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BUILDING MARKET FOUNDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING A USDA-SCRI Proposal Re-Submission Paul Mitchell, Project Director Office:

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Presentation on theme: "BUILDING MARKET FOUNDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING A USDA-SCRI Proposal Re-Submission Paul Mitchell, Project Director Office:"— Presentation transcript:

1 BUILDING MARKET FOUNDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING A USDA-SCRI Proposal Re-Submission Paul Mitchell, Project Director Office: Cell: Ag and Applied Economics University of Wisconsin-Madison

2 Overview Vision for SCRI project proposal Where you fit in What we need from you Project Goal: Build market foundations for a more sustainable processing vegetable industry Focus on sweet corn and snap beans (at first)

3 Sustainable Processing Vegetables Clarify Consumer Demand Create Assessment Tools and Metrics Validate & Improve Production Practices Integrate Project Findings Transformed Processing Vegetable Industry

4 Project Objectives 1. Clarify consumer demand for sustainable processing vegetables 2. Create and test sustainability assessment tools and metrics for commercial vegetable growers 3. Validate and improve production practices for sustainable commercial vegetable growers 4. Integrate project findings to foster transformation of the processing vegetable industry

5 Objective 1: Clarify consumer demand for sustainable processing vegetables What consumers specifically want is not clear Does the label matter or is it something else? Lots of ecolabels exist, but no clear value in the market place Sustainability is not organic Is it the reