Date of Award:

1947

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Earnest M. Snorrison

Abstract

Peach production in Utah is an important enterprise. In 1946 the crop of 700,000 bushels was valued at $1,085,000, which was approximately one percent of the value of all agricultural commodities grown in the state. The estimate average annual production over the ten-year period, 1936 to 1945, was 636,000 bushels. About 95 percent of the peach trees are located in Washington county and along the Wasatch Front in Utah, Salt lake, Davis, Weber, and Box Elder counties. Small-scale family type units characterize the production of peaches in Utah. The 5,071 farmers who reported growing peach trees in 1944 had an average of 146 trees per farm. In the state, peach production is concentrated on well-drained open soils which require frequent irrigation. The usual practice is to disk several times during the growing season. Some operators leave the ground between the trees bare during the winter months, while others prefer to leave an undergrowth of clover, grass, or weeds. The enterprise is most successful if located where air currents protect the orchards from early spring frosts. In Utah the freestone varieties predominate. The Early and Late Elbertas are most common, followed by J. H. Hale, Late Crawford, Heath Cling, Rochester, Greensboro and other less popular varieties. Golden Jubilee and Halbertas were also found. Canning factories provide a market for a small portion of the peach crop, but most of them must be marketed fresh by peddling and at roadside stands or shipped out of the state through marketing associations and brokers. The competitive nature of agriculture makes it necessary for successful farmers to attempt to keep costs at a minimum. Present high production costs and the likelihood of lower prices for farm products in the future make this problem vitally important to Utah peach growers and to farmers in general. The purposes of this study are (1) to determine the unit cost of producing peaches in Utah and the items comprising the costs, and (2) to discover what methods of production are associated with success in the peach industry.

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