Title: Statistics on production, shipments and prices of Florida watermelons with supplemental data for Georgia and South Carolina
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Title: Statistics on production, shipments and prices of Florida watermelons with supplemental data for Georgia and South Carolina
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-uust 1956 Agricultural Economics
Mimeo Report 57-1








STATISTICS ON PRODUCTION, SHIPMENTS AND PRICES OF

FLORIDA 7ATERIELONS

ltith

Supplemental Data For


Georgia and South Carolina


By

Donald L. Brooke


Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Gainesville, Florida










TABLE OF CONTENTS


SUMMARY. a .. o 4 e ,

INTRODUCTION . . . . .


PRODUCTION OF HATERIJELONS IN FLORIDA e .* . . .


Trend in Acres, Yield, Production and Value .
Relative Trend in the Production of watermelons
in Florida and the United States 0 . ,
Trend in Acreage and Production by District in Florida,

MOVEMENT OF WATERMELONS, . . ,. ,

-Florida and Other States, . . .
Foreign Competition *. . . . .
Shipments of WTatermelons by Districts from Florida, .


* 006*
S....

* 600C

* a..e
* C
C....


DISTRIBUTION OF WATERMELONS FROM FLORIDA . . *

PRICES OF ;WATER1ELONS, . . . # ,

Relationship of Production and Price of Wratermelons *
Variation in Mionthly Prices of Watermelons,. s *
Relationship of Prices of Florida 'Watermelons to the General
Level of All Farm Prices and Prices Received for Commercial
Vegetables in the United States, . . .

COST OF PRODUCING WATERMELONS IN FLORIDA . .

COST OF HARVESTING, PACKING AND SELLING WATERnELONS IN FLORIDA .

APPENDIX . *. ,

Acreage, Yield, Production and Value in Georgia .
Acreage, Yield, Production and Value in South Carolina. .
Relative Trend in Production in Florida, Georgia, South
Carolina and the United States *. . o
Proposed iMIarketing Agreement Districts in Georgia *, .
Proposed Marketing Agreement Districts in South Carolina, .
Acreage for Harvest by Districts in Florida, Georgia and
South Carolina * * .* * *
Monthly Shipments by Producing Districts in Florida, Georgia
and South Carolina . e . . . *
Usual Inputs and Cost Per Acre in Coastal Plain of Georgia, *. .


Page


* 0 *,
)




.42 3 7







SUMAfRY


ITatermelons are produced in nearly all of Floridats 67 counties, with

major production being located in areas east of the Apalachicola River. The

acreage planted to watermelons in Florida has doubled since 1946 and quadrupled

since 1942. Production of melons in 1955 was triple that of 1946 and more

than four times as large as that of 1942. During the five-season period

1941 to 1945 Florida growers harvested an annual average of 7,203,000 water-

melons from 24,900 acres. During the period 1951 to 1955 the annual harvest

averaged 26,s58,000 melons from 81,600 acres. The average yield was 289 and

325 melons per acre, respectively. The average value of the crop increased

from 3 million dollars in the earlier period to 11 million dollars annually

in the latter five-season period. The 1955 crop was valued at more than 14

million dollars.

United States production of iwtermelons has nearly doubled since 193$.

Florida's production is now 25 percent of the total United States watermelon

crop. In 1935-39 Florida produced only 8.5 percent of the total.

Concentrated movement of Florida watermelons begins in late Harch or early

April of each season and continues through July. Heaviest shipments from

Florida in late May, June and July must compete with shipments from California,

Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.

Mexico, the principal foreign competitor, ships a few hundred cars into

the United States during April, May and early June. Cuban and Central Amer-

ican competition is minor.

Fifty-eight percent of Florida's watermelons moved in June, 29 percent

in IIay and 12 percent in July of the 1955 season. Trucks hauled 58 percent
of the 1955 crop and 42 percent moved by rail.







2

During the 1955 season Florida watermelons were shipped by rail or truck

to at least 43 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces.

Rail movement was greatest to points of concentrated population and large mar-

kets, Truck movement was greatest to nearby points and small market areas.

Prices received for Florida watermelons are highest in April and lowest

in July. Price is inversely related to supply, being high when supply is low

and vice versa, watermelonn prices have declined since their peak in 1943.

Florida watermelon prices tend to change in the same direction, but more

erratically than prices received by farmers in the United States for commercial

vegetables and all farm products. The index of watermelon prices (1935-39=100)

has been high relative to the index of commercial vegetables in nine of the

past ten seasons.
The cost of growing watermelons has been increasing. Yield is a most

important factor in determining per-unit costs of growing melons. High yields

mean lower costs per unit and improve profit-making possibilities even in low

price years,

Growers generally have less control over harvesting costs than over pro-

duction costs since in the former case they are paying for a series of services

usually performed by others. Harvesting, packing and selling costs during the

1954 season averaged $0,15, $0.13 and $011 per melon in the Immokalee, Lees-

burg and Gainesville areas, respectively.








STATISTICS ON PRODUCTION, SHII1PENTS
AND PRICES OF FLCRIDA '.ATERME LONS

by

Donald L. Brooke l/



INTRODUCTION

This publication was prepared to present selected statistical data relat-

ing to the production and marketing of watermelons for fresh market in Florida,

These data are compiled from published reports of the United States Department;

of Agriculture, Bureau of the Census and the Florida State Marketing Bureau,

They are intended for the use of individuals, commodity groups, and others as

factual background information for use in making policy decisions on marketing

and other problems relating to the watermelon industry in the State,

rA vrc,.
PRBDUCTIO8 OF 17ATERIELONS IN FLORIDA

0J TJatermelons are produced in nearly all of Florida's 67 counties. How-

ever, the principal areas of production are located east of the Apalachicola

River Thile, for all practical purposes, the crop is shipped in the period

of four months, April to July, inclusive, all areas are not shipping simulta-

neously, Planting and, hence to a great extent harvesting is governed by the

date of the last killing frost in the area. Thus, the first shipments in late

March or early April are from South Florida counties. It is late April or
early May before harvesting begins in Central Florida and June before North
and West Florida harvest.



l/ Associate Agricultural Economist, Florida Agricultural Experiment
Stations, Gainesville, Florida.








