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A Microcomputer Budget Management System (MBMS) was used to estimate costs of strawberry production based on mechanical harvesting and a 5-yr production cycle. Data used were collected over 3 yr starting in 1982 from a cooperative project involving ESRC, Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and growers in Southern Ontario. The results indicate total costs of $98 450 for a 5-yr cycle on 4 ha of operation with the average unit cost of strawberries being $0.53/kg. A significant pro portion of the production costs are attributed to the machine harvester and extending the size of operation reduces per hectare costs from $627 (4 ha) to $404 (8 ha). The maximum size of enterprise (8 ha) is dictated by the number of harvest days (10) and machine field capacity (0.08 ha/h). As a result of economies of size, the average unit cost of strawberries varies from $0.53 (4 ha) to $0.51 (8 ha) for a 5-yr cycle. Varying the selling price or machine capacity of the harvester does not result in any significant reduction in the average unit cost. Other sensitivity results indicate that the base results are sensitive to interest rate changes. For instance, the average unit cost per kilogram of straw berries varies from $0.42 for a 3% decrease to $0.67 for a 3% increase in interest rates compared with $0.48 for a 10% increase and $0.59 for a 10%decrease in yields.
estimated costs of mechanical strawberry harvesting
Seecharan, R., Colwell, M. and G. Hergert 1988. ESTIMATED COSTS OF MECHANICAL STRAWBERRY HARVESTING. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 30(2):221-226.
221 - 226