Good Fruit Grower

December 2012

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Five Narrow Orchard Models To Choose From on Harvest Rentals, Demos, and Used Equipment M8540HDNBC with KUBOTA Low Profile Cab for Special Pricing Visit our Valley Tractor Website at htpp:// High-density enterprise budget: http://arec. T the Orchard Industry since 1948. Valley Tractor serving pruning as the enterprise budget, but then I might receive 15 cents more per pound for my fruit than the budget's." During harvest, he pays close attention to harvest management and labor costs because slight changes—up or down—can have a substantial impact on the bottom line. "If workers are shorting fruit in the buckets by two pounds, the financial impact can be substantial over the course of the season. If the workers can pick faster and bring in more fruit per picker because of the orchard system—like we've seen in high-density plant- ings—that makes a big difference in spreading out labor overhead over more pounds of fruit picked." Minimizer or maximizer? "I heard Clark Seavert say once there are two ways to 509-886 509-886-800-461 800-461-5539 approach farming. Growers can be cost minimizers, look- ing for ways to reduce their costs, or they can be profit maximizers and seek ways to increase their profit," Omeg said. He believes that most growers are cost minimizers, and approach a budget by looking for places to shave off their input costs. "In the past, growers have done really well with that approach." But he describes himself as a profit maximizer. "I'm willing to spend more per acre for things like pruning and such if it will make $800 more in fruit." However, he admits that risk is greater for profit maximizers if there's a problem, say rain at harvest, because more resources are exposed. Omeg likens his focus on price, production, and labor to sitting on a three-legged stool. "If any one of the legs is off kilter, then you fall off the stool." He finds the enter- prise budgets valuable in comparing his input costs to industry averages and identifying orchard practices that warrant further review to understand why costs are above or below industry averages. • BOARD nominations A Washington handler position on the Processed Pear Committee, which administers Federal Marketing Order No. 927, will come up for nomination during the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association's annual meeting on December 17 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room in Wenatchee. The position is currently held by Dan Kenoyer, with Pat Burnett as first alternate and Eric Strutzel as second alternate. Several positions on the Washington State Fruit Commission's 17-member board will come up for nomination during meetings this winter. Nominations for producer position No. 9 in dis- 24 DECEMBER 2012 GOOD FRUIT GROWER trict 3 (currently held by Patrick Sullivan) will be accepted during the Cherry Institute annual meet- ing at the Yakima Convention Center on January 11. Nominations for producer position No. 3 in district 1 (currently held by Norm Gutzwiler) will be accepted during the North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center on January 24. Dates and locations of elections for other posi- tions on the Processed Pear Committee and Wash- ington State Fruit Commission board have not yet been finalized. —Geraldine Warner o download the Oregon State University sweet cherry enterprise budgets, go to: Standard density enterprise budget:

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