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...apple 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.
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.