Mississippi State University
Morgan, Kimberly L.
Tack, Jesse B.
Coble, Keith H.
Hood, Kenneth W.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Agricultural Economics
Recent technological innovations allow Southeastern blueberry farmers to machine harvest highly profitable fresh-market berries with marginally equivalent quality as labor intensive hand harvesting, drastically reducing labor costs while minimally increasing equipment costs. Concurrent with these innovations, the largest blueberry producing Southeastern states of North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi have proposed statewide legislation affecting immigrant status and enforcement, leading to documented labor shortages and wage volatility among seasonal agricultural laborers. Using survey information, this study uses ex-post and ex-ante logit regression models to determine if machine harvester technology (MHT) adoption is explained by human capital variables, production differences, risk preferences, wage variability, regional differences and differences in Southeastern blueberry cultivars. Ex-post results conclude that experience, production increases, observed measures of risk-averse preferences, increased wage variation, and regional differences explain current MHT adoption in the Southeast. Ex-ante results conclude regional differences explain future consideration of MHT adoption likelihood.
Rodgers, Aaron Dillon, "Determining Willingness To Adopt Mechanical Harvesters Among Southeastern Blueberry Farmers" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 1363.