Harvesting economics-possibilities and challenges

Fritz M. Roka


Mechanical harvesting technology offers the potential to significantly reduce harvesting costs. Harvesting cost reductions with mechanical systems depend on the concept of economy of scale, or spreading the fixed and overhead costs over an increasing number of units (harvested boxes). The concept of economy of scale is straightforward and intuitively simply, yet, it may prove to be very difficult to achieve given the current state of the Florida citrus industry. At the very least, capturing the full economic potential of mechanical harvesting will force the Florida citrus industry to rethink some of the fundamental relationships that have traditionally knitted growers, harvesters, and processors together. Meeting the efficiency requirements of mechanical harvesting systems will impose constraints on growers and processors that were never imagined under a system of manual harvesting.


Economies of scale; processing; mechanical harvest; unit cost

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283