Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Kynda R. Curtis

Abstract

Fruit producers in Northern Utah face several challenges to their production, urbanization, decreased availability of agricultural land, and competition from domestic producers and imports. As consumers are willing to pay premiums for foods differentiated by production method, such as eco-friendly and organic, conversion to these methods may increase the profitability of fruit growing operations.

This study found that consumers in Northern Utah are willing to pay a premium for peaches grown using organic and eco-friendly production practices over conventionally grown peaches. The study also found that of the three methods of peach production examined (conventional, eco-friendly, and organic), organic had the highest average grower net returns and had the lowest associated risk, while conventional peach production had the potential for the highest net returns. These results may guide producers when making orchard management decisions and in the profitability assessment of alternative production methods.

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