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Apple farm management practices in the Northeastern US and Northern China

Weihong Fan (School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway, New Jersey, USA)
Raymond G. Mueller (School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway, New Jersey, USA)
Weili Qiu (School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Michael J. Hozik (School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway, New Jersey, USA)

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5945

Article publication date: 26 July 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the different pesticides management practices and productions in three apple farms in the Northeastern US and Northern China.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews and surveys were conducted in the three farms between the summer of 2010 and spring of 2011. Production, pesticide and fertilizer usage, and labor costs were calculated for comparison.

Findings

The conventional US apple grower manages his farm for maximum production and minimum labor costs. As a result, the farm achieved a high yield of 24.68 kg/dollar, but low health value for the highest amount of pesticide expenditure ($2.43 per 100 kg of apples). The organic apple farm aims at minimizing environmental impact and protecting consumers. Its yield was 14.22 kg/dollar with 15-30 percent greater labor costs. The health value of the apples improved with pesticide expenditure of $1.66 per 100 kg of apples. This farm uses only the least toxic pesticide certified by OMRI. The traditional apple farm in Northern China spent 1,365 hours/ha on bagging to protect consumers, comparing to only 252 hours/ha of total labor spent in the conventional apple farm. Annual production of the Chinese farm was 22,727 kg/ha, which was only 50 percent of the conventional apple production and 71 percent of the organic apple production.

Originality/value

The results reveal great potential for a much better economic and environmental effectiveness in the Chinese apple farm if they redirect labor from bagging to an effort for production and efficient management while still providing consumer protection.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

An earlier shorter version of this paper is published in the World Sustainable Development Outlook 2011 entitled “Sharing Knowledge Making a Difference: The Role of International Scientific Cooperation” published by WASD, 2011.

Citation

Fan, W., G. Mueller, R., Qiu, W. and J. Hozik, M. (2012), "Apple farm management practices in the Northeastern US and Northern China", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 164-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/20425941211250525

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited