Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Miami-Dade County, Florida: A Summary
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 Material Information
Title: Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Miami-Dade County, Florida: A Summary
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Degner, Robert L.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2001
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Published September 2001"
General Note: "FE 308"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001919:00001


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Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Miami-Dade County, Florida: A Summary1 Robert L. Degner, Tom Stevens, David Mulkey, and Alan Hodges.2 1. This is EDIS document FE 308, a publication of the the Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Published September 2001. This report is an executive summary to a larger report that will be released in the near future. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Robert L. Degner, professor; Tom Stevens, post-doctoral associate; David Mulkey, professor; and Alan Hodges, coordinator of economic analysis; Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. Introduction The agricultural sector of Florida's Miami-Dade County economy is quite diverse, dynamic, and different from any other agricultural area in the United States. The county produces a wide array of traditional and tropical vegetables, tropical fruits, and ornamental nursery and greenhouse products, as well as smaller quantities of seed crops, livestock, and aquaculture species. Many of these commodities are shipped to destinations outside the county, state, and country. Miami-Dade County agriculture competes in the domestic market with imports of similar commodities produced in Central and South America, the Caribbean Islands, Europe, and other parts of the world. The agricultural growing area of the county is situated between the burgeoning urban/suburban metropolis of Miami, Florida, and two unique and sensitive natural ecosystems, the Everglades and the Biscayne Bay National Parks. Due to the unique nature of Miami-Dade County agriculture and its surrounding natural and developed environment, it is important to frequently and carefully evaluate the economic value and vitality of this industry and how it interacts with the local economy, infrastructure, and environment. This report summarizes a detailed study of the nature and importance of agriculture in Miami-Dade County, which is similar in methodology and format to previous evaluations published in 1990 and 1997 by the University of Florida (Moseley, 1990; and Degner, et al., 1997). Data and Methodology The aggregate economic impact of Miami-Dade County's agricultural sector and its interrelationships with other sectors of the county's economy were estimated using Input-Output analysis. The economic data required for the Input-Output analysis were obtained from published sources and personal interviews. Gross revenues from local and non-local or export sales were used to calculate the economic impact of agriculture on the county. Non-local or export sales bring "new" dollars into the county that create additional local economic activity through what is termed a multiplier effect. The effect of this economic activity was described in terms of output, earnings, and employment. "Output" is a measure of gross economic activity generated among all sectors of the Miami-Dade County economy resulting from sales of agricultural products. "Earnings" reflect total


Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Miami-Dade County, Florida: A Summary 2 household earnings or income generated among all sectors of the county's economy resulting from sales of agricultural products. "Employment" represents the number of jobs that agricultural activity creates within the county. Economic Impacts Based on sales revenues of almost $560 million, nearly 80 percent of which came from outside the county, agriculture's total economic impact on Miami-Dade County was estimated to be approximately $1.08 billion for the 1997-98 season. The combination of traditional and tropical vegetables was the largest contributing subsector to this impact, generating $491 million, or 46 percent of the total impact. Nurseries and greenhouses were responsible for $440 million, or 41 percent of the total impact. Tropical fruits constituted $137 million, or 13 percent; and miscellaneous livestock contributed $8.2 million, or approximately one percent to agriculture's total economic impact on the county. The earnings impact from agriculture in Miami-Dade County for 1997-98 amounted to $362 million. Vegetables contributed nearly 46 percent, or $168 million of this impact. Over 42 percent, or nearly $153 million in earnings, was created by the nursery and greenhouse subsector. Tropical fruits represented nearly 13 percent, or almost $41 million in earnings; while miscellaneous livestock accounted for $0.4 million, or approximately one-tenth of one percent of the total earnings impact from the agricultural sector. Agriculture created an estimated 14,795 jobs in Miami-Dade County for 1998. The nursery and greenhouse subsector was responsible for the largest share of this impact with 6,392 jobs, or 43 percent of the total employment impact. Vegetable production generated the next largest employment impact with 6,191 jobs, representing nearly 42 percent of the total. The employment impact for tropical fruits was estimated at 2,153 jobs, or 14.6 percent of the total. Less than 100 jobs, or 0.4 percent of the agriculture employment impact, was attributable to miscellaneous livestock. It is likely that these estimates understate actual employment numbers, due to agriculture's heavy reliance on seasonal and part-time labor. Agricultural Land and Farm Size There are approximately 1.55 million acres of land area in Miami-Dade County, with almost three-quarters of this under water, in water conservation areas, or considered submarginal for urban or agricultural uses. According to the Census of Agriculture, the physical land area devoted to agricultural production has remained fairly stable since the early 1980s, ranging between 83 and 87 thousand acres, or roughly seven percent of total county acreage. The number of farms in Miami-Dade County fell to 1,576 in 1997a nearly 17 percent decline since 1992. Despite this reduction in numbers, the land area devoted to agriculture has grown 1.7 percent over the last five years to 85,093 acres in 1997. As a result, the average farm size in the county increased by nearly 23 percent, from 44 to 54 acres during this five-year period. Over 80 percent of the farms in Miami-Dade County are small (less than 50 acres), but the number of small farms and their share of total farm acreage have declined since 1992. The number of large farms (500 or more acres) increased from 36 in 1992 to 49 in 1997. In 1997, more than half of the total agricultural acreage in the county was being managed by large farms. From 1975 to 1998, over 10,300 acres of Miami-Dade County farmland were purchased by government agencies for environmental purposes. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) continually acquires agricultural lands in or near environmentally sensitive areas of the county. At the time of this study, the SFWMD was leasing approximately 5,000 acres of these lands back to private individuals. It is anticipated that government land purchases and agricultural leases of this type will continue as various agencies pursue long-term environmental land-acquisition goals. Other Indicators of Economic Performance The major agricultural subsectors of the county (ornamental horticulture, traditional vegetables, tropical vegetables, tropical fruits, and miscellaneous


Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Miami-Dade County, Florida: A Summary 3 livestock) have shown remarkably different patterns of economic performance over the last two decades. A variety of economic, environmental, and biological forces continue to impact each subsector differently over time. In terms of sales revenues, ornamental horticulture is currently the largest and fastest growing agricultural subsector in Miami-Dade County. The real market value of horticultural sales grew by more than 39 percent between 1992 and 1997, from 177 million to 247 million dollars. The number of nursery and greenhouse operations in the county increased from 750 in 1989 to 810 in 1998. Foliage production is the largest type of horticultural production within the subsector, followed by potted flowering plants, woody ornamentals, and bedding/garden plants and cut flowers. Nearly $214 million in gross sales revenues were generated from the production of twelve different traditional vegetables in Miami-Dade County during the 1997-98 crop season. This represents an 18.1 percent increase in real terms over the 1995-96 crop season as reported in the previous update. The biggest revenue-producing class of traditional vegetables is bush and pole beans at $73.5 million. Tomato, with $44.6 million in revenues, was the next most important traditional vegetables to the county, followed by yellow squash and zucchini ($33.2 million), potato ($27.5 million), and sweet corn ($12.8 million). More than twenty tropical and specialty vegetables, including a variety of herbs and spices, are grown in Miami-Dade County. The estimated total value of these tropical vegetables, herbs, and spices sold during the 1997-98 season was about $21.7 million. In real terms, this represents a decline of nearly 17 percent from the 1995-96 season and more than 36 percent less than the 1988-89 season. Malanga and boniato are responsible for almost 90 percent of the revenues for this subsector. Revenues from the sales of tropical fruit crops in Miami-Dade County rose to an estimated $73.16 million for the 1997-98 season, up nearly 27 percent in real terms from $57.76 million reported previously for the 1995/96 season. Avocado is the leading revenue-generating commodity for this subsector, with over $17 million in gross sales for the 1997-98 season. Other important tropical fruit crops in the county include lychee ($10.4 million), carambola ($9.5 million), longan ($8.9 million), persian lime ($7.5 million), mamey sapote ($6.5 million), and mango ($6.0 million). It should be noted that future lime production in Miami-Dade County is being seriously jeopardized by an outbreak of citrus canker in 1999. There is a highly diverse livestock subsector in Miami-Dade County. Such enterprises range from goat meat production to aquaculture. Based predominantly on Census of Agriculture data, it is estimated that livestock production generated over $7.6 million in gross revenues for the county in 1997. Aquaculture represents an important component in this subsector and the economy because, unlike other types of livestock production in the county, most aquaculture products are sold outside the county. References Degner, Robert L., S.M. Moss, and W. David Mulkey. "Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Dade County, Florida." Florida Agricultural Market Research Center Industry Report 97-1. Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. August 1997. Moseley, Anne E. et al. "Economic Impact of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Dade County, Florida." Florida Agricultural Market Research Center Industry Report 90-4. Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. December 1990.