore were differences between the firms

in the ability of management.

Second, there were differences in the kind of job being done. For

example, one firm may have graded the potatoes more closely, with the expectation

of receiving higher prices. The house may have been run only when the potatoes

were sold, minimizing the need for temporary storage of the packed output,. The

firm may have catered to buyers with needs for several grades and bag sizes,

thereby increasing handling costs,

Third, the age of the facilities affected costs. New plants, while they

may be efficient in the use of labor, may have higher depreciation costs. Old

plants generally had lower construction costs or a portion of the building or

equipment may have been entirely depreciated. Cost of repairs was also affected

by the age of the facilities.

Fourth, plant layout may affect costs. The firms differed in the

efficiency of the layout. Plants located on railroad tracks, loading rail cars

and motor trucks had a more difficult loading problem than those which loaded

trucks only.

Fifth, the capacity to which the plants were operating had an effect upon

costs. A packinghouse operated for a short season could expect to have higher

average costs than it would have if it lengthened the period over which it

operated. This would show up especially in the cost of fixed items like repairs









and depreciation, but not necessarily in labor costs. For the Hastings area,

the group operating at the middle-rate capacity had higher costs for repairs

and depreciation. The hours operated during the season could be an explanation

for these items being higher for this group than the other groups. The effect

of these five factors, and perhaps others, occurring in different ways within

groups undoubtedly accounts for the inconsistent relationships which were

obtained.


GRADING EFFICIENCY

The grading operation constitutes an important segment of the potato

packinghouse operation. Grading labor constituted a major share of total labor

costs. In addition, there were other costs involved in grading which appeared

as part of the items of repairs and depreciation on equipment. The exact cost

of grading in a given house is affected by the kind of potatoes the house

receives from the field and the type of grading job which the management decides

to do.

Detailed studies of the effectiveness of grading were made in the

majority of packinghouses studied. Data in Table 9 show the average amount of

defects per 100 pounds in the potatoes received in the three areas and the

volume removed by graders. The three areas were about equal in proportion of

minor defects. The South Florida area was somewhat higher in major defects than

the other two, with the Hastings area the lowest. In serious defects, Alabama

was highest, South Florida next, and the Hastings area lowest. There was varia-

tion between the areas in the kinds of defects which appeared in the potatoes.

For example. shape and appearance defects were quite prevalent for South Florida

and for Alabama; and quite low, comparatively, for the Hastings area. Greening

was also a serious problem in South Florida. Bruises constituted the defect







TABLE 9
POUNDS CF DEFECTIVE SIZE A POTATOES PER 100 POUNDS DELIVERED TO THE GRADING TABLE
AND THE QUANTITY GRADED OUT FOR PACKINGHOUSES IN SOUTH FLORIDA,
THE HASTINGS AREA, AND ALABAMA


South Florida, 1956a Hastings, Florida, 1956b Alabama, 1957
r Q-amnit, r Quantity Quantity
Item Minor IMajor Serious Reiaovedd J Minor Maj Serious Removed Minor major Serious Removed
-------------------!------------------;-----pecn---------------------------------S--------
-- 7 -------- -percent- -- - - - - -
Bruises 11.15 1.69 0.47 2.97 12,34 1.99 0.96 f.84 13.23 1.39 0.46 1,90
Cuts 0.09 0.35 0.36 0.72 0.27 0.32 0.62 0.64 0.22 0.33 0.68 1,07
Greening 6,63 2,27 2.21 6.11 0.78 0.32 0.39 1.03 0.77 0.24 0,29 0,56
Shape and
appearance 3.76 .11 0,74 6.93 1.68 0.40 0.08 0.56 3,92 4.40 1.72 6.34
Rhizoctonia 1,66 o075 0.04 0o.9 e e e e 1,l1 0.31 0.04 0.39
Scab 0,93 0.05 0 .02 0,28 1.20f Oo32f 0.02 0.43 1.91 0.71 0,32 1.33
Blackleg .. i g .. .... 0.60 0.25 .... .... 1.40 1.0
Complexn 002 0<03 0.39 0.19 e e 9 g e e e g
Wirewom i i .. g 1445 17?1 0.29 0,6 1,91 0.20 0.06 0,26
Grass 0.72 0.11 0,02 0,06 5.12 0o25 0,03 0.48 0Op3 i .... 0.02
Grub i i g 0.64 0,18 0,21 0.47 0.27 0.05 0.04 0.09
Sound potatoes .', ... ... 3-9h ... .. .... 0.98 .... .... .... 3.22
TOTAL i24.96 10.36 4.28 21.69 26.18 5$.9 3.20 7.32 23.46 7.63 5.01 16.22
________ __ I ___ ______________


on an estimated

on mn estimated


grading

grading


of 965,502 pounds

of 876,3$3 pounds


of A

of A


size potatoes.

