Socioeconomics Team

Economic considerations

The adoption of agricultural practices and new cultivars highly depends on potential increase in profitability via reduced costs, increased revenue, or both. Representative farms for each selected cucurbit product will be used to collect relevant economic information about costs of production and profitability by farm size and location. The Co-PD/PIs have extensive experience to facilitate assessment of economic impacts influencing vegetable crop production. L. Ribera has worked with specialty crops producers for the last 10 years, mainly fruits and vegetables, providing information on market outlook, cultivar selection and crop budgets . His expertise on risk and portfolio analysis has helped producers to better understand principles of portfolio analysis and apply them to cultivar and/or crop mixes. He is also lead economist on feasibility studies of new vegetable cultivars in South Texas. Dr Palma’s specialties include applied consumer and marketing-oriented research and extension and policy analysis.

stoplight chart for probabilities less than 0 and greater than 1000

Probability of Net Returns per acre to be less than $0, between $0 and $1,000, and more than $1,000 for cantaloupe and watermelons by different farm sizes in California, Florida and Texas. Image provided by Luis A. Ribera, Texas A&M University.

Potential Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits

The proposed work will contribute to robust, internationally competitive, cucurbit industries by helping to deliver superior cultivars with genetic resistance against major diseases. Resistant cultivars reduce production costs and application of potentially environmentally damaging fungicides and insecticides used to combat insect-transmitted diseases, while increasing yields and improving product quality. This work will aid the cucurbit breeding community by developing breeder-friendly databases and molecular markers for efficient trait selection and gene pyramiding, and will benefit the larger scientific community by producing undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral researchers who have received state of the art, trans-disciplinary STEM training.

Socioeconomics Objectives

  • Economic impact analyses, disease control information
    – Perform economic analysis, cost of production/disease control
    – Define, parameterize, simulate, validate production variables
  • Estimate the potential economic impacts to the cucurbit industry
  • Perform economic analysis, cost of production/disease control
    – Define, parameterize, simulate, and validate production variables based on cucurbit production crop budgets

Publications and Presentations