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Food and Resource Economics

"FRED" departmental programs reflect the diversity of Florida's agriculture which has more than 50 major commodities. The Department has 32 faculty members involved in a full range of research, extension, and teaching programs including Agricultural Marketing and Policy, Production/Farm Management, International Trade and Development, Marine Economics, Natural Resources, Community/Regional Development, and Labor Economics. In addition to 30 faculty members located at the main campus in Gainesville, three faculty are found at research and education centers located throughout the state. --- Food and Resource Economics Department website

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A Review of Strawberry Production and Price Trends from 2010 to 2022

FE1143/FE1143by Tara Wade, Kelvin Amon, Zhengfei Guan, and Wael ElwakilApril 23, 2024This publication provides information on conventional fresh strawberry acreage, volume, and pricing for California and Florida from 2010 through 2022. It is one of a series of EDIS publications that illustrate trends in Florida’s five most economically important specialty crops, excluding citrus: strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, and sweet corn. The information in this publication will be useful to producers, Extension agents, and others interested in trends concerning specialty crop commodities. It serves as a single location where valuable information about the specialty crop market and production trends can be found.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Labor Issues That the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Policy Attempts to Resolve in Florida

FE1139/FE1139by Jonathan C. Stephens, John Lai, and Bachir KassasMarch 19, 2024Labor is a critical component of a successful agricultural venture. In 2020, the USDA reported that 10.3% of total US employment was in jobs in the agricultural and food sectors. We rely on food, fiber, and natural resources, and effective agricultural labor is a critical social need, but the challenges inherent in the effort to secure agricultural labor are many and difficult to solve. Particularly in Florida, maintaining a labor sufficient to meet the needs of the industry presents a complex problem. Controversies abound over issues like human rights and migrant vs. domestic labor. Today the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers Program is providing some compromise and progress within the agricultural labor crisis. The purpose of this publication is to review agricultural labor in Florida and  analyze how the H-2A program addresses agricultural labor challenges. The publication will be of interest to consumers, labor activists, producers, corporations, and governments.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Florida Pest Management Industry Economic Contributions Report

FE1140/FE1140by Hayk Khachatryan, Xuan Wei, and Christa D. CourtFebruary 22, 2024Florida's pest management industry is one of the nation’s leaders, accounting for more than 14 percent of pest management establishments in 2021. Among other services, this industry provides insect extermination and control, bedbug extermination, mosquito control, termite extermination and control, and rodent control and extermination. The market share concentration of the Florida pest management industry has increased due to consolidation during the past decade, but the general concentration within the industry has remained relatively low. Most operators are midsize or small and strategically located near densely populated areas. To estimate economic contributions of the Florida pest management industry for the most recent fiscal year, we sent survey questionnaires to more than 3,500 pest control firms and received responses from 764 of them. We then conducted an economic contribution analysis using the IMPLAN© regional economic modeling system and associated databases.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

H-2A Workers in Demand in the Ornamental Horticulture Industry

FE1141/FE1141by Xuan Wei, Benjamin L. Campbell, Hayk Khachatryan, and Robin G. BrumfieldFebruary 21, 2024The US agricultural industry depends on immigrant farm labor, particularly in the specialty crop sector where tasks like harvesting require a lot of labor. Most US farmworkers are from other countries, and almost half are not authorized to work in the United States.  The importance of immigrant labor in meeting the demand for workers in the nursery and floriculture production sector has been further highlighted with this industry's recent growth. This publication offers an overview of the increasing demand for H-2A workers in the ornamental horticulture industry, examines growers' challenges, and explores the underlying factors affecting workers’ participation in the H-2A program. It guides industry stakeholders to monitor changes in immigration policies and labor regulations, including the H-2A program and to adjust labor management practices accordingly. It includes strategies to address  labor challenges and remain competitive in the marketplace.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Inflation in Orange Juice Prices and Consumer Responses

FE1142/FE1142by Sungeun Yoon, Marisa Zansler, and Lisa HouseFebruary 20, 2024This publication examines the recent inflation in orange juice prices and consumer responses using Nielsen scanner and orange juice tracker datasets. Orange juice prices experienced high inflation, peaking at 14.1% in January 2023, leading to decreased sales in both volume and dollars. Consumers are aware of the ongoing inflation in orange juice prices and reduced their orange juice purchases in quantity and frequency instead of discontinuing consumption altogether. Despite the significant barrier of high prices, the proportions of active orange juice consumers and those with a positive perception of orange juice remained steady and strong. Marketing efforts emphasizing the health benefits of orange juice continue to be crucial to sustaining consumer perception and demand.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises