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The economicalness of apple production in view of post harvest technology
Published February 17, 2015

This study analyses how the level of postharvest technology’s development influences the economic efficiency of apple production with the help of a deterministic simulation model based on primary data gathering in producer undertakings. To accomplish our objectives and to support our hypotheses three processing plant types are included in the... model: firstly apple production with no postharvest and prompt sale after the harvest, secondly parallel production and storage combined with an extended selling period and thirdly production and entire postharvest infrastructure (storage, sorting-ranking, packing) with the highest level of goods production and continuous sales. Based on our results it can be stated that the parallel production (plantation) and cold storage, so the second case is proved to be totally inefficient, considering that the establishment of a cold storage carries enormously high costs with resulting a relative low plus profit compared to the first type of processing plant. The reason for this is that this type is selling bulk goods without sorting-grading or packaging; storage itself – as a means of continuously servicing the market - is not covered properly by the consumers. Absolute efficiency ranking cannot be established regarding the other two processing plants: plantation without post-harvest infrastructure resulting lower NPV, but a higher IRR, DPP and PI as developing a plantation and a whole post-harvest infrastructure. Former processing plant type is favourable considering efficiency ratios describing capital adequacy, while the latter is in terms of income generating capacity.

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Economicalness of self-propelled work platforms in superintensive apple plantations
Published February 18, 2016

The main goal of this study was to determine whether the use of work platforms in super intensive apple orchards in order to reduce production costs and enhance work area performance under Hungarian circumstances an economic investment is. The analysis was carried out using a deterministic simulation model based on primary data collection from producing businesses. The results show that work platforms have remarkable economic advantage in case of operations with high machine work expenditures or where they significantly improve the area performance of manual labour. The former was due to the much lower operating costs of work platforms compared to tractors, while the latter comes clear from reduction of manual labour input per hectare. The greatest economic advantage of work platforms occurs in case of harvesting and pruning, but in case of other operations they have no significant cost advantage. They main economic disadvantage is, however, that apple breaks more when harvesting with work platforms, i.e. picking quality deteriorates significantly. It can be concluded, that purchase of work platforms cannot be considered economic investment under Hungarian circumstances. It might be economic, utilised on maximum area (ca. 30 hectares) by certain companies in special cases, but in most cases has no favourable payback conditions.

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Economics of hail protection net installation in super intensive apple orchards
Published February 18, 2016

The main objective of this study was to determine and organize beneficial and detrimental effects of hail protection nets, and as far as possible to quantify their economic impact. The main factors were determined, through which hail protection nets can affect the costs and incomes of the production, and as their sum the economic result. Consid...ering these factors together with the investment cost and the annual maintenance costs allows the economic evaluation of purchasing of hail protection nets. The analysis was carried out using a deterministic simulation model based on primary data collection from apple producing businesses. Installing hail protection nets as additional technological elements of intensive apple orchards can be concluded by all means as an economic investment – trough their protective effect. However, to achieve really favourable economic indicators, definitely bigger tree height is needed making possible the realisation of around 8.0 t ha-1 extra yield. The main root of this phenomena are obviously the extremely high investment costs of hail protection nets, which result in a large mass of fixed costs during the production period. Therefore the basic economic interest is reaching higher yields and thereby higher profits per unit area.

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