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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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Cost and Profitability Estimates for Producing Lychee (Litchi chinensis) in South and Central Florida

FE1127/FE1127by Trent Blare, Fredy H. Ballen, Nicholas Haley, Victor Contreras, Jonathan H. Crane, and Daniel CarrilloDecember 12th, 2022Florida is one of three US states (the other two being California and Hawaii) that have the climatic conditions to cultivate lychee. Given the growing consumer demand for this crop, the production of lychee has the potential to be a profitable crop for Florida growers. This publication estimates the costs and returns associated with operating a lychee grove in south and central Florida. It presents the results of field interviews with lychee growers and industry experts. Growers on average can expect to earn nearly $8,000 an acre per year from lychee production when there is a harvest, but climate variation causes inconsistent harvests. When making production decisions, growers must also consider increasing pressure from pests such as the lychee erinose mite, and strong foreign competition.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

The Decline of the US Cucumber and Squash Industry

FE1125/FE1125by Feng Wu, Zhengfei Guan, and Kuan-Ming HuangDecember 7th, 2022The US production of cucumbers and squash has been declining over the last two decades while imports have grown significantly. In particular, imports from Mexico have surpassed US domestic production and have become a major source of cucumber and squash supply in the US market. This publication provides a comprehensive overview of cucumber and squash production and trade to help policymakers, business communities, and researchers understand the structural changes in the market.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

US Food Shopper Trends in 2017

FE1126/FE1126by Lijun Angelia Chen and Lisa HouseDecember 7th, 2022This study provides an overview of US food shoppers in 2017 and serves as a benchmark for policymakers and marketers of consumer food and beverage products for analyzing consumer trends in the future. A nationwide sample of 5,993 adults, all primary food shoppers in the United States, completed a survey in 2017 to learn about food-related perspectives and trends. Consumers differ in food shopping outlets, grocery spending, response to food price increases, food-related attitudes, food and beverage consumption patterns, and nutritional perceptions. Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Cost Assessment of Utilizing Bagasse to Grow Sugarcane Based on Nutrient Availability

FE1121/FE1121by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Nan Xu, Naba R. Amgain, Abul Rabbany, Trent D. Blare, Fredy H. Ballen, and Stewart SwansonDecember 6th, 2022This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department explores the potential of using bagasse, a dry and fibrous residue of sugarcane left after the sugar juice extraction, as a nutrient source to potentially reduce inorganic fertilizer inputs in the sugarcane production system. Information provided in this article will be useful to commercial sugarcane growers, crop consultants, and fertilizer manufacturers in helping them explore alternative fertilizer options. This paper provides important and timely information for the target audiences, considering the recent, rapid rise in fertilizer prices. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Nan Xu, Naba R. Amgain, Abul Rabbany, Trent D. Blare, Fredy H. Ballen, and Stewart Swanson.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Overview of US Tahiti Lime Production and Markets: Trade and Consumption Analysis

FE1122/FE1122by Trent Blare, Fredy Ballen, and Jonathan CraneDecember 1st, 2022Key and Tahiti limes have historically been very important to the economy of south Florida. However, there are few commercial orchards left for these lime cultivars in the state. Many orchards were destroyed during Hurricane Andrew, and those that survived were then eliminated by Florida’s Citrus Canker Eradication Program in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Tahiti limes are being considered for reintroduction in Miami-Dade County because of the growing demand for this fruit, especially among buyers who are willing to pay more for Florida-grown fruit. In this publication, we explore the history of lime production in south Florida and current trends in the market, especially growing demand in the United States for Tahiti limes. The price premiums from the growing domestic market for Tahiti limes would likely be enough to overcome the challenges growers face in combating the disease pressure from citrus canker, citrus greening, and intense competition from Mexico and other countries.  Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems