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Costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027604/00005
 Material Information
Title: Costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
Series Title: <1971-72-> Economics report
Portion of title: Cost of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station. -- Dept. of Agricultural Economics
University of Florida -- Food and Resource Economics Dept
Publisher: Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: 1950
Publication Date: -1974
Frequency: annual
Subjects / Keywords: Citrus fruits -- Harvesting -- Costs -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Citrus fruits -- Transportation -- Costs -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Citrus fruit industry -- Costs -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: -1972-73.
Issuing Body: Vols. for <1967-68-> issued by the Department of Agricultural Economics, Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; <1971-72-> by the Food and Resource Economics Department, Aggricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
General Note: Some issues have title: Cost of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits.
General Note: Description based on: 1967-68 season.
Funding: Agricultural economics mimeo report.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 03583885
lccn - 74641566
issn - 0093-6553
System ID: UF00027604:00005
 Related Items
Succeeded by: Estimated costs of picking and hauling Florida citrus fruits

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
Full Text

Agricultural Economics Series No. 52-1





A. H. Spurlock
Associate Agricultural Economist
H. G. Hamilton
Agricultural Economist

A Study Conducted with Funds Provided by the
Research and Marketing Act

Department of Agricultural Economics
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Gainesville, Florida

January, 1952

Cost of Picking and Hauling Florida Citrus Fruits, 1950-51 Season

Costs of handling citrus fruit, from the tree to the processing plant, for

the 1950-51 season are summarized for nine operators by type of fruit. Services

studied were buying and selling, picking, which included delivery to the road-

side, and hauling from roadside to the processing plant. All of the firms,

except two, were specializing in this kind of business. Two were located in

Lake County, five in Polk, one in Hillsborough and one in Orange County. Their

total volume for all services performed ranged from 380,000 boxes to slightly

more than 3,000,000 boxes. No sampling procedure was used in determining the

cooperators and it is not known how well the group obtained represents the in-

dustry. All, perhaps, were above average in size of operation.

Data were obtained only from firms with detailed records of actual cost.

A few items of cost were divided by estimation in order to obtain uniformity of

accounts, but total costs were not changed from the book record. Some operators

had good financial records, but no record, or incomplete record of the number of

boxes of each type of fruit handled, and were, therefore, not used in the summary.

The following is a brief explanation of how costs were allocated to the

various services performed, and distributed by types of fruit. Costs were first

obtained in total from the records, such as total labor, repairs, telephone and

telegraph. If more detail was needed on total costs, they were further analyzed

from subsidiary records or by estimation of the operator. Labor was subdivided

into classes from payroll records and piece rates.

Next, total costs were allocated to three departments or types of operation:

(1) buying and selling, (2) picking with own crews, (3) hauling, own trucks.

Some costs fell naturally into these categories; the management was asked to

estimate the allocation of some others. Buying and selling costs, and hauling

costs were not separated by type of fruit. Contract picking and hauling costs

were mixed, both as to services performed and type of fruit included, and are

not shown in the summary.


Finally, costs allocated to picking fruit were further subdivided by type

of fruit picked, into oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. Labor costs for pick-
ing were distributed by type of fruit from an analysis of the picking payroll,

and from piece rates for all piece-rate workers. Other cost items were prorated

to the three types of fruit in inverse order of the estimated average number of

boxes a picker could pick in a day as estimated by the operators. This resulted

in higher per-box costs for tangerines and lower per-box costs for grapefruit
than a straight box-basis proration would have given.

An illustration of how this works is given below:

-t t. -- Percent
,Actual no.: .Estimated number. Adjusted :distribution
Type of fruit' of boxes : Percentage 'boxes picked per' number of used in
: picked distribution* worker per day : boxes* : prorations

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Oranges 200,000 50.00% 65 307,692 544.7%
Grapefruit 180,000 45.00% 90 200,000 35.l41
Tangerines 20,000 $.000 35 57,142 10.12%

Total U00,000 100.00% 56, 6,834 100.00
*Column 2 t by column 4 x 100.
For a firm which picked 400,000 boxes of citrus, distributed by type of

fruit as shown above, $4.47 percent of the citrus picking costs (except labor)

would have been charged to orange picking instead of 50 percent. It will be
noted that tangerine picking would have borne 10,12 percent of the overhead

costs instead of only the 5 percent which a straight box volume would have given.

