Apple farm management practices in the Northeastern US and Northern China

Pages164-174
Published date26 July 2012
Date26 July 2012
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/20425941211250525
AuthorWeihong Fan,Raymond G. Mueller,Weili Qiu,Michael J. Hozik
Apple farm management
practices in the Northeastern US
and Northern China
Weihong Fan and 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, and
Michael J. Hozik
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics,
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway, New Jersey, USA
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 Norther n 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 Organic apple farm, Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM), Apple production,
Green agriculture, Northern China apples, Kaolin clay, Vertical axis systems, Farming sustainability,
Agriculture, Pesticides, China, United States of America
Paper type Case study
1. Introduction
Sustainability is an easy word to say but harder to put into operation for a specific
situation. For example, what do we mean by “sustainability”? Sustainability of what?:
a farmer’s livelihood, crop yields, labor employment and costs, soil and water
resources, environmental quality, economic profitability, and/or specific cultural
resources. Sometimes sustainability of one factor may conflict with sustaining another
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/2042-5945.htm
WorldJour nal of Science, Technology
and Sustainable Development
Vol. 9 No. 3, 2012
pp. 164-174
rEmeraldGroup Publishing Limited
2042-5945
DOI 10.1108/20425941211250525
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.
164
WJSTSD
9,3

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