Trend in Acres, Yield: Production and Value
Acres The harvested acreage of watermelons in Florida since 1926 ha;
6/ &L. 1 1169 Wi;i A I !
ranged from 12,500 acres in 1943 to 98,000 acres in 19S~ Table 1 and ig.)

Some 40,000 acres were harvested in 1929. This was the high point until the

1946 season when 47,000 acres were harvested. For the five-year period 1936-40

an average of 20,820 acres was harvested annually. This was around 5,000 acres

less than the annual average of any other five-year period from 1926 to 1945.
Acreage increased sharply after 1943. Acreage harvested in the period 1946-50

averaged 53,200 acres per year, more than twice the annual average of the per-

iod 1941-4. During the period 1951-55, an average of 81,600 acres was harvest-

ed per season. It is estimated that 90,000 acres will be harvested in Florida
during the current (1956) season.

Yield per acre Watermelon yields have been relatively stable over the

period of the last three decades. The highest yield of record during this

period was the 449 melons per acre reported in 1926. 'h ied

reaonmaverage yield since 1926 was 370 melons per acre in 195 A low yield
M/-mels~-PaeLre3t reported in 1934. UJeather is, of course, a most

important factor in determining yield and price_/ is another. The introduction

of new higher yielding varieties, increased applications of fertilizer and

more attention to insect and disease control should increase yields in the

future. The average annual yield of 325 melons in the most recent five-year

period is 20 percent larger than the average yield of 1946-50, but only 3,5

percent greater than the 1926-30 average. Yield, during the present season

is estimated at 350 melons per acre.



2/ Then prices are high growers tend to take better care of the plants
and to harvest more carefully over a longer period of time, thereby increasing
total yield.








Table 1e Watermelons Acreage, Yield, Production and Value in Florida,
1926 to 1955 and Five-Season Averages, 1926 to 1955
: Acres : Yield : Production : Average : Total
Season :harvested:per acre: Total : Of value : price : value


(ilelons) (Thousand Melons)


(Per Thou- (Thousand
sand ifelons) Dollars)


1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
194o
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947
19748
1949
1950
1951
1952
195
19a
1955
1956 9
Five-season
1926-1930
1931-1935
1936-19o4
1941-1945
1946-1950
1951-1955


214,150
29,420
3,900
40,0oo
34,700
31,000
28,500
22,500
23,oo00
20,000
16,000
19,500
22,500
22,600
23,500
25,500
22,000
12,500
25,500
39,000
47,000
47,000
45;ooo
59,000
68,000
57;000
72,000
93,000
98,000
88,000
90,000
averages
32,634
25,080
20,820
21,,900
53,200
81,600


449
300
275
290
300
330
200
220
180
330
280
300
310
240
290
270
325
325
305
260
225
275
305
240
300
315
305
295
335
370
350

314
25
28H
289
270
325


10,843
8,826
9,598
11,600
10,410
10,230
5,700
4;95o
4,212
6 600
4,480
5,850
6,975
5,424
6,815
6,885
7,150
4,062
7,778
10,140
10,575
12,925
13,725
14,160
20,400
17,955
21,960
27,435
32,830
32,560
31,500

10,255
6,338
5,909
7,203
14,357
26,548


10,843
8,826
9,598
11,600
9,473
10,230
5,700
i,950
4,212
6,600
4,480
5i460
660
6,300
5,424
6,815
6,885
7,150
4,062
7,778
10,140
10,575
11,347
13,725
14,160
14,862
17i955
21,960
27,;35
29875
29,000


10,068
6,338
5,696
7,203
12,934
25,245


$183
218
215
278
250
200
160
200
185
110
200
240
150
180
175
210
225
650
659
483
525
447
464
424
392
455

320
500


230
172
187
436
446
448


1,984
1,924
2,o64
3,225
2,368
2,046
912
990
779
726
896
1,310
945
976
1,193
1,446
1,609
2,640
5,126
4,898
5,552
5,072
6,368
6 004
5$826
8,170
11$749
12,620
560
14500


2,313
1;09.
1,064
3;144
5,764
11,320


a/ Preliminary,
Source: USDA, AiS Commercial Truck Crops 1918-41, Commercial Vege-
tables 1939-$b; Alorida Crop anQ Livestock reporting Service,
Florid Vegetable Crops, 1955, and Estimated Acreages, Hay 1,
1956,








6


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Production The nearly 30,000,000 melons sold in the 1954 season is

the largest production of value on record. Production of value in each season

since 1953 has been more than 27,000,000 melons. This is almost double the

annual production of the five-year period 1946-50 and more than four times

the average 1936-40 production. The 1956 total production is estimated at

31,500,000 melons.

Value The fourth largest acreage, second greatest yield per acre and

fifth highest season average price on record combined to give the highest crop

value to watermelons in the 1955 season. The 14 million dollars received for

that crop was nearly 2 million dollars greater than the previous high of 12

million dollars received in 1953. The annual value for the five-season average,

1951-55, was more than 11 million dollars. This was twice the average annual

value of the 1946-50 period and ten times that of the 1931-35 and 1936-40

periods. (Fig. 2)

Relative Trend in the Production of Watermelons
in Florida and the United States

From 1935 to 1955 there has been an increase of 96 percent in the total

production of watermelons in the United States. (Fig. 3) This is a relatively

small increase vhen compared with that of Florida for the same period. Floridals

production increased rapidly after 1943. In each of the past three seasons

Floridats production has been four to five times the average of the 1935-39

period. Florida is currently producing 25 percent of the total United States

watermelon crop. During the 1935-39 period Florida's production averaged 8.5

percent of the United States total.

Trend in Acreage and Production by District in Florida

For the purposes of this report and the convenience of the intended user

the State has been divided into four production districts according to the













Production
(1,000 Melon,
27,000 -


24,000 -

21,000 -


18,000 -

15,000 -

12,000 -


9,000

6,000 -


3,000 -


Fig. 2. -


Value
)00 Dollars)
- 13,500


12,000

10,500


9,000


7,500



A \ 36,000


\ 1,500
-
.,, 1 0 0



tI\i 0. 3,000

1931- 1936- 1941- 1946- 1951-
1935 1940 1945 1950 1955
Five Season Averages
Production and Value of Florida "Jatermelons, Five-
Season Averages, 1926-1955


Source: Table 1.














Index f







II






S ?
0 -r





/0




10 United States
S I


194O


Years


Fig. 3, -


Tatermelons Relative Trend in Production, United
States and Florida, 1935 to 1955


(1935-39 = 100)



Source: Computed from data contained in USDA, Ai1S, Commercial
Truck Crons. 1918-Ll. Commercial Vegetables, 199-56


and AnnualS Summaries, 1951-55,


4c


30


20


I li- I


. -


50


10


1935






10
definitions incorporated in a proposed watermelon marketing agreement. These

districts are shoin in Fig. 4h

Acreage The trend in acreage by districts for the past ten seasons is

shown in Table 2 and Fig. 5. Acreage has increased in the four districts from

43,600 in the 1946 season to 89,975 acres harvested in the 1954 season. The

acreage in Other Florida, (counties west of the Apalachicola River), has in-
creased from 2,375 acres in 1948 to 9,000 acres harvested in 1955, or from 5,3

to 10.2 percent of the total Florida acreage.

The bulk of the increase in acreage in Florida has been concentrated in

Districts I and II, Acreage in District I increased from 800 in 1947 to 11,500

acres in 1955 or from 1.7 to 13.1 percent of the total Florida acreage. Dis-

trict II acreage increased from 10,000 in 1946 to 30,700 in 1954, or from 21

to 31 percent of the total.

Districts III and IV have had an increase in acreage planted but have de-

clined in relative importance in the State, District III harvested 46 percent

of the State acreage in 1949 but less than 28 percent in 1955. Similarly, Dis-

trict IV, which harvested nearly one-fourth of the Florida acreage in 1946 har-

vested only one-sixth in 1951 and approximately one-fifth of the total acreage

in 1955.

In terms of relative importance during the two most recent five-season

periods acreage in District I increased from less than 3 to more than 9 percent

of the State total. (Table 3). Acreage in District II increased from 26 to 32

percent. District III decreased from 44 to 33 percent and District IV from

about 20 to 18 percent of the State total.

Production Harvested production in District I has increased by a greater
amount than the increase in acreage during the ten seasons shomn. (Table 4 and
Fig, 6.) Harvested production in District II has remained relatively constant
despite an increase in acreage. Production in Districts III and IV has increas-
ed in total volume but decreased in relative importance in the State,



















ALPIA3E:TICAL LIST OF COUITTIES -11 FLORIDA
MRIJBERED TO AGREE TITH KEY lAP


Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard
Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay
Collier
Columbia
Dade
DeSoto
Dixie
Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden
Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Haiilton
Hardee
Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes
Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette


35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
1i.
42.
43.
4b4.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58..
59.
60.
61.
62.
63.
64..
65..
66.
67.


Lake
Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Hadison
Eanatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe
Nassau
Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach
Pasco
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Seminole
St. Johns
St. Lucie
Sumter
Suvannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia
'Wakulla
*Talton
'Jashington


Fig. 4. Division of Peninsular Florida into WTatermelon Producing Areas.
(Proposed marketing Agreement Districts).


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.


Sa % r -M a








12

Table 2. TTatermelons Acreages for Harvest by Producing Districts in Florida,
Seasons 1946 to 1955

District : 1946 : 1947 : 1948 : 1949 : 1950 : 1951 : 1952 : 1953 : 194 : 1955
: : : : :


1,550

14,650
27,400

11,850

3,550

59,000




2.6

24.9

46.14
20.1

6.0

100.0


Acres
2,300 2,750

17,000 20,250

30,000 21,000

14,200 9,600

4,500 3,400

68,000 57,000


Percent

3.4 4.8

25.0 35.5

44.1 36.9

20.9 16.8


I






Other
Florida

Total
II
III








IV

Other
Florida

Total
I

II


IV

Other
Florida

Total


1,350

10,000
21,250

11,000


3,O00

47,000




2.9

21.3

45.2
23.4


7.2

100,0


4,200

25,200

25,950

12,350

4,300

72,000




5.8

35.0

36.0
17.2

6.0

100.0


10,100

28,700

31,800

16,300

6,100

93,000




10.9

30.9
34.2

17.5

6.5

100,0


9,325

30,700

33,200

16,750

8,025

98,000




9.5

31.3

33.9
17.1

8.2

100.0


11,500
26,050

24,400

17,050


9,000

88,000




13.1

29.6

27.7

19.4

10.2

100.0


Source: USDA, AMS, Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, Florida
Vegetable Crops, Vols. II through XI, 1946-1955.


800

14,950
18,250

9,200

3,800

47,000




1.7

31.8

38.8
19.6

8.1

100.0


1,525

12,600

20,350

8,150

2,375

45,000




3.4

28.0

45.2
18.1


5.3
100,0


6.6

100.0


6.0

100.0












































Years


Fig. 5. -


Watermelons Percent of Acreage Harvested by Production District
in Florida, Seasons 1946 to 1955


Source: Table 2.

















Table 3. watermelonss Acreage for Harvest by Pro-
ducing District in Florida, Five-Season
Averages, 1946-50 and 1951-55


: 'Five-Season Average : Five-Season Average
District: I26-50 1951-55
isr A : Percent Acreage : Percent
:forCI eest: of Total :for Harvest: of Total

I : 1,05 2.8 7,575 9.3

II : 13,840 26.0 : 26,180 32.1
III : 23,450 4t.1 : 27,270 33.4
IV : 10,880 20.5 : 14,hlO 17.7
Other
Florida : 3,525 6.6 : 6,165 75
Total : 53,200 100.0 0 81,600 100.0


Source: Table 2.











Table 4. '.atermelons -


Harvested Production by Producing District in Florida,
Seasons 1946 to 1955


District : 1946 : 1947 : 1948 : 1949 : 1950 : 1951 : 1952 : 1953 : 1954 : 1955


I 350
II 3,702
III 3,808
IV 2,143


Other
Florida


153
4,122

4,071
2,452


356
4,020

6,404

2,399


Thousand melons

262 478 841

4,241 4,418 6,742

5,758 6,271 6,660
3,185 2,827 2,737


572 549 546 714 868 975 2,098 1,733 2,234 2,320


Total 10,575 11,347 13,725 14,160 14,862 17,955 21,960 27,435 29,875 29,000


I 3.3
II 35.0
III 36.0
IV "20.3


Other
Florida

Total


5$4
100.0


1.4

36.3

35.9
21.6

4.8

100,0


2.6

29.3

16.6
17.5

4.0
100.0


1.8

30.0

4o.7
22.5


Percent

3.2 4.7

29.7 37.6
42.2 37.1
19.0 15.2


7.8

34.7
30.3
17.6


15.4

37.3
29.7
11.3


9.0
36.0

32.6
14.9


17.5

36.3
24.3
13.9


5,0 5.9 5.4 9.6 6.3 7.5 8.0


100,0 100.0 100.0


100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


Source: USDA, AMS, Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, Florida
Vegetable Crops, Vols. II through XI, 1946-1955.


1,717

7,631
6,644

3,870


4,224
10,247

8,139

3,092


2,685

10,771
9,736

4,449


5,060

10,532

7,038
4,038













Percent
100


Years


Fig. 6, -


Watermelons Percent of Production Harvested by Producing
District in Florida, Seasons 1946 to 1955.


Source: Table 4.





17

In terms of relative importance during the two most recent five-season

averages, production in District I increased from 2.5 to 11.5 percent of the
State total. (Table 5). District II production increased by about 5 percent

while that in Districts III and IV decreased 10 and 6 percent, respectively,
of the total production in the State.

MOVEME1 OF WATERMELONS

Florida and Other States

Eleven carlot equivalents of watermelons moved out of Florida during Dec-

ember, January, February and March of the 1954-55 season. movement t in volume
from Florida began the week ending April 9, 1955 and continued through July.
(Table 6 and Fig. 7), Heaviest shipments were made during the weeks ending

June L and June 25, 1955, After July 2 movement declined rapidly to the end

of the month. In the 1955 season 58 percent of the Florida melons moved by
truck and 42 percent by rail
During the current season (1956) first shipments from Florida were made
the week ending March 24, (Table 7). Total Florida movement through the week

ending July 21 was slightly less than that of the 1955 season to the correspond-
ing date.
Florida has little domestic competition in the production of watermelons

until late May of each season, California, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina

shipments are heavy during June and July. Alabama, Arizona, Hississippi, North
Carolina and Arkansas also ship some melons in competition with Florida.

Foreign Competition
Competition from 1texico is the most important to the Florida industry
among the foreign sources. Imports of 618 carlots of watermelons were reported
from Mexico during April, May and June of the 1955 season. Mexican movement
began in March of the 1956 season and, ended in early June with 1272 carlots re-
ported. aGub e oer -maee I ao -tor wnatBemBriends Some 14 cars
were received from Central American sources in March and April, 1956. 3













Table 5. Watermelons Production for Harvest by Producing
District in Florida, Five-Season Averages, 1946-50
and 1951-55

Five-Season Average : Five-Season Average
S1946-50 : 1951-55
District: Production : Percent : Production : Percent
:Thousand Melons: of Total :Thousand Melons: of Total

I : 320 2.5 : 2,905 11.5
: --
II : 4,101 31.7 : 9,185 36.4

III : 5,262 L0.7 : 7,646 30.3

IV : 2,601 201 : 3,637 14.4

Other
Florida : 650 5.0 : 1,872 7.4
Total : 12,934 100.0 25,245 100.0


Source: Table 4.

















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Shipment of Watermelons by Districts from Florida

movementt normally begins with shipments from District I (South Florida)

in early April. Heaviest movement from District I is in May and from Districts

II, III, and IV in June. (Table 8).

Of the total movement out of Florida in the 1955 season 17 percent origin-
ated in District I, 35 percent in District II and 26 percent in District III.
Only 9 percent of total movement in 1955 originated in District IV.

June shipments were 58 percent of the season total in 1955, 29 percent

moved in iay and 12 percent in July. For individual districts, 85 percent of

the movement from District I occurred in May. From District II, one-third of

the shipments were loaded in i.lay and three-fifths in June, Eighty-six percent

of District III shipments moved during June. District IV shipments were more

evenly divided between the months of June and July.