size potatoes,


CBased on an estimated grading of 469,162 pounds of A size potatoes.
dlncludes grade and non-grade defects
eNo typical defective tubers recorded,
Probably includes russeting caused by Rhizoctonia and Corky Ring Spot.


eToo little to form an estimate.

hAn unknown disorder similar to
blackleg.
'Less than .005 percent,


aBased

bBased


I








which occurred most in all three areas, but most of this damage was classified

as minor.

On the average, graders removed about three times as many potatoes per

hundred pounds in South Florida as in the Hastings area. The Alabama area fell

about half way between the two Florida areas. For South Florida, the major share

of the potatoes removed were defective because of greening or poor shape and

appearance. These two items accounted for over two-thirds of all potatoestremoved

in South Florida, In the Hastings area, while potatoes graded out were scattered

somewhat more evenly among all the different types of defects, the largest share

was affected by bruises or greening. In Alabama, the largest single quantity

graded out was affected by shape and appearance defects. This item accounted for

about the same quantity graded out as in South Florida. Other items in Alabama

which were important were bruises, cuts, scab, and blackleg.

Data in Table 10 show that in all three areas, a sizeable proportion of

the potatoes thrown out had only minor defects or were sound. South Florida was

highest in this respect; slightly over half of the potatoes graded out had minor

defects or were sound. Hastings was next; 48.7 percent of the graded-out potatoes

had minor defects or were sound; and Alabama had 44.2 percent in this category.

TABLE 10
CLASSIFICATION OP SIZE A POTATOES REMOVED BY GRADERS ON THE MAIN GRADING
TABLE, SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956 AND ALABAMA, 1957


Item South Florida I Es--ings AJabama
- ---percnt--- - a -
Sound 18.2 13.4 19.9
Minor defects 32.1 3 .3 2l.3


Subtotal
Major defects
Serious defects
Subtotal
TOTAL


503 C87 4oT2
353 24.5 32,0
3J4.h 2 26.18 23 8
-^?- -1:.3 ^ -


100.0


100, e


10060


I -~








Analysis of Grading by Firms
Data in Tables 11, 12, and 13 show the grading job being done at the main

grading table by all of the firms for which grading samples were analyzed. The

data show the number of graders at the main table and the number of graders re-

grading pick.outs; the volume of Size A potatoes graded per hour; the quantity of

potatoes removed as pick-outs and as culls per hour; the estimated grade defects

before grading; the quantity of defective Size A potatoes removed; and finally,

the proportion of Size A potatoes which were placed in a lower grade. These

data are shown by firms and by individual lots of potatoes graded*

For the South Florida firms, the number of graders used ranged from a
high of slightly over 20 to a low of 4. The quantity of potatoes graded per hour

ranged from about 25,000 to 55,000 pounds. The grading problem which confronted

the packinghouses. is shown by the column headed, "Estimated Grade Defects of

Tubers before Grading," An extreme case is Firm 10 (Table 11). The first two

lots for this house had nearly 35 percent grade defects before grading. This

was an unusual situation and necessitated considerably more work than normal on

the part of the graders. The next column shows that they removed about 18 percent

of the grade defects. This left a sizeable quantity of potatoes which did not

pass U, S. No. 1 grade standards, Firm 9 was confronted with grade defects

ranging from 15.2 to 27.4 percent on all lots sampled. As shown in the adjacent

column, they were very successful in removing these defective potatoes. The
defects removed approximated the estimated total of grade defects before grading,

The fourth lot listed shows that the grade defects left in the potatoes were

nearly 3 percent of the potatoes after grading. On other lots, they were able to

reduce this percentage to less than 2 percent.

The other extreme, in terms of quality of potatoes received, was with
Firm 7. This firm was able to operate with 4 graders most of the time. The grade








TABLE 11


COMPOSITION OF SAMPLE LOTS OF POTATOES AND PERFORMANCE BY GRADERS,
BY FIRM, SOUTH FLORIDA, 1956

Graders Removed at 'Estimated Portion of
At Regrad- Size A main table grade defects Defective Size A
Packing- main ing tubers As of tubers Potatoes tubers
house table pick- graded pick- As before Removed placed in
outs per hour outs culls grading lower grade


- -numbers- -


8
8
8
8
8
9
8

8
8

8
8
8

8
SI
S1
14a
4
8
8

7
20c
20c
190
18c
18C
9
9
9
9


40001 bs.J -lbs./hr.- -


33
24
30
26

25
31

37
27
29

30
30
33
32
26
24
24
20
28b
21b
22b
21b
54
51
51
60
54
27
38
30
30


5,829
6,000
4,286
3,300
3,252
3,100

7,500
4,028
3,960
2,700
2,200
2,560
1,964

2,363
2,743
3,636
2,727

4,593
2,$416
2,475
1,875
1W,316
18,321
19,035
17,828
13,112
10,043
12,376
2,040
1,971


600
727
1,028
600

0
0
250
154
269

0
0
0
0


405
333
300
225
4,909d
5, 918d
10,38 4d
5,178d
6,051d
36
96
e
0


- -- --percent- - -


19.0
26.3
18.8
17.0
18.6
11.8

13.0
10.2
9.7

9.7
7.8
9.6
8.9
6.3
5.0
6.7
6.5

16.7
10.3
10.4
9.6
16.0
19.3
27.4
15.2
18.0
34.9
33.2
7.0
8.5


13.6
19.9
12.2
12.0

10.1
7.1
9.8
8.5
7.7

5.2
4.5
5.6
5.0

3.5
3,9
4.9
4.7
12.2
6.7
7.6
5.2
1U.7
17.9
25.7
12.4
16.2
18.5
18.4
4.6
4h.4


19.5
28.0
17.7
15.0
13.0
10.0

20.9
15.5
14.6

9,0
7.3
7.8
6.1

9.1
11.4
15.2
13.6

17.9
13.1
12.6
10.0
35.6
47.5
57.7
38.3
35.5
37.3
32.8
6.8
6.6


SOne worker
blncludes B


grading part time.
size tubers, i.e., about 5 percent.


CTwo grading tables;one for removing culls,the other for removing piok-outea*
dRegraded into salable tubers (unclassified) and culls.
eLess than .005 percent.


Number


I- --- --








defects received by this firm averaged about 6 percent. Consequently, the volume

of potatoes graded out was quite small,

In the Hastings area there was less variation in most factors studied.

On the main grading table Firm 20 employed as many as 16 graders and Firm 15

employed as few as 4 graders (Table 12). The quantity of Size A potatoes graded

per hour did not vary as much among firms as in South Florida. Except for one

lot sampled for Firm 20, which was graded at the rate of 60,000 pounds per hour,

the average rate ranged from a low of about 25,0OC pounds graded per hour for

Firmr 15, 17, and 20 to a high of about l5,000 pounds graded per hour for

Firms 13 and 16. In the Hastings area, only Firm 25 graded out culls at the

main grading table. All the rest removed culls only from the pick-outs. The

quantity of defective potatoes removed was relatively low in comparison with the

estimated grade defects before grading. In general, firms in the Hastings area

let a relatively larger proportion of grade defects remain in the potatoes than

did those in South Florida. The Hastings firms, in general, had more variation

in defective potatoes between lots sampled within firms. For example, Firm 16

had one lot which contained 28 percent grade defects. Firm 17 had defects

ranging from h to 12 percent. Firm 25 had lots ranging from a low of 6.5 percent

defects to a high of 16.8.

In Alabama (Table 13), the five firms sampled had a lower rate of grading

per hour than the South Florida or Hastings area firms. Firm 32, for example,

had an average grading rate of about 18,000 pounds per hour. The highest in the

group was Firm 31 which averaged nearly 30,000 pounds per hour. None of this

group employed less than 8 graders and Firm 31 used as many as 17 at some times.

