AN ANALYSIS OF LABOR USE FOR ALTERNATIVE FLUE-CURED TOBACCO HARVESTING AND CURING SYSTEMS

The most profitable harvesting and curing system for flue-cured tobacco and the amount of farm labor required for various wage rates for hired labor were analyzed in this study. Labor use was estimated both for individual farms and for the study area. Data were collected in Census Subregion 17, North Carolina, to describe four farm situations and eight alternative harvesting-curing systems for tobacco that represented a wide range of capital-labor ratios. The most profitable harvesting-curing systems were determined for each farm situation for wage rates for hired labor varying from 1967 levels to a maximum of $4.00 per hour. The analysis was conducted for two lengths of run. In the short run, adequate conventional curing barns were assumed to be present on the farms. In the long run, all curing facilities were assumed to be variable. At 1967 wage rates, the results were the same for both lengths of run for each farm. At higher wages some differences in results for the two lengths of run were noted. Substitution of several alternative systems for the most profitable system had little effect on net revenue in many cases. The impact of the adoption of the mechanical harvesting, bulk curing system on labor use in the study area was estimated. With complete adoption the quantity of labor could be reduced 40 percent. The time period estimated for adoption of this system by 91 percent of the farmers varied from 15 to 60.5 years from 1967 depending upon the lag and the harvester price assumed. If farm numbers continue to decline at the present rate, farm size could be sufficiently large for mechanical harvesters to be profitable. Also, if the reduction in the number of farm workers continues at the same rate, the impact of adoption on the labor market may be slight.


Issue Date:
Sep 01 1971
Publication Type:
Report
Language:
English
Total Pages:
87




 Record created 2017-07-14, last modified 2017-08-29

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