The rate of picking the various types of fruit, as estimated by the firms,

with- oanges as 100% averaged as follows:

Type of fruit Relative picking rate
Oranges 100.0
Grapefruit 133.6
Tangerines 55.5


The average costs per box for 1950-51 for nine firms, engaged primarily in

picking and hauling citrus fruit from the grove to the cannery, are given in

Table 1 by type of service performed.

The average volume bought and sold by seven firms was 946,780 boxes. Some

of this was hauled by contractors and some by the firms' own trucks. Nine firms

hauled an average of 617,326 boxes with their own trucks from the grove to the

cannery during 1950-51. Fruit picked by eight firms averaged 529,11 boxes each.

Of this 72.3 percent was oranges, 26.4 percent grapefruit and 1.3 percent tange-

rines. Only four of the eight operators picked tangerines with their own crews.

Buying and selling cost of citrus includes the salaries and brokerage paid

buyers, car expense, telephone and telegraph, a portion of the management and

office salaries and general overhead expenses.

Hauling costs include all drivers' and mechanics' wages, truck expense and a

portion of management and overhead costs. Contract hauling was eliminated, ex-

cept in two cases where small amounts were left in, because the number of boxes

was not determined.

Picking costs include all amounts paid labor for picking and delivery to the

roadside, grove truck expense and a portion of the management and general over-

head expense. Picking labor was allocated to the types of fruit from payroll

analyses and piece rates. Costs for workers not paid on a piece rate were pro-

rated on an adjusted volume basis as illustrated on page 2. The average cost

per box of 17.61 cents for orange pickers as shown in Table 1 represents a

composite of all rates paid during the season. Most operators reported paying

15 cents per box for picking budded oranges and nine cents per box for grapefruit

early in the season, with increases up to 17 cents on oranges and 10 or 11 cents

on grapefruit later in the season. Rates for picking seedling oranges were

higher than for budded fruit and varied from 20 to 30 cents per box. A rate of

12 cents per box was noted on a few grapefruit. It was not practical to separate

- 4-

Table l.--Average Costs Per Box of Picking and Hauling Citrus Fruit, 1950-51 Season.

: : ick All Operationst
Buying &:PHaulinicking : Buying & Selling,
:Selling : Picking & Hauling
Selling : .Oranges.Grape- :Tange-. Oranges:Grape-:Tange-
: : : fruit :rines : :fruit :rines
Number of Operators : 7 9 8 8 4

Average Volume boxes :946,780 61l7,326:382,661: 39,s98- 7,152:
Cost Per Box Cents
Field Foremen 1.36 1.20 2.45 1.36 1.20 2.45
Pickers 17.61 10.22 38.48 17.61 10.22 38.48
Loaders 2.07 1.88 2.45 2.07 1.88 2.45
Grove Drivers 1.07 .80 2.43 1.07 .80 2.43
Highway Drivers 2.23 2.23 2.23 2.23
Mechanics .01 .26 .10 .05 .37 .32 .27
Other .06 .12 .12 .05 .18 .18 .11
Total Labor .01 2.55 22.33 14.27 45.86 24.89 16.83 48.42
Gasoline, Oil, Grease .06 1.93 .69 .46 1.49 2,68 2.45 3.48
Repairs .07 2,01 1.25 .94 3.06 3.33 3.02 $.14
Licenses, Taxes, Bonds .02 .30 .17 .12 .17 .49 .44 .49
Insurance .02 .35 .24 .17 .46 .61 .54 .83
Depreciation .09 1.44 1.11 .81 1.88 2,61 2.34 3.41
Interest Operating .03 .04 .04 .02 .07 .11 .09 .14
Equipment Rental .01 .23 .12 .07 .32 .36 .31 .56
Contract Hauling .17 .17 .17 .17
Miscellaneous Expense .57 .27 .75 .53 .46 1.59 1.37 1.30
Management .76 .62 1.12 .84 2.14 2.50 2.22 3.52
Office .17 .24 .38 .27 .79 .79 .68 1.20
Buyers & Brokerage 1.80 .04 1.84 1.84 1.84
Office Supplies .03 .03 .0o .03 .03 .10 .09 .09
Telephone & Telegraph .18 .07 .09 .07 419 .34 .32 .44
Lights & Water .02 .02 .03 .02 .01 .07 .06 .05

Total 3.84 10.31 28.36 18.62 56.93 42.51 32.77 71,08
"Less than .005 cents.

-5 -

the picking costs of budded and seedling oranges, but budded oranges were the

type predominately picked by all operators.

Miscellanesous expense in Table 1 includes many small items, such as freight

and express, loss on employee advances, some supplies, travel and entertainment,

advertisement and public relations, dues, subscriptions, donations, legal and

auditing, and social security and workmen's compensation taxes.

When the business was operated by the owner and the management was unpaid,

an estimated amount was added as management compensation. Some of the firms

had paid management.

The total cost for buying and selling, picking and hauling citrus from the

grove to the processing plant in 1950-51 averaged l2.51 cents for oranges,

32.77 cents for grapefruit and 71.08 cents for tangerines. Only a very small

sample of tangerines was obtained. For picking only and delivering to roadside,

costs averaged 28.36 cents for oranges, 18.62 cents for grapefruit and 56.93

cents for tangerines.

Hauling costs averaged 10.31 cents per box for all types of fruit. Oranges

weigh more per box than grapefruit, and thus the cost of hauling should be some-

what more for oranges than grapefruit. Tangerines require more careful handling

and lighter loading than other fruit and are the most expensive type to haul.

Buying and selling costs averaged 3.84 cents per box for all types of fruit.

None of the costs in Table 1 includesinterest on invested capital. Interest

paid by the firms for use of operating capital is included, though only about

half the firms had interest expense.

Capital invested in land, buildings, trucks and other equipment averaged

$86,117.00 per firm for six firms or $91.95 per 1,000 boxes handled. The volume

here was taken as the total number of boxes on which any service was performed

Interest at 5% on this would amount to about one-half cent per box.

Revenue from sales of fruit and services was obtained from most of the firms


but it could not be divided by type of fruit or service performed. Two of the

nine firms showed a loss on all operations for 1950-51, two were very near the

break-even point and two were not obtained. From rates which were reported as

current in the industry as a basis for estimating costs and prices, it appears

that most operators who made a profit, made it from the operation of buying and

selling fruit. This was hazardous and resulted in some losses but also seems to

have been the principal source of profit.

Only one record was found from which it was possible to compare the number

of field boxes picked with the number of boxes sold, cannery weight. In this

case the oranges sold during the season were 2.7 percent more than the boxes

picked, but grapefruit sold were 0.2 percent less than picked.

Variations in total costs per box for the various services are shown in

Tables 2, 3 and 4.

Table 2.--Frequency Distribution of Cost Per Box for Picking
Oranges and Grapefruit, 8 Firms, 1950-51 Season.

Total cost per box .: Oranges : Grapefruit
(Cents) Number of Firms

16 19.99 5
20 23.99 3
24 27.99 5
28 31.99 2
32 35.99 1

Total number of firms 8 8

Average cost per box 28.360 18.620

- 7 -

Table 3.--Frequency Distribution of
Citrus Fruit From Grove to Cannery,

Cost Per Box for Hauling
9 Firms, 1950-51 Season

Cost per box Number of firms

(Cents) (Number)
6- 7.99 2
8- 9.99 4
10 11.99
12 13.99 1
14 14.99 2

Total number of firms 9

Average cost per box 10.310

Table U.--Frequency Distribution of the Total Cost Per Box for
Buying and Selling, Picking, and Hauling Citrus,
1950-51 Season
Total cost per box Oranges Grapefruit. Tangerines

24 29.99
30 35.99 2
36 41.99 2
42 47.99 2
48 54.99 2
4 59.99
60 65.99
66 71.99
72 77.99
78 83.99

Number of Firms


Total number of firms 8 8 4

Average cost per box 42.$51 32.770 71.080

AHS:fw 1/12/52
Exp. Sta., Ag. Ec. 50