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Economic Studies :: Analyze Economic Impediments
to MH


Concerns over tree health and uncertain impacts within the processing sector are impediments to wide-spread adoption of mechanical harvesting (MH) systems. Economies of scale and overall reduction in harvest costs are dependent on industry-wide adoption of MH systems.


  1. Conduct a survey of commercial groves to measure effects, if any, from MH systems on commercial yields.
  2. Develop a model that describes the coordination dynamics between daily harvesting and processing schedules ad estimate changes to overall industry returns when MH replaces hand-harvesting technology.

Key Findings (Update 12/07)


Activities planned for 2007-08

  • Complete an analysis of commercial yields to determine an effect, in any, from mechanical harvesting.
  • PhD dissertation to develop a harvesting logistics model that incorporates changing fruit quality on the tree, fruit extraction, and juice storage costs.



Annual Progress Report 2006-2007

Searcy, Roka, and Spreen. 2007. Optimal Harvest Time of Florida Valencia Oranges to Maximize Grower Returns of fruit or potential changes of overall juice and/or fruit quality. Selected paper and published abstract, Journal of Applied Economics, forthcoming.

Searcy, J., F. Roka, and T. Spreen. 2008. Reconciling Grower and Processor Objectives when Deciding to Harvest Juice Oranges. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, Vol 120, forthcoming.

For more information

Fritz Roka

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