Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Harri, Ardian

Committee Member

Morgan, Kimberly L.

Committee Member

Tack, Jesse B.

Committee Member

Coble, Keith H.

Committee Member

Hood, Kenneth W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

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.