DISTRIBUTION OF WATERMELONS FROM FLORIDA
During the 1955 season watermelons from Florida moved directly to 43 of
the 48 states, to the District of Columbia and to at least three of the Canadian

Provinces, As one would expect, movement by rail and truck was heaviest to
points east of the Mississippi River. (Fig. 86 Rail movement was heavier than
that of truck to points of concentrated population and large markets such as
Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. Truck
movement was greatest to nearby states and to small market areas.

PRICES OF 7TATERNELONS
Prices received by Florida growers for watermelons depend upon (1) the

size of the Florida crop, (2) the amount of domestic and foreign competition,

(3) the volume of competing vegetables available, (4) weather conditions in
the market, (5) variety of melons produced, and (6) the general level of all

prices in the United States. These are the factors generally believed to have

a major effect on price. &e pe the e fect of each is not-ithin
the scope of this report'. Only general relationships can be shown.









Table 8. Watermelons IMonthly Shipments in Carlot Equiv-
alents by Producing Districts in Florida,a/
Season 1955

: Shipments by District
Month : I : II : 11 : IV : Other b/ : Total
Carlot
March 11 11
April 309 5 4 318
May 4135 3567 529 10 14 8255
June 415 5981 6U54 1698 1969 16517
July 24 305 535 863 1562 3289
Total 4883 9858 7518 2571 3560 28390
Percent
March .3 c/
April 6,3 .1 .1 1.1
May 84.7 36.2 7.1 .4 4 29.1
June 8.5 60.6 85.8 66.0 55.3 58.2
July .5 3.1 7.1 33.6 43.9 11.6

Total 100.0 1000 100.0 100.0 100.0 100,0
Percent of Total
17.2 34.7 26.5 9.1 12.5 100.0


a/ Includes imports from Cuba reported at road guard sta-
tions as originating in Florida. Florida origin for most
of these imports is believed to be District I. Only 20
carlot equivalents were imported during the period re-
ported here. Some of these may have been consumed in
Florida and did not enter inter-state movement.

SIncludes shipments from 'est Florida and those of un-
known origin.

c/ Less than .05 percent.

Source: USDA, AMS, Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting
Service, Florida Vegetable Crops, Vol. XI, Mimeo.

















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Relationship of Production and Price of Watermelons

There tends to be an inverse relationship between the production of water-

melons in Florida and the average price received by farmers. (Fig, 9). If pro-

duction increases, prices decline and if production decreases, prices increase.

After 1943 there was a definite upward trend in watermelon production in Florida,

From 19l4 to 1950 the price received showed a general decline. A decrease in

Florida production in 1951 and a change in some other factor in 1952 resulted

in two years of increasing price, 1951 and 1952. Prices declined in 1953 and

1954 as production continued its increase. The high price of 1955 must have

been due to some factor not readily apparent. There was little change in Florida

production from 1954 to 1955 and total production (Florida competition) was as

high or higher than in the previous season.


Variation in Monthly Prices of Watermelons

Average watermelon prices by months for the five-year periods, 195-49 and

1951-55 are shown in Fig. 10. Average monthly prices are highest in April and

decline rather sharply as the season progresses. This is what one might expect.

A new item or one in relatively scarce supply commands a higher price in the

market than an item in plentiful supply. During the 1951-55 period average

prices received in May were $0,27 per melon below average April prices. June

prices were $0.23 per melon below the May average,


Relationship of Prices for Florida VWatermelons to the
Geneoar. level of A2l Farm Pr coes and Prices cleaniv2d
for Commercial Vegetables in the United States

Prices received for watermelons in Florida tend to change in the same direc-
tion, but more erratically than, prices received by farmers in the United States
for commercial vegetables and all farm products. (Fig. 11). Watermelon prices
tend to rise and fall more rapidly than commercial vegetable or all farm product
prices. Watermelon prices have declined since World War II whereas the general
trend of the other two indexes has been slightly upward. fatermelon prices have















Production
(1,000 Melons) I
35,000 -


30,000 -


25,000 -


20,000 -


15,000 -


10,000


5,000 -'-

0
1936


Fig. 9. -


Dollars Per
(1,000 Melons)
700


Price I 600

600


S- /- 100






//
/ /- 300

//
S r--~' Production 200


v 100

S, f r I I 0
1940 1945 1950 1955
Years


-Tatermelons Trend in Total Production and Price in
Florida, Seasons 1936 to 1955


Source: Table 1.





















Dollars Per
1,000 MfeLong


1,000


800


600


400

200

0


1945I-40 -



1951-3-


May


Months


June


Apr.


Fig. 10. -


July


'Tatermelons Average Monthly Price Per 1,000 Melons
Received by Florida Farmers Five-Seasons 1945-h9
and 1951-55


Source: Unpublished Data, Florida Agriculturel Experiment
Stations,




















300


200




100


Year


Fig. 11. Indexes of Prices Received for Watermelons by Florida Farmers
and Prices Received for Conmiercial Vegetables and All Farm
Products in the United States, 1935-1955
(1935-39 = 100)


Source: USDA, AMS, Agricultural Statistics, 1954 and Agricultural Prices,
Monthly, 1955.








been high relative to the index of al1 farm product prices in four of the past

ten seasons* They have been high relative to the index 3/ of commercial vege-
table prices in nine of the past ten seasons.

