• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Production environment
 Economic trends in commercial sweet...
 Production practices
 Harvesting and handling sweet...
 Marketing sweet corn
 Returns to growers
 Market demand
 Tables






Group Title: Agricultural economics mimeo report - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 63-4
Title: The Florida sweet corn industry, 1953-1962
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 Material Information
Title: The Florida sweet corn industry, 1953-1962
Physical Description: 23 p. : ; .. cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brooke, D.L
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station. -- Dept. of Agricultural Economics
Publisher: University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1962
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Statement of Responsibility: by D.L. Brooke.
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    Production environment
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Economic trends in commercial sweet corn production
        Page 5
    Production practices
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Harvesting and handling sweet corn
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Marketing sweet corn
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Returns to growers
        Page 12
    Market demand
        Page 13
    Tables
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
Full Text
December 1962
December 1962


Agricultural Economics
Mimeo. Report 63-4


THE FLORIDA


SWEET CORN INDUSTRY
1953-1962


by

Donald L. Brooke
Agricultural Economist


Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Gainesville, Florida








TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

Introduction . . . . .* 1

Production Environment . .... . . . 1

Production areas. . . . . . .
Seasonal pattern of production. . . 2
Soil. types. . . . . . ... 2
Dr.:.n:ge and irrigation .. . .. . . 2
Size of farm and type of farming. .. . . ... 2
Farm management problems . . . . 4
Production risks . . . . . 4

Economic Trends in Commercial Sweet Corn Production . 5

Production Practices . . .... ......... 6

Seed and seeding. . . .... .. 6
Fertilization practices.. . . . . 7
Cultivation . . . . . 7
Insect and disease control . ... . .. 7

Harvesting and Handling Sweet Corn . .... .. .. 8

Containers. . . . .... . ....... 9
Precooling. . . . ......... 9
Grades. . . . .... . .. 10
Inspection. . . . .... . ...... 10

Marketing Sweet Corn . . .... . . 10

Movement of sweet corn and competition . . 10
Transportation. . . . .... . .. 10
Sales organization and methods of sale, . . ... 11
Outlets . . . . . . 11
Distribution. . . . ... .... . 11
Prices of sweet corn. . . . . ... 11

Returns to Growers . . . . . 12

Market Demand . . . .. .. . 13

Problems of the Sweet Corn Industry. .. . . 13

Appendices . . . . ... . 14














THE FLORIDA STREET CORN INDUSTRY
1953-1962

by

Donald L. Brooke*


Introduction

The material contained herein was prepared to present selected
economic data relative to the production and marketing of sweet corn for
fresh market in Florida before a Hearing on a proposed change in the State
Marketing Order on November 12, 1962. This publication, which supersedes
Agricultural Economics Mimeo. Report 60-8 (1960), is presented to furnish
growers and others with information which they may find useful in making
future production or policy decisions relating to the sweet corn industry in
the State. More specifically the material presented concerns:

1. The economic background of the production of sweet
corn in Florida.

2. Trends in the production of sweet corn.
3. Some aspects of cost, price and income problems of
sweet corn growers in Florida.


Production Environment

Production areas. --Sweet corn (green corn) for fresh market con-
sumption has been produced commercially in more than 25 counties in the
Peninsula of Florida at some time during the past 15 seasons. At present,
major production is in Palm Beach County. The second largest area of pro-
duction is that known as the Zellwood area located in Lake and Orange counties
of Central Florida. The third area of importance is that designated herein
as Other South Florida since it includes all counties, other than Palm Beach,
south of the northern borders of Sarasota, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee
and St. Lucie counties. Principal producing counties in this area are Dade,



*Agricultural Economist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations,
Gainesville, Florida.











Lee, Collier and Broward. Areas of minor importance are: (1) Polk and
Hillsborough counties, designated as Other Central Florida; (2) Alachua,
Bradford, Columbia and Union counties, designated as North Florida; (3)
Seminole County and (4) Marion County, included with Lake and Orange for
reporting purposes.

Seasonal pattern of production.--Sweet corn has had a changing
seasonal production pattern. Florida growers have been extending their pro-
duction in the fall and winter months and increasing total production.

During the 1961-62 season about 15 percent of the season's production
was harvested in the fall, 15 percent in the winter and 70 percent in the
spring. Of the 7,900 acres for fall harvest 97 percent was in Palm Beach
County and 3 percent in other counties. Of the 8,600 acres harvested during
the winter 84 percent was in Palm Beach County and 16 percent in Other South
Florida. There were 29,200 acres harvested in the spring of 1962 of which
76 percent was in South Florida, 23 percent in Central Florida and 1 percent
in North Florida.

Soil types.--Sweet corn is grown on a variety of soil types ranging
from fine sands to highly calcareous marl, "custard apple" muck and "saw
grass" peat soils. In the important Everglades area of western Palm Beach
County, peat and muck soils of the "custard apple" and "saw grass" types are
found in depths ranging from 3 to 10 feet. In the Zellwood area are found
muck and mucky peat soils varying in depth from 4 to 19 feet. These soils
are underlain with limestone or marl. Soils of the Other South Florida
counties range from the highly calcareous Perrine marl over oolite limerock
found in Dade County to the Leon-Portsmouth sands and fine sands of Lee,
Broward and eastern Palm Beach counties. Pockets of muck are found in
Sarasota and Highlands counties. Light sandy soils of the Leon-Portsmouth,
and Norfolk series are found in the other areas where sweet corn is produced.
They are underlain at a depth of from 18 inches to several feet with a clay
or organic hardpan and are, in general, poorly drained.

Drainage and irrigation.--All areas of the state producing sweet
corn are relatively level. Although the level land lends itself to large
fields, moisture control is a problem and the necessary drainage ditches
ard water furrows tend to cut up the fields. Water furrows connecting with
perimeter ditches reduce the danger of flooding by heavy rains. Where pumps
are available excess water may be drawn off more quickly and in case of
dry weather the ditches and furrows may be filled to provide irrigation by
seepage. In the Everglades and Zellwood areas the desired moisture level
can be maintained by controlling the level of water in the drainage ditches
and canals. Mole drains are opened each year under these fields with
special equipment. They run from one ditch almost to the other at about
10 foot intervals. In other areas some farms are equipped with portable
sprinkler systems although these appear to be little used for sweet corn.

Size of farm and type of farming.--Sweet corn is seldom grown com-
mercially on small farms in Florida. Specialized equipment for its pro-
duction and harvesting is expensive. Therefore, few small farmers have










been able to afford the capital outlay required for its production. Some
small farms in Seminole County grew corn following early celery prior to
the middle 50's. Small acreages and expensive disease and insect hand-
control methods could not compete with large scale machine methods. The
small farmer in South Florida also was forced to abandon sweet corn pro-
duction. Some small farming operations still exist in North Florida where
insects and diseases are less of a problem.

In South Florida growers operate on a cash or share rental basis
and relatively few own their land. There are more owner-operators in Palm
Beach County but a sizeable acreage is cash rented. Growers in Central
Florida are owner-operators and cash renters. North Florida growers are
generally owner-operators. The United States Census of Agriculture reported
31 farmers growing sweet corn in Palm Beach County in 1959 with an average
of 781 acres per farm. Dade County with 10 growers had 56 acres of corn
per farm. Twenty-eight Orange and Seminole counties' growers reported 271
acres of sweet corn per farm. Average acreage per farm in other counties
of commercial importance ranged from 11 to 125.

Costs of production records1 for sweet corn in two major areas for
the 1960-61 season were obtained from growers. These averaged 1,013 acres
each in the Everglades area and 500 acres in the Zellwood area. For the
1956-57 season acreages per grower were 749 in the Everglades and 417 acres
in Zellwood.2 The foregoing data reflect, perhaps, the medium and large
growers in the areas studied but they also indicate the relative size of
sweet corn growers in the areas of commercial importance. During the past
5 seasons commerical production outside of Palm Beach County in the South
Florida area and outside of the Zellwood area of Central Florida has
decreased.3 Both Palm Beach and Zellwood have increased in relative
importance in their respective production areas, indicating perhaps an
economic advantage in cost or marketing facilities over other producing
areas and crops in the respective areas.

In Palm Beach County several vegetable crops compete with sweet
corn. Many of the farmers who grow corn also grow snap beans, celery,
leaf crops or Irish potatoes. Some growers produce as many as nine dif-
ferent vegetable crops. Snap beans and celery are, perhaps, most com-
petitive with sweet corn for land and labor. Less investment per acre is
required for snap beans and more investment per acre for celery than for
sweet corn. There are, no doubt, some advantages in the use of labor and
equipment where these crops are produced on the same farms. Any returns
from sweet corn above cash costs of production may increase net farm
income, although a loss might be indicated if the sweet corn enterprise had
to bear its share of the indirect costs.

ID. L. Brooke, Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Agr. Econ. Mimeo. Report 62-9,
February 1962.
2D. L. Brooke, Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Agr. Econ. Mimeo. Report 58-8,
March 1958.
3Appendix Table 2.











In the Zellwood area sweet corn competes with celery and leaf crops
for land in the spring season. Winter temperatures and susceptibility to
frost damage preclude winter sweet corn production in Zellwood.

Farm management problems.--The sweet corn grower encounters serious
farm management problems usually associated with specialized enterprises
having short seasons of production, peak labor requirements and high cash
costs of production. Land preparation, planting, cultivating, spraying and
harvesting one crop of sweet corn does not extend over a period of more than
four months. Peak labor requirements occur at harvest, complicating the
problem of having an adequate labor supply. Large growers with staggered
plantings find harvest labor less of a problem than smaller growers who
harvest only once per season. Producing a quality product relatively free
of disease and insect infestation is the most expensive production problem.
Growing cost varies from $160 to $220 per acre, 25 to 30 percent of which
is the cost of insect and disease prevention and control.

Specialized equipment for spraying and harvesting sweet corn has
been developed and improved over the past 10 years. This equipment is
costly both from the initial capital outlay and annual upkeep. A small
grower with one crop of corn cannot justify its purchase for the few days
per year of its use. Larger growers with multiple plantings of corn use
such equipment more efficiently and can justify its cost.

Production risks.--Temperature, rainfall, high winds, insect pests
and plant diseases are important factors in the production of sweet corn.
Most growers in Florida are limited in planting fall and winter crops by
frost hazards. Damaging frosts as early as November 18 have been experienced
in Palm Beach County.4 As much as 7.1 inches of rain in a day and 19.3
inches in a month have occurred in Belle Glade during the corn planting
season within the past 15 years.5 Winds of hurricane force have been
experienced as late as mid-November in South Florida.

The incidence and severity of disease is also related to weather.
Cox and Harrison found that "the severity of northern corn leaf blight
during the spring seasons of 1955, 1956 and 1957 was related to mean weekly
minimum temperature, mean weekly relative humidity and frequency of rains.
The disease was checked when the weekly mean minimum temperature was less
than 600F., the mean weekly humidity less than 60 percent, and when rains
occurred less frequently than at weekly intervals."6 Insect as well as
disease activity is related to weather.

4D. E. McCloud and D. S. Harrison, "Thirty-three Years of Belle
Glade Weather," Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Circ. S-105, April 1958, p. 2.

5Ibid., p. 9.

6R. S. Ccx and D. S. Harrison, "Factors Affecting the Incidence
and Control of Northern Corn Leaf Blight in Sweet Corn Production in the
Everglades," Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 596, May 1958, p. 19.










Variations from year to year in rainfall, temperature and light
conditions cause a large variation in yield per acre and, consequently,
total production. During the 10-year period, 1952-53 to 1961-62, average
yield for sweet corn in the state ranged from 63 hundredweights per acre in
1956-57 and 1958-59 to 95 hundredweights in 1954-55. Total production in
the 1955-56 season on 37,500 acres harvested was 3,384,000 hundredweights,
compared to 2,701,000 hundredweights on 42,700 harvested acres in 1956-57.
Because of the location of sweet corn production in the state, weather may
have a much greater effect on yield per acre in one area than in another.
Also, one farmer may lose his crop completely while another farmer in the
same or nearby area may suffer little or no damage. In the 1960-61 season
the average yields per acre for the winter crop were 51.6 hundredweights per
acre in Palm Beach County and 76.9 hundredweights per acre in Other South
Florida. For the spring crop in the same season yields averaged 42
hundredweights in North Florida, 120.5 hundredweights in Zellwood and 77.7
hundredweights in Palm Beach County. Variations in temperature and humidity
cause variation in the number of days between planting and maturity of a
crop as well as in the incidence of disease. Late spring yields are usually
higher than yields of fall and winter sweet corn.

Losses in planted acreage may result from weather or from insect
and disease infestation. Florida losses have ranged from 2,200 acres in
the 1961-62 season to 11,700 acres in the 1957-58 season and have averaged
5,600 acres per year since 1952-53. Price considerations may cause
abandonment of some production. Such losses have occurred in three of the
past 10 seasons. They ranged from 33,000 hundredueights in 1959-60 to
180,000 hundredweights in 1957-58. Average economic abandonment for the
period 1952-53 to 1961-62 has been 32,800 hundredweights. All such losses
have occurred when season average prices were below $4.50 per hundredweight
at the shipping point.7


Economic Trends in Commercial Sweet
Corn Production

Commercial production of sweet corn in Florida during the past 10
seasons has ranged from 30,400 acres in 1952-53 to 48,900 acres harvested
in 1958-59. There has been a decrease in acreage harvested since the
1958-59 season. Average acreage harvested during the 1959-60 to 1961-62
period was 40,500 acres.8

The acreage of sweet corn for fall harvest increased from 900 in
1952 to 9,900 in 1958. In 1961 there were 7,900 acres for fall harvest.
Winter harvested acreage has ranged from 2,300 acres in 1958, when nearly


7USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vol. XVII, 1961 and unpub-
lished data, 1962.

8Appendix Table 1.











9,000 acres were frozen out, to 13,600 acres in 1957. Acreage for winter
harvest in 1962 was 8,600. From 22,000 to 31,000 acres of corn have been
harvested each spring since 1953. In 1962 spring harvested acreage was
29,200.9

Yields per acre have increased as new varieties and better methods
of insect and disease control were introduced. During the 10-year period
1952-53 to 1961-62, season average yields have ranged between 63 and 95
hundredweights per acre. Yields of fall corn ranged from 38 hundredweights
in 1956 to 80 hundredweights in 1955. Winter corn yields have ranged
between 40 and 82 hundredweights in the 1958 and 1955 seasons, respectively.
Yields for the spring crop were 67 hundredweights in 1957 and 100 hundred-
weights in the 1955 season.10

Production of sweet corn was 2,211,000 hundredweights in 1952-53 and
3,529,000 hundredweights in 1961-62. Average production during the 1959-60
to 1961-62 seasons was 3,054,000 hundredweights.11

South Florida is the largest sweet corn producing area in the state.
During the past 10 seasons from 71 to 81 percent of the state's production
has been in South Florida, from 18 to 27 percent in Central Florida and
about 1 percent in North Florida.

Of the total production in Florida from 1959-60 to 1961-62, Palm
Beach County produced an average of 73.2 percent, with 3.3 percent in Other
South Florida counties. In the Central Florida area the counties of Lake,
Orange, Marion and Seminole produced 22.0 percent and all other counties
1.5 percent.12


Production Practices

Modern and specialized farm machinery is used for land preparation,
planting, cultivating and harvesting the crop. Most growers use multiple-
row tractor-drawn equipment for planting, spraying and cultivating
operations. All producers purchase certified hybrid seed each year and
generally follow recommended practices for fertilizer rates, insect and
disease control and other practices.

Seed and seeding.--The yellow seeded varieties are dominant but
interest is increasing in white varieties of corn. Among the yellow seeded
varieties, Golden Security, Seneca Wampum, Gold Rush, Florigold and R-8
are important. Among the white seeded varieties Silver Liner and White
Hybrid No. 31 are most popular. From 10 to 18 pounds of seed are required


9USDA, AMS, loc. cit.

10Ibid.

11Appendix Table 2.

12Appendix Table 3.










to plant an acre. The cost of seed varies with varieties. The average cost
of seed for the 1960-61 season ranged from $7.28 per acre in the Everglades
to $8.33 in the Zellwood area.

Fertilization practices.--Nearly all Florida soils are deficient in
the so-called essential plant foods, namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.
The muck soils ordinarily contain a good supply of nitrogen but are
deficient in manganese and copper.

Sweet corn growers in the Everglades area apply from 800 to 1,000
pounds of a 0-12-16, 0-10-10 or 0-8-24 mixture per acre. Their average
cost per acre for fertilizer was $28.41 in 1960-61. Growers on sandy soils
apply from 1,000 to 3,000 pounds per acre of a 4-12-6 or 4-8-8 fertilizer.
In addition, there may be one or two applications of 100 pounds of
ammonium nitrate or nitrate of soda per acre. Fertilizer costs on sandy
soils average around $75 per acre. Growers in Zellwood used about 1,500
pounds of a 4-8-12 to 5-10-15 mixture and 300 pounds of nitrate of potash
per acre at an average cost of $43 in 1960-61.

Cultivation.--Corn is cultivated two to three times with multiple-
row equipment. Some growers in Zellwood are using pre- and post-emergence
weed killers to reduce weeds and grass during harvest. Everglades' growers
apparently feel that they cannot use chemical methods of weed control as
effectively.

Insect and disease control.--The control of insect pests and plant
diseases is a major problem in the production of sweet corn. All growers
follow an active control program, applying insecticides and fungicides
mainly in the wet spray form. The majority of growers use multiple-row
power-driven sprayers. Airplane sprayers and dusters are also used to.a con-
siderable extent, particularly when fields contain an excess of moisture.

Sweet corn is subject to insect attack from time of seeding until
harvest. Corn earworms, fall armyworms, corn-silk fly, cut worms, wireworms,
stem weevil, lesser corn-stalk borers, webworms, aphids and sugar cane
borers all attack sweet corn. Parathion, DDT, toxaphene, aldrin and
chlordane are used in the spray program in controlling these insects.13
Helminthosporium is the major disease of sweet corn in Florida. "Results of
experiments and the experience of growers have indicated that leaf blights
can be effectively controlled by timely applications of sprays containing
nabam (plus zinc sulfate) or zineb."14

Most growers follow a preventive rather than a control program for
insects and disease. The crop is sprayed or dusted at two- to seven-day
intervals depending upon season of the year, current weather conditions and


13I. A. Hills, et al., Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 520, July 1953,
pp. 16-28.
141. N. Stoner, et al., Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Circ. S-3O, January
1954, p. 5.










the incidence of diseases or insects. Applications probably average at least
two a week. As few as 10 or as many as 30 sprayings or dustings may be made
in producing one crop. The materials for a chemical control program in the
Everglades area cost about $48, in Zellwood about $65 and in other areas of
South Florida about $50 to $60 per acre. These figures do not include cost
of labor and equipment for applying the materials.


Harvesting and Handling Sweet Corn

Sweet corn matures in from 69 to 100 days from seeding, depending
upon variety, day length, temperature, moisture, fertilization and other
factors.15 The ears must be pulled at the proper stage of maturity and
placed under refrigeration with the least possible delay in order to pre-
serve eating quality. "Tender sweet corn held at ordinary temperatures is
quickly converted to tough, starchy, unpalatable corn."15

Two distinct methods are in use for the harvesting of sweet corn:
(1) Tractor-drawn trailer operation with packing bins either in the field
or in nearby sheds; (2) a self-propelled field-harvester operation.

1. In the case of method number one, a crew of four to six
pullers with a tractor-drawn trailer moves through the
field, pulling matured ears from the stalks and loading
the trailer. Full trailer loads are pulled to the end
of the field or a nearby shed for packing. The corn is
graded and packed by hand into shipping containers,
loaded aboard trucks and delivered to the precooler. This
method is most used in the sand land areas of Florida and
is still in use by commercial harvesting contractors in
the muckland areas. It is more flexible than method two
in that output may be increased by adding more labor.

Commercial harvesting contractors may be hired on a piece
rate basis to harvest and haul corn by method one. They
harvest about 50 percent of the Everglades' crop. These
contractors furnish all labor for pulling and packing. The
grower furnishes tractors and trailers or carts, in most
cases. Harvesting by this method costs $0.30 to $0.40 per
crate depending upon distance of haul to precooler and
other factors.

2. In the case of method two, self-propelled corn harvesters,
commonly called "mule-trains," are operated with 40 to 50
laborers. Corn is pulled by hand and tossed onto endless
belts on either side of the machine's front as it moves down


1Hills, op. cit., pp. 12-16.









the rows. Usually 16 rows at a time are harvested by the
machine. The ears are transported onto the machine and across
a packing table. Crates, stored and assembled on top of the
machine, are chuted down to packers. Packers grade the ears,
fill the crates and set them off on a roller-conveyor. Lids
are closed and crates pushed rearward on the machine to be
loaded on trucks for transporting to a precooler. This
method involves less hauling and handling of ears, resulting
perhaps, in less bruising, slightly higher yields and more
rapid movement of corn from stalk to precooler--a prime
factor in preserving eating quality. The harvester does
reduce flexibility of operation. Each machine has a
certain capacity per hour; therefore, the only method of
increasing output is to increase the number of hours
operated. A crew of the size quoted above will pull and
pack 3,500 to 4,000 crates under ideal conditions in a
10-hour day. Harvesters cost $3,000 to $7,000 each, depending
upon size and quality. If celery harvesters are converted
for use in corn their cost is higher.

Labor for the harvester is usually employed by the grower.
They may be paid on a piece rate or day basis. Keeping a
trained packing crew may be a problem unless plantings are
staggered to furnish continuous work during the season.
Costs by this method range from $0.20 to $0.28 per crate
delivered to a precooler.

Containers.--Sweet corn is packed in two sizas of wirebound boxes
(crates). The most common size measures approximately 22 x ll x 91 inches.16
A slightly wider crate is used for sweet corn varieties of longer than
average ear length. Both crates hold from four to six dozen ears. Container
costs range from $0.32 to $0.35 each, depending upon source of supply and
volume purchased.

Precooling.--Sweet corn must be precooled quickly after being pulled
from the stalk in order to preserve its eating qualities. This may be
accomplished by either of two methods: (1) Hydrocooling or (2) vacuum
cooling. Hydrocooling is by far the most commonly used method. The filled
crates are passed through an ice water bath and the temperature of the corn
is quickly lowered. Vacuum cooling is accomplished by placing the crates
inside a large tube which is then closed tightly. By a vacuum process the
heat is drawn out of the corn and its temperature reduced to about 38-40oF.
After being cooled by either method corn should be refrigerated until it
reaches the consumer. The cost of hydrocooling and initial icing averages
about $0.22 per crate. Ten cents was the cost of initial icing during the
1960-61 season.17

16Hills, op. cit., p. 16.


17Brooke, Mimeo Report 62-9.











Grades.--United States Standards for Green Corn18 were set up in
May, 1954, by Congress upon the recommendation of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture. These provide for green corn grades to be known as U. S. Fancy,
U. S. No. 1 and U. S. No. 2. Differences in grade are the result of dif-
ferences in cob length, kernel filling, insect and disease injury, clipping,
tip filling and mechanical or other damage. Specified tolerances are per-
mitted within each grade and visual inspection by trained personnel is used
to determine proper grade.

In actual practice, corn is sold on the basis of U. S. Fancy grade
and the buyers prefer a certificate showing a percentage of U. S. Fancy
quality. A certificate showing a lower grade such as U. S. No. 1 immedi-
ately becomes a price lowering factor. There are periods during each season
when prices are not high enough to cover cost of containers, precooling,
selling and transportation on U. S. No. 2 corn or on corn grading 84 percent
or less U. S. Fancy. At such times large quantities of corn must be left
in the field.

Inspection.--During the 1961-62 season approximately 66 percent of
the sweet corn shipped from Florida was inspected and certified as to grade
or condition by the Federal-State Inspection Service. Over 99 percent of
the graded corn was U. S. Fancy or a percentage thereof; 90 percent was
U. S. Fancy, 2.2 percent 86 to 94 percent U. S. Fancy, 6.5 percent 75 to
85 percent U. S. Fancy and 1.3 percent 74 percent or less U. S. Fancy. One
cannot assume the balance of the Florida corn would run in the same pro-
portion as that which was inspected. Low quality is a good reason for
non-inspection.

Marketing Sweet Corn

Movement of sweet corn and comupetition.---Sweet corn is shipped from
Florida from mid-October to the following July of each season. Shipments
from Palm Beach County lead all other areas except in the months of June
and July. Sweet corn from the Other South Florida counties moves to market
from November through May. The Zellwood area markets in May, June and
July. During the past 3 seasons from 71 to 82 percent of the Florida crop
was marketed in April, May and June.

Sweet corn from Florida competes with a light movement from
California and Texas during October and November of each season. Florida
is the sole producer of sweet corn from December to mid-April. Corn from
California, Texas and Arizona is marketed during May and June. Alabama
and California offer competition during the month of July. The movement
reported from other states was about one-fifth of the total domestic ship-
ment during Florida's 1960-61 season.19

Transportation.--Sweet corn is transported to market by rail and
truck. Shipments by truck have increased significantly. During the 1954-55

18United States Standards for Green Corn (19 F.R. 2221) Effective
May 18, 1954.
19D. L. Brooke, Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Agr. Econ. Mimeo. Report 62-6,
October 1961.









season trucks hauled 44 percent of the total shipments. In the 1961-62
season, 56 percent of the total volume from Florida moved by truck.20

Sales organization and methods of sale.--There are three major
classes of sellers involved in marketing sweet corn in Florida. They may
be identified as (1) individual growers whose sales are limited to all or
part of their own crop, (2) grower cooperatives which market for their
members, and (3) other sellers which include private agencies and brokers.
Data are not available on the proportion of sales by various classes of
sellers.

In general, sales of sweet corn in Florida are made on an F.O.B.
shipping point basis. Selling by consignment, on a delivered or price
arrival basis may be used by some sales agencies in exceptional cases.

Outlets.--Since there is no record of Florida sweet corn having been
utilized for canning or freezing in commercial quantities it must be assumed
that all of it is sold for fresh market consumption. Outlets, then, are
limited to chain organizations, wholesalers and others engaged in the
servicing of retail stores, restaurants, etc., handling fresh produce.

Distribution.--Data on distribution of corn are available only for
some 37 cities reported by the Florida State Marketing Bureau.21 Those
cities received 72 percent of Florida's sweet corn shipments in 1960-61. The
data indicate that: (1) Shipments by rail are greater than shipments by
truck to the more distant markets of the Northeast and Midwest, (2) truck
shipments predominate to southern and western markets, (3) the larger cities
receive the largest supply of Florida corn, (4) Florida's market for corn,
as for most other vegetables, is in the eastern half of the United States.
Florida ships relatively little corn to destinations north of Texas that
are west of the Mississippi River, (5) Florida's shipments to these 37 markets
are about 30 percent of their total receipts of corn during the year.

Prices of sweet corn.--Prices received for sweet corn by Florida
growers depend upon: (1) The season of the year in which the corn is sold,
(2) the size of the Florida crop, (3) volume of competing products, and (4)
the general price level.

The normal pattern for Florida sweet corn prices is a sharp decline
from October to November, an increase to March, a decline through June and
a slight increase in July. Monthly average prices rise and fall inversely
with the volume shipped from Florida. For the five-year period 1957-58


20Appendix Table 3.

21E. F. Scarborough, Florida State Marketing Bureau, "Annual Agri-
cultural Statistical Summary, 1960-61," p. 118.









through 1961-62, prices in January, February and March were 43 to 49 percent
above and prices in June 16 percent below the annual average price.22

From year to year, there tends to be an inverse relation between
production of sweet corn in Florida and prices received by farmers. If
production increases, prices decline and if production decreases, prices
increase. The price of $3.88 per hundredweight received for the 1954-55 crop
is the lowest season average price to date.23 Season average prices have
tended slightly upward since 1954-55 while production of value has been
relatively stable.

In only three of the past eight crop years has the average price
received for Florida sweet corn been equal to or higher than the Florida
parity equivalent.24 In four of the eight crop years, average prices received
were equivalent to 91 to 94 percent of parity. In 1954-55 Florida's season
average price was only 82 percent of the state parity price equivalent.
The base period for these parity calculations is the average of prices
received in the 10-year period immediately preceding the year being reported.
If they were on the same base period as that used for some of our basic
commodities the figures would be much lower.

Data from the U. S. Department of Agriculture indicate also that
Florida prices for fall sweet corn have been generally lower in relation to
parity than winter or spring harvested corn. Prices for fall corn have been
equal to 90 percent or more of the Florida parity equivalent price in three of
the past eight.seasehc, for winter corn in eight of the past nine seasons and
for spring harvested corn in five of the past nine seasons.


Returns to Growers

Net returns to sweet corn growers are available for a continuous
five-year period 1952-53 to 1956-57 and for the 1960-61 season in the
Everglades and for five of the same six seasons in the Zellwood area.25
As stated earlier, these data represent the medium to large-size growers
and are perhaps more representative of specialized sweet corn operations.
Everglades' growers have had net returns ranging from $0.34 per crate ($0.82
per hundredweight) in 1960-61 to a minus $0.51 per crate (-$1.01 per
hundredweight) in 1953-54. Negative returns accrued to Everglades growers
in four of the six years shown.


22Appendix Table 4 and Figure 1.

23Figure 2.

24Appendix Table 5.


25Appendix Table 6.










Zellwood growers have had net returns ranging from $0.82 per crate
($1.96 per hundredweight) in 1960-61 to a minus $0.04 per crate (-$0.07
per hundredweight) in 1953-54. Negative returns accrued to Zellwood growers
in only one of the five years shown.

Ihile specific data on returns per unit in the 1961-62 season are
not available some generalizations may be made from yields per acre, season
average price data and prices paid by farmers for items used in production.
Prices paid by farmers increased only slightly from the 1960-61 to the
1961-62 season while prices received for sweet corn declined by $0.294 per
crate ($0.70 per hundredweight). Corn yields increased in the Everglades
and decreased in Zellwood in 1961-62 over 1960-61. Applying these changes
to the 1960-61 data, results in an estimated average net return of $0.20
per crate ($0.47 per hundredweight) to Everglades' growers and $0.41 ($0.97
per hundredweight) to Zellwood growers in the 1961-62 season.


Mar1-et Demand

During the past 10 or more years there has been a general decrease
in per capital consumption of fresh vegetables. Sweet corn is one of the
few vegetables that has enjoyed a relatively steady per capital consumption.
During the 10-year period 1951-60 per capital consumption of all fresh
vegetables decreased about 10 percent while that of sweet corn increased
about 6 percent.26 There are some indications that sweet corn consumption
may level off at about 8 pounds per capital. At that rate of consumption
the United States requires 14.8 million hundredweights. Florida is at
present supplying about 24 percent of the national demand. Assuming that
Florida will continue to supply 24 percent of the market demand in the
future, the only increase required from present levels of production will be
directly related to the increase in national population. It has been esti-
mated that national population will increase about 16 percent between 1962
and 1970. For the next eight seasons then, Florida can expect to market
about 2 percent more sweet corn annually (assuming no increase in competing
production and no decrease in per capital income). To market this corn
profitably may be an even greater problem without some means of inducing
an orderly flow of the product to the market.

Problems of the Florida Sweet Corn Industry
1. Leveling off of national demand.
2. Increasing competition from California and Texas.
3. The.need for adjustments in supply.
4. The need for increasing efficiency in production and harvesting.
5. Quality control of the product.
6. The need for more efficient marketing and better distribution
of the product.
7. The need for uniform trading practices.


2Appendix Table 7.

































APPENDICES






APPENDIX TABLE 1.--FLORIDA SWEET CORN ACREAGE BY AREAS, PLANTED AND HARVESTED, 1953 to 1962

Area 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962"


North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion
and Seminole
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Florida
Other Counties


1750 1300


Planted
700


4300 5000 4900
1375 1075 1000


23400
3700
375


29550
5060
115


25800
4865
235


4125
700

30975
6235
465


700 1450


5365
450

36700
4355
230


4225
300

38650
6110
165


800


6350
400

41750
2250
350


455


6235
360

40100
750
400


5760 7295
a


33690
990
660


34900 42100 37500 43200


47800 50900 51900 48300 41400 49300


For Harvest


North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion
and Seminole
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Florida
Other Counties


1250 1050


525


700 1300


425


300


230


4200 4925 4825 4100 4975 4200 5830 6000 5660 6675
1375 1075 975 700 450 300 275 350 a


19825
3450
300


25000
4645
105


21875
4540
85


27775
4045
355


32350
4075
150


30600
2705
95


39950
1840
305


34000
750
375


26300
990
650


36260
2335
200


30400 36800 33000 37500


42700 39200 48900 41900 33900 45700


Total


39130
2365
200


Total


*Preliminary.

Source: USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vols. IX through XVII and unpublished data, 1962.


------ ~-~--sl--~1-"--111~I--"U-~--rV- I--~-


--







APPENDIX TABLE 2.--FLORIDA SWEET CORN PRODUCTION BY AREAS, TOTAL AND HARVESTED,


Area 1953 1954a 1955a 1956a 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962b
(Thousand Hundredweights)


28


432
72

1444
224
11


North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion
and Seminole
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Florida
Other Counties

Total

North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion
and Seminole
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Florida
Other Counties


2211

28


432
72

1444
224
11


Total
39 26 19 19 28 18 23


504
62

1658
352
5


639
61

2019
381
6


2620 3132


573
31

2422
311
17


492
26

1869
287
8


508
13

2082
170
4


567
9

2365
95
12


623
19

2345
49
18


3373 2701 2805 3066 3077


For Harvest
39 26 19


504
62

1658
352
5


632
54

1917
381
6


573
31

2422
311
17


19 26 18 23


492
26

1869
287
8


508
4

1914
170
3


567
9

2365
95
12


623
19

2312
49
18


13 11


683 700
a


1729
91
41


2641
164
13


2557 3529

13 11


683 700
a --


1729
91
41


2641
164
13


2211 2620 3016 3373 2701 2625 3066 3044


- ----


1953 TO 1962.


2557 3529


Total







APPENDIX TABLE 2a.--FLORIDA SHEET CORN PRODUCTION BY AREAS, TOTAL AND HARVESTED, 1953


Area 1953 1954a 1955a 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962b
(Thousand Crates)


North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion,
and Seminolo
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Ficrida
Other Counties


56


865
143

2889
448
21


Total
79 53 40 42 64 42 54


1193
64

5045
648
36


1070 1154
57 30


4063
624
16


4732
386
9


1350 1484
21 45


5630
227
30


5583
116
44


1007 1277
123 122


3316
704
11


4037
762
13


30 26


1627 1668
a


4116
216
99


6288
391
30


Total


North Florida
Central Florida:
Lake, Orange, Marion,
and Seminole
Other Central Florida
South Florida:
Palm Beach County
Other South Florida
Other Counties


4422


56


865
143

2889
448
21


5240 6264 7026 5872 6375 7300 7326


For Harvest
79 52 40


1007 1265
123 108


3316
704
11


3833
762
13


1193
64

5045
648
36


42 59 42 54


1070 1154
57 10


4063
624
16


4350
386
7


1350
21

5630
227
30


1484
45

5505
116
44


6088 8403


30 26


1627 1668
a


4116
216
99


6288
391
30


4422 5240 6033 7026 5872 5966 7300 7248


6088 8403


aState totals differ from most recent source material because of adjustments in total production not
reflected in area figures.

preliminary.

Source: USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vols. IX to XVII, 1953 to 1961 and unpublished data, 1962 .


Total


--


TO 1962.





18
APPENDIX TABLE 3.--GREEN CORN: CARLOT SHIPMENTS BY RAIL
OR BOAT FOR THE TEN-YEAR PERIOD 1952-53 to 1961-62

Season Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Total
1952-53 4 6 15 129 467 1267 1388 342 11 3,629
1953-54 10 64 162 321 511 1069 1426 640 4,203
1954-55 53 146 100 135 370 1030 2215 1206 60 5,315
1955-56 6 114 181 157 73 167 1410 1842 1123 21 5,094
1956-57 32 69 26 226 332 394 655 934 626 14 3,308
1957-58 4 411 130 36 15 39 2257 1069 31 3,992
1958-59 114 306 105 70 36 107 692 1439 1202 28 4,099
1959-60 199 148 11 22 3 54 291 1049 1820 89 4,486
1960-61 19 95 40 23 23 105 283 1402 1204 52 3,246
1961-62* 103 218 108 25 92 254 638 1591 1720 51 4,800

SHIPMENTS OF GREEN CORN IN MIXED CARS IN CARLOT EQUIVALENTS
FOR THE TEN-YEAR PERIOD 1952-53 to 1961-62

Season Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Total
1952-53 1 1 7 27 90 110 82 9 327
1953-54 1 24 23 52 114 137 87 14 452
1954-55 5 32 29 33 59 101 95 18 372
1955-56 1 23 30 22 22 68 124 77 17 384
1956-57 18 9 42 52 60 55 50 8 294
1957-58 39 25 8 2 8 90 40 3 215
1958-59 8 46 38 33 17 38 116 108 42 446
1959-60 6 14 6 17 9 36 84 150 46 368
1960-61 4 18 29 24 21 55 79 175 64 2 471
1961-62* 11 43 79 33 48 97 149 206 59 725

SHIPMENTS OF GREEN CORN BY TRUCK IN CARLOT EQUIVALENTS
FOR THE TEN-YEAR PERIOD 1952-53 to 1961-62

Season Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Total
1952-53 1 26 22 68 272 748 1103 1125 356 6 3,727
1953-54 21 94 253 453 877 1115 1107 403 5 4,328
1954-55 11 98 205 222 240 538 1190 1359 660 26 4,549
1955-56 15 216 178 212 161 397 1167 1370 710 23 4,449
1956-57 84 162 76 289 456 742 1001 1164 598 20 4,592
1957-58 19 422 241 127 48 7 187 2126 1106 47 4,330
1958-59 295 645 286 236 163 467 1413 1356 908 15 5,784
1959-60 318 330 96 109 79 218 790 2136 1278 94 5,448
1960-61 75 211 185 176 146 378 690 1699 1168 98 4,826
1961-62* 258 395 413 226 288 522 1038 1551 1283 110 6,084

*Preliminary.
Conversion Factors: 500 crates by truck and 625 crates by rail for 1952-53
through 1954-55; 600 crates by truck and 655 crates by rail for 1955-56
through 1958-59; 670 crates by rail for 1959-60 and 675 crates by rail
for 1960-61.
Source: USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vols. XIV and XVII, and
unpublished data, 1962.