The quality of the potatoes received was somewhat higher for Firm 30 than the

others. While there was considerable variation in this factor, Firm 33 had the

highest proportion of potatoes reaching the grading table with grade defects.









TABLE 12


COMPOSITION OF SAMPLE LOTS OF POTATOES AND PERFORMANCE OF GRADERS,
BY FIRMS, THE HASTINGS AREA, 1956


Graders Removed at Estimated Portion of
At :Regrad- Size A main table grade defects Defective Size A
Packing- main ing tubers As of tubers Potatoes tubers
house table pick- graded pick- As before Removed placed in
outs pe-hour outs culls grading lcwer-grade


Number


- -nurber- -


4000 Ibs. -ibs/tr.- -


1,875
2,900
4,7714

4,412
2,718
1,841

570
1,125
2,591

5,220
3,136
2,033

2,084
1,852
3,868

4,392
4,950
1,800

2,609
3,182
3,375
900
3,079
3,316


0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

500
100
100
0


- N &S ~ -


- --percent- -


2.3
2.2
3.5

3.0
5.6
3.3

1.4
2.1
3.8

5.1
3.6
2.0

2.7
4.8
8.2

5.0
4.5
1.7

3.7
3.9
5.5

3.8
3.7
4.1


7.3
5.3
11.5
10.0
10.1
6.4

6.1
6.1
9.6

28.2
7.6
7.2

4.3
7.2
12.2

8.0
11.2
4.9
6.2
8.7
9.1

6.5
16.8
12.5


4.9
6.9
10.2

9.6
9.1
5.3

1.7
5.6
9.6

10.7
7.0
5.0

5.3
8.1
15.5

11.9
12.7
4.6

9.7
5.3
13.0

4.4
8.4
9.8










TABLE 13
COMPOSITION OF SAMPLE LOTS OF POTATOES AND PERFORMANCE OF GRADERS,
BY FIRIS, ALABAMA, 1957


Graders
At 'iegrad-
main ing
table pi k-

--nutiber- -

8 0
8 1o

8 0

10
11

12

8 1
7a 1
8 2
8a 1

10 3
10 3
11.: 3
10 3

17 3
15 3
15 3
17 3


Size A
tubers
graded
per hour


SRemoved at
main table
As
pick- uAs
louts culls


Estimated
grade defects Defective
of tubers Potatoes
before Removed
grading


- -- 4c


L, 000 Jbs. -Ibsqr.-


J3,085
1 969
il,7l8
13oG.

:3,700
2,311
3,o700
1,551,

6,585
21,550

i,650
6,750

3,223
3,908
i9,g68
4,220

3,332

16,324-
12,971


0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0

333
300
L,200
571


4. I


12.6
4,8
5.9
1011

9.4
12.9
11,8
4.3

8.3
23.8
12,9
16.9

11<,8

36.8
9.8

15.5
10.4
20.7
11.7


-percent-

9.1
2.6
4.8
7.5

7.9
6,2
7.9
3.5
6.6
15.7
11.6
11.3

7.1
5,2
22.3
6.2

7.8
8,8
18.2
7.4


Portion of
Size A
tubers
placed in
lower grade


14.7
5.1
7.6
14.7

11.9
9.6
13.2
5.3
19.6
32.9
25.8
25.0

21.5
19.5
35.3
14.1

14.1
21.8
32.7
11.8


aOne worker grading


Packing-
house


part time.


7^^ ^^ ^ ^








It was closely followed, however, by Firms 32 and 34. Firms 20 and 32 exhibited

a constant tendency to remove a high proportion of the grade defects. The per-

formance of Firm 34 was close behind the other two. Firms 31 and 33 had some-

what more difficulty in this respect. Firm 33 had one extremely bad lot with

almost 37 percent grade defects of which they removed 22 percent but they also

had one lot with 14.9 percent grade defects of which they removed 5.2 percent.

These data indicate the wide variation in quality that was delivered to

the grading table and also the wide variation that existed in facilities, person-

nel, and ability to grade. Some of these factors are being analyzed to show the

relative importance of good and bad quality, good and bad sorting, and other

variables upon the quality of the final graded product.




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