Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit » Research » Research Project #442888

Research Project: Assessing the Current State and Stewarding the Future of Pacific Northwest Strawberry Production, Economics, and Breeding

Location: Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-21000-060-005-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

Objective 1. Economic output analysis of strawberry industry in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Objective 2. Economic impact analysis of strawberry cultivars used in the PNW industry 2006 to present. Objective 3. Design and define procedures and structure of a joint regional breeding program. 4. Establishing and empowering a PNW grower task force to determine feasibility of organizing an association to direct marketing and priority setting.

We will construct enterprise budgets and translate that information into a financial profitability analysis. Enterprise budgets represent estimates of earnings, operational costs, and net income associated with various types of production. Enterprise budgets contain receipts for every product and by-product. Prices used reflect market values and productivity of resources (land, labor, equipment, etc.). Because of the small size and specialized nature of strawberry operations in the PNW, the best technique for estimating costs and earnings is the “Delphi Method”. The variant of the Delphi Method proposed here is eight or more local experts on various components of strawberry production in two groups. Each group provides typical costs and earnings for an average producer in the region. The results of this round are compiled and shared with the second group. The experts are then asked to reconsider their estimates in light of what the other group came up with and create a modified cost/earnings budget. This process is repeated for three rounds or until a consensus is reached or an average is used. The result is a functional enterprise budget for the region, which gauges the profitability of strawberry operations under current conditions and how changes in conditions are likely to translate into increased costs and increased revenues. This information can be used to inform producers as to optimal levels of capital investments and strategies to maximize net income. We will use the IMPLAN regional economic impact software to provide the baseline economic data necessary to construct an economic impact model. This model will be customized with primary data collected to accurately reflect local economic conditions. We propose to develop an input-output model to explicitly calculate the estimated contribution of strawberry operations, capital expenditures, and strawberry household expenditures. Two PNW breeders will gather information on available and potential funding, expenses, facilities, and equipment to design a regional joint public breeding program from contributions of both states. The design will account for the administrative and scientific parameters needed to direct a breeding program. A set of plant breeding procedures will be described to optimize the efforts of each state’s personnel and facilities to target strawberry priorities, avoid duplication, and conduct useful plant breeding for the growing and marketing environments of PNW strawberry producers. The Northwest Berry Foundation (NBF) will establish a strawberry growers task force to explore the feasibility of a grower association in the second year of the project. NBF will organize the meetings and contract with a meeting facilitator. Additionally, the NBF will conduct grower outreach activities to report results, improve grower advocacy, and influence a robust priority setting network. Four communications will be written and published in the Small Fruit Update and on breeding program websites over two years. The news items will report on economic analysis results and publicize the new direction of a joint breeding program, as well as the recommendations of the task force.