APPENDIX TABLE 4.--SWEET CORN MONTHLY F.O.B. FLORIDA PRICE PER CHT.
FIVE SEASONS 1957-58 to 1961-62


Season Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. MaAprApr. May June July

(Dollars per cut.)
1957-58 7.20 3.75 4.60 7.60 7.60 7.80 8.00 3.60 4.70 5.40

1958-59 4.15 3.25 4.25 5.80 6.20 6.00 5.20 4.70 4.20 3.50

1959-60 4.70 4.10 5.70 6.70 8.00 7.60 6.80 4.35 2.90 4.80

1960-61 7.10 5.20 5.90 6.10 6.20 6.80 7.30 5.20 5.00 5.80

1961-62* 4.50 3.95 4.45 8.10 7.10 7.40 5.90 5.00 3.40 3.80


Total 27.65 20.25 24.90 34.30 35.10 35.60 33.20 22.85 20.20 23.30

5-Year
Average 5.53 4.05 4.98 6.86 7.02 7.12 6.64 4.57 4.04 4.66


Preliminary.


Source: USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vol.
unpublished data, 1962.


XVII, 1961 and


























Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.
Months


Fig. l.--Sweet


Mar. Apr. May June July


Corn--Simple Average Monthly F.O.B. Florida Price per Cwt.,
Five Seasons 1957-58 to 1961-62.


Source: Computed from USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vol. XVII,
1961 and unpublished data, 1962.


Dollars &
Million Cwt.
I~---- -- ---------


1


0I


.953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Seasons Ending in

Fig. 2.--Sweet Corn--Relationship of Production and
1952-53 to 1961-62.
Source: USDA, AMS, "Florida Vegetable Crops," Vol.
unpublished data, 1962.


1960 1961 1962


Price in Florida,

XVII, 1961 and


Dollars
per 3wt


c1
Oc


:t.


C I .-i--i


Price -,







Production of Value





- I -, --.- L__i ...... ,II r ._ I i.


0






APPENDIX TABLE 5.--SIEET CORN: COMPARISON OF FLORIDA AVERAGE PRICES WITH PARITY PRICES

Season 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962
Dollars per cwt.


Winter
U. S. Average Parity
Florida Parity Equivalent
Florida Season Average Price
% Florida Season Average
Price is of Florida Parity
Early Spring
U. S. Average Parity
Florida Parity Equivalent
Florida Season Average Price
% Florida Season Average
Price is of Florida Parity
Fall
U. S. Average Parity
Florida Parity Equivalent
Florida Season Average Price
% Florida Season Average
Price is of Florida Parity
All Seasons Combined
U. S. Average Parity
Florida Parity Equivalent
Florida Season Average Price
% Florida Season Average
Price is of Florida Parity


3.75
6.38
4.90


3.76
5.81
5.30


3.61
5.21
6.00


77 91 115


3.77
4.78
3.60


3.75
4.48
3.50


3.66
4.16
3.70


3.79
5.44
5.00


4.17
5.86
7.60


92 130


3.82
4.11
4.70


75 78 89 114


3.70
6.39
4.50


3.71
6.08
4.30


3.71
5.27
5.80


70 71 110


1954-55
3.74
4.72
3.88


1955-56
3.66
4.45
4.07


3.84
5.08
4.05


4.22
4.35
4.10


4.17
5.56
6.00

108

4.19
4.29
4.70


94 110


4.25
5.58
3.70


4.15
4.82
4.50


4.28
5.85
7.40

126

4.31
4.58
4.20


4.43
6.01
6.50

108

4.44
4.89
5.50


92 112


4.25
4.74
5.90


80 66 93 124


1956-57
3.77
4.42
4.87


1957-58
4.06
4.57
4.21


82 91 110


1958-59
4.20
4.68
4.68


92 100


1959-60
4.24
4.76
4.43


4.43
4.88
4.20

86


1960-61
4.37
5.00
5.66


93 113


AMS, USDA., "Annual Summaries Fresh Vegetables and Agricultural Prices."


4.66
6.28
7.40

118

4.68
5.25
4.60

88


1961-62
4.58
5.27
4.96

94


- --- -- -- --


Source: Crop Reporting Board,










APPENDIX TABLE 6.--SWEET CORN, NET RETURNS PER CRATE AND PER
HUNDREDWEIGHT TO EVERGLADES AND ZELLWCOD GROWERS,
SELECTED SEASONS 1952-53 to 1960-61


Per Crate Per Hundredweight
Season
Everglades Zellwood Everglades Zellwood

1952-53 $-0.013 $0.368 $-0.026 $0.736

1953-54 .507 -.036 -1.014 -.072

1954-55 .210 .140 .420 .280

1955-56 .013 .027

1956-57 .208 .339 .452 .737

1960-61 .344 .821 .819 1.955


Source: D. L. Brooke, "Costs and Returns from Vegetable Crops in
Florida," Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Agr. Econ. Mimeo Reports,
Vols. VIII to XII and Season 1960-61.










APPENDIX TABLE


7.--UNITED STATES PER CAPITAL CONSUMPTION OF SELECTED
VEGETABLES (FARM HEIGHT BASIS), 1946-60


Vegetables
Year Lettuce and Corn Celery Total
Escarole Vegetables
Pounds per Capita

1946 19.3 7.7 9.1 129.9
1947 19.4 7.7 7.9 122.4
1948 18.7 8.7 8.5 123.0
1949 17.9 7.6 8.2 115.8
1950 18.6 7.7 8.4 114.6
1951 18.5 7.6 8.8 111.6
1952 19.8 7.8 8.6 111.0
1953 19.6 7.8 8.6 108.3
1954 19.5 8.5 8.7 107.3
1955 19.9 8.3 8.6 104.6
1956 20.4 8.2 8.5 106.9
1957 19.6 7.8 8.1 104.6
1958 18.8 8.3 7.6 102.1
1959 18.4 8.3 7.9 100.4
1960 18.5 8.1 7.8 100.6


Source: USDA, AMS, "Consumption of Food in the United States, 1909-52,"
Agricultural Handbook No. 62, September 1953 and Supplements for
1957 and 1960.











DLB:ba 12/10/62
Agr. Exp. Sta., Agr. Econ.
400 copies




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