ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF DIFFERENT HARVEST METHODS FOR FRESH MARKET COLLARD GREENS

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  • 1 Arkansas State University, State University, AR 72467

spring field trials conducted over 2 years were used to determine differences in net returns using “cut” (harvested by removing the whole plant near the ground level for a one time over harvest) and “shucked” collards (harvested by removing marketable sized individual leaves using multiple harvests). 'Blue Max' transplants were set 11 March 1991 and 11 Feb 1992 in rows spaced 25.4cm apart on raised beds spaced 1m apart. Four spacing treatments were evaluated (7.62, 15.24, 22.86, and 30.48 cm between plants) in a RCB with 4 replications. Plants were harvested beginning 25 April 1991 and 28 April 1992 once (cut) or over 5 wks (shucked). Yields were higher for shucked collards spaced 15.24cm in both years, but no differences Were observed in cut collards. cut collards provided a higher 1st harvest yield. A system analysis to provide 1000 boxes (9.lkg) of collards/wk was imposed to determine the economics of harvest method. Cost differences Were considered to reflect differences in hectareage required, transplant cost for 4 densities, and a 25% higher harvest cost/box for shucked collards. The shuck harvest method provided an economic advantage over cutting of $9853 and $1671 in 1991 and 1992, respectively, where all production was assumed to come from transplanted collards. when a combination of transplanting and direct seeding was assumed, results indicate an economic advantage to cutting of $680 for the system using 1992 yield data.

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