COST OF PRODUCING WATERMELONS IN FLORIDA
The cost of producing watermelons in selected areas in Florida is shown in
Table 9, Growing costs per melon are highest in the Immokalee Area despite the

relatively higher yields per acre also found in the area. Some of the reasons
for these higher growing costs may be explained by higher labor cost, higher
capital investment in machinery and equipment and greater use of fertilizer end
spray materials in the Immokalee Area,

Yields are the most important factor in determining the unit cost of pro-
ducing a crop. High yields lower production costs per-unit. Growing costs
fluctuate widely between areas because of the differences in cost and use of
labor and the use of materials for crop production.
In at least two of the four seasons shown for the respective areas, growers
have failed to receive prices sufficiently high to cover per melon costs of pro-
duction, harvesting and selling. In both the 1953 and the 1954 season average
net returns per melon were negative in each of the areas shown. In 1952 only
one of the areas indicated a negative net return,

COST OF HARVESTING, PACKING AND SELLING WATERMELONS IN FLORIDA
The cost of harvesting, packing and selling watermelons in selected areas
for the 1954 season is shown in Table 10o Again costs are greater in the
Immokalee Area, Labor is paid higher wages and hauling rates are higher than
is generally true in the other areas. Lower commission costs in the Gainesville
Area indicates perhaps more direct farmer sales or lower brokerage charges in
the season shown. Total harvesting, packing and selling costs per melon were
$0.15, $0o13 and '0.11 in the Immokalee, Leesburg and Gainesville Areass re-
spectively, in 1954. Growers generally have less control over harvesting costs
than over production costs since in the former case they are paying for a series
of services usually performed by others.


3/ The base used for all three of the indexes compared is 1935-39.









Table 9. -


!Jatermelons Yields
Areas in Florida, by


and Per-Unit Costs and Returns
Seasons, 1950-51 to 1954-55.


in Selected


Item :1950-51:1951-52:1952-53:1953-54:19S5-55


Yield per acre (melons)

Amount per melon
Growing cost
Harvesting cost
Total crop cost
Crop sales (FOB)
Net return


Yield per acre (melons)

Amount per melon
Growing cost
Harvesting cost
Total crop cost
Crop sales (FOB)
Net return


Yield per acre (melons)

Amount per melon
Growing cost
Harvesting cost
Total crop cost
Crop sales (FOB)
Net return


Immokalee Area
399.1 516.0 282.5


$0.56
.17
.73
.88
.15


$0.49
.1L
.63
.55
-.608


$0.72
.15
.87
.55
-.32


Leesburg Area
302,3 304.0 241.O 333.5


So.ko
%0.40
.13
.53
.54
.01


%0.46
$o.k6
.12
.58
.57
-,01


$0.50
.13
.63
.51
-.12


$0.31
.13
.44
.36
-.08


Gainesville Area
322.3 251.0 163.0 209.1


$0.16
.09
.25
.50
.25


$0.27
.10
.37
.54
.17


$o,4
.13
.57
.39
-.18


80.34
.11
.45
*kS
,23
-.22


Source: Brooke, D. L., Costs and Returns from Vegetable Crops in Florida;
Fla, Agr. Exp. Sta., AE MIimeos 52-2, j3-3, 54-11, 55-7, and 56-7.


535.6


.15
.57
.73
.16















Table 10. watermelons Harvesting, Packing and
Selling Costs Per L.elon in Selected
.Areas in Florida, Season 1953-54.


Item :Immokalee:Leesburg:Gainesville

Cents per melon

Picking 2.9 2., 2.0
Hauling 4.8 3.9 3.7
Packing 1,5 1.2 1.2
Car materials 1.3 1.0 1ol
Inspection 1.3 1.1 1,2
Commission 3,6 3.2 1,5

Total harvesting,
packing and selling
cost 15, 12.8 10.7




Source: Brooke, D. L., Costs and Returns from Vege-
table Crops in Florida, Fla, Agr. Exp, Sta.,
AE Mimeo 3-7, 1955,

































APPENDIX








Table 11. -


Vlatermelons Acreage, Yield, Production and Value in Georgia,
1926 to 1955 and Five-Season Averages, 1926 to 1955


: Acres : Yield : Production s Average : Total
Season :harvested:per acres: Total : UO value : price : value


(Melons) (Thousand melons)


(Per Thou- (Thousand
sand melons) Dollars)


1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
19145
1946
1947
19148
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956 g
Five-season
1926-1930
1931-1935
1936-1940
1941-1945
1946-1950
1951-1955


53,600
55,230
62,950
70,200
80,000
75,000
76,000
56,000
77,000
81,000
60,000
64,000
63,000
61,000
66,000
61,000
41,000
33,000
42,000
46,000
59,000
60,000
44,000
51,000
55,000
45,000
145,000
49,000
60,000
64,000
58,000
averages
64,396
73,000
62,800
44,600
53,800
52,600


391
325
300
330
400
270
210
220
170
220
210
250
240
170
285
230
280
345
335
340
255
285
270
280
275
295
275
270
265
290


351
218
232
299
273
279


20,958
17,950
18,885
23,166
32,000
20,250
15,960
12,320
13,090
17,820
12,600
16,000
15,168
10,370
18,810
14,030
11,480
11,385
14,070
15,6140
15,o45
17,100
11,880
14,280
15,125
13,275
12,375
13,230
15,900
18,560


22,592
15,888
14,590
13,321
14,686
14,668


20,958
17,950
18,885
23,166
27,260
20,250
12,000
12,320
13,090
16,220
12,600
14,100
12,892
10,370
15,0148
14,030
11,480
11,385
14,o070
15,640
15,o045
15,048
11,880
14,280
15,125
13,275
12,375
13,230
14,900
15,000


21,644
14,776
13,062
13,321
14,276
13,756


$121
161
141
150
70
65
50
72
82
50
130
65
72
125
80
110,
190
405
375
435
44o
250
400
330
250
335
500
456
242
251


124
63
92
306
331
350


2,536
2,890
2,663
3,475
1,908
1,316
600
887
1,073
811
1,638
936
928
1,296
1,204
1,543
2,181
4,611
5,276
6,803
6,620
3,762
.,752
14,712
3,781
4, 447
6,188
6,033
3,606
3,765


2,694
-937
1,200
4,083
4,725
4,808


a/ Preliminary.

Source: USDA, AMS, Commercial Truck Crops 1918-41, Commercial Vegetables,
1939-50 and Florida Crop and 'Livestock Reporting Service, Florida Vege-
table Cropsp 1955, and Acreage and Indicated Production, May 1, 1956,








Table 12. -


T'atermelons Acreage, Yield, Production and Value in South
Carolina, 1926 to 1955 and Five-Season Averages, 1926 to 1955


: Acres : Yield : Production : Average : Total
Season :harvested:per acre: Total : Of value : price : value


1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
194o
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956 a/
Five-season
1926-1930
1931-1935
1936-194o
1941-1945
1946-1950
1951-1955


14,600
13,300
14,300
11,500
16,000
18,000
19,000
23,000
21,200
22,000
20,000
21,000
21,000
25,500
25,500
25,500
22,000
18,000
27,000
36,000
46,oo0
45,000
37,000
47,ooo
51,000
bl,800
43,000
47,000
55,000
63,000
56,000
averages
13,940
20,640
22,600
25,700
45,200
49,960


(Thousand melons)


(Melons)

380
320
300
330
360
260
205
210
14o
220
255
220
200
180
200
190
200
250
290
265
200
240
200
170
180
250
190
220
190
260


339
206
209
242
197
223


5,548
4,256
4,290
3,795
5,760
4,680
3,895
4,830
2,968
4,840
5,100
4,620
4,200
4,590
5,100
4,845
4,400
4,50o
7,830
9,540
9,200
10,800
7,4oo
7,990
9,180
10,450
8,170
10,304
10,450
16,380


4,730
4,243
4,722
6,223
8,914
11,158


(Per thou- (Thousand
sand melons) Dollars)


5,548
4,256
4,290
3,795
5,760
4,680
3,895
4,830
2,968
4,ooo
4,900
4,200
3,150
4,590
5,100
4,845
4,400
4,500
7,830
9,54o
9,200
8,200
7,400
7,990
7,180
10,450
8,170
10,340
10,450
16,380


4,730
4,075
4,388
6,223
7,994
11,158


$ 88
168
94
175
50
98
60
50
120
92
145
55
100
100
80
120
250
359
300
390
262
220
375
316
235
305
395
394
303
218


108
81
97
301
280
309


a/ Indicated May


1 Preliminary.


SOURCE: USDA, ANS, Commercial Truck Crops 1918-41, Commercial Vegetables,
1939-50 and Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, Florida Vege-
table Crops, 1955, and Acreage and Indicated Production, May 1, 1956.


i A A


488
715
403
664
288
459
234
242
356
368
710
231
315
459
408
581
1,100
1,616
2,349
3,721
2,l10
1,804
2,775
2,525
1,687
3,187
3,227
4,074
3,166
3,571


512
332
125
1,873
2,240
3,445















5oo -

I


00- Florida




300 -

I I


South /
200 .
'Carolina



S- -, United States.


Georgia


0k I i I i 1 1 1 i
1935 1940 19h5 1950 1955
Years
Fig. 12. watermelons s Relative Trend in Production, United
States, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, 1935- to 1955
(1935-39 = 100)

Source: Computed from data contained in USDA, AMS, Commercial
Truck Crops, 1918-hl, Commercial Vegetables, 1939-50
and Annual Summaries, 191-55.















































Fig* 13, Proposed Marketing Agreement Districts in Georgia







ALPHABETICAL LIST OF COUNTIES IN GEORGIA

NUMBERED TO AGREE WITH KEY MAP


1. Atkinson
2. Appling
3. Bacon
4. Baker
5. Baldwin
6. Banks
7. Barrow
8. Bartow
9. Ben Hill
10, Berrien
11. Bibb
12. Bleckly
13. Brentley
14, Brooks
15; Bryan
16. Bulloch
17. Burke
18. Butts
19. Calhoun
20. Camden
21. Candler
22; Carroll
23. Catoosa
24. Chatham
25. Chattahoochee
26' Charlton
27, Chatooga
28. Cherokee
29. Clinch
30. Clarke
31. Clay
32, Clayton
33' Cobb
34h Coffee
35. Columbia
36, Colquitt
37o Cook
38 Covweta
39; Crawford
40; Crisp
41; Dade
42, Dawson
434 Decatur
44; Dekalb
45# Dodge
46. Dooly
47. Dougherty
48. Dallas
49, Early
50; Echols
51, Effingham
52. Elbert
53 Emanuel


54. Evans
55. Fayette
56 Fannin
57. Floyd
58# Forsyth
59. Franklin
604 Fulton
61. Gilmer
62. Glascock
63, Glynn
64. Gordon
65' Grady
*66a Greene
67. Gvinnett
68. Hobersham
69, Hall
70# Hancock
71. Haralson
72. Harris
73, Hart.
74, Heard
75a Henry
76. Houston
77, Irwin
78o Jackson
79, Jasper
80; Jeff Davis
81. Jefferson
82. Jenkins
834 Johnson
84! Jones
85. Lamar
86, Lanier
87, Laurens
88, Lee
89* Liberty
90. Lincoln
91. Long
92. LonTdes
934 Lumpkin
94b Macon
95e Madison
964 Marion
97. McDuffie
98. McIntosh
99. Meriwether
100. Miller
101:. iatohell
102. Monroe
103. Montgomery
104. Morgan
106 scarray
106. Muscogee


107. Newton
108o Oconee
109' Oglethorpe
1104 Paulding
111i Peach
1124 Pickens
113~ Pierce
114; Pike
115. Polk
116; Pulaski
117; Putnam
1184 Quitman
1194 Rabun
120* Randolph
121. Richmand
122, Rockdale
123. Schley
124. Screven
125. Seminole
126. Spalding
127. Stephens
128. Stewart
129, Sumter
130o Talbot
131. Taliaferro
132. Tattnall
133. Taylor
334o Telfair
135. Terrell
136, Thomas
137. Tift
138. Toombs
339. Towns
140i Treutlen
14'1 Troup
142. Turner
143. Twiggs
144; Union
145. Upson
146. Walker
147, Walton
148. Ware
149; Warren
150. Washington
151, Wayne
152. Webster
153o Wheeler
154. White
155. Whitfield
156, Wilcox
157. Wilkes
1596 Wilkinson
159* Worth


























VIII


VIII


VII


VII


ALPHABETICAL LIST OF COUNTIES IN
SOUTH CAROLINA NUMBERED TO AGREE
1WTH KEY MAP


Fig. 14 -


Proposed Marketing Agreement
Districts, in South Carolina.


Abbeville
Aiken
Allendale
Anderson
Bamberg
Barnwell
Beaufort
Berkley
Calhoun
Charleston
Cherokee
Chester
Chesterfield
Clarendon
Colleton
Darlingtcn
Dillon


19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.


Edgefield
Fairfield
Florence
Georgetown
Greenville
Greenwood


26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.


Horry
Jasper
Kershaw
Lancaster
Laurens
Lee


33.
34.
35;
36.
37.
38.


Marion 400.
Marlboro 41.
McCormick 42.
Newberry L43
Oconee 14.
Orangeburgh&5


Richland
Saluda
Spartanburg
Sumter
Union
Williamsburg


1.
2.
3.
h.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9;
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
150"
16.
17.













Table 13. Watermelons Acreages for Harvest by Districts
in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Seasons,
1949 and 1954


1949 1954
State and District
SAcreage Percent Acreage Percent

Florida
I 1,550 1.0 9,325 4.8
II 14,650 9.7 30,700 15.9
III 27,400 18.1 33,200 17.2
IV 11,850 7.8 16,750 8.7
Georgia a/
V 22,355 14.7 31,232 16.2
VI 21,706 14.3 23,142 12.0
South Carolina a/
VII 29,987 19.8 23,584 12.2
VIII 15,389 10.1 14,338 7.4
District Total 144,887 95.5 182,271 94.4
Other
Florida 3,550 2.3 8,025 4.1
Georgia a 3,313 2.2 3,013 1.5
Total 151,750 100.0 193,309 100.0


a/ These data from the Census of Agriculture represent 92.9
and 95.6 percent respectively of the State total acreage
reported for Georgia by the USDA Crop Reporting Service
in 1949 and 1954 and 96.5 and 68.9 percent, respectively,
of the State total reported for South Carolina by the
same source.
Source: USDA, AMS, Commercial Vegetablest 1939-50 and 1954;
US Bureau of the Census, Census of Agriculture,
1950 and 1955.








Table 14.


- Watermelons Monthly Shipments in Carlot Equivalents
by Producing Districts in Florida, a/ Georgia and South
Carolina, b/ Season 1955


: Shipments by months
Producing District
SApriL U May June : July i August i Total

Florida
I 309 4,135 WL$ 24 4,883
II 5 3,567 5,981 305 9,858
III 529 6,454 535 7,518
IV 10 1,698 863 2,571

Georgia
V 1,433 2,204 1 3,638
VI 61 780 177 1,018
South Carolina
VII 29 1,861 77 1,967
VIII 31 1,270 18 1,319
District Total 314 8,241 16,102 7,842 273 32,772

Other shipments c/
Florida d/1 1,9691,62 3,560
Georgia 17 17
Total Reported 329 8,255 18,071 9,o40 290 36,349

a/ Includes imports from Cuba reported at roadguard stations as
originating in Florida, Florida origin for most le these is
believed to be District I. Only 20 carlot equivalents were
imported during the period reported here. Some of these may
have been consumed in Florida and did not enter inter-state
movement.
b_/ Florida shipments represent total rail and truck movement while
those from Georgia and South Carolina are rail oaly Truck
shipments are not reported from these latter states.
c/ Represents shipments from 'iest Florida and North Georgia Areas
not included in the marketing agreement districts,
/ Includes 11 carlot equivalents moved prior to April.
Source: USDA, AMIL, Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service,
Florida Vegetable Crops, Vol KI, and Carlot Shipments
of Fruits and Vegetables During 1955, Georgia and South
Carolina, Uimeo.










Table 15. Watermelons Usual Inputs and Cost Per Acre Coastal
Plain, Georgia, 1951


Item : Unit : Amount : Rate a/ : Cost

Unit Dollars Dollars
Seed pound 2 2.11 4.22
Fertilizer pound 835 .02 16,70
ian labor:
Land preparation and planting hour 11.0 .30 3.30
Cultivating b/ hour 20.7 .30 6,21
Harvesting hour 15.0 .40 6.00
Haul to market hour 12.9 .30 3.87
Mule labor:
Land preparation and planting hour 3.9 *25 98
Cultivating hour 15.9 .25 3,98
Tractor use:
Land preparation hour 2.6 .486 1.26
Equipment charge _c/ 5,.0
Land charge 7.50

Total 59.52


a/ Cost rates are based on the average for 1951. The cost of tractor
and equipment use is based on data contained in Georgia Experiment
Station Bulletin 260 and in Alabama Experiment Station Bulletin
260, Adjusted by Bureau of Labor Statistical Indexes. Cost of mule
labor is estimated.
b/ Includes hoeing.

c/ Includes cost for truck to haul to market (7.32 hours per acre).

Source: J. V. Minchew and U. T. Fullilove, Watermelons: Production
Practices and Costs in the Coastal Plain of Georgia, Georgia
Experiment Statlon, ilimeo Series 50, Hay 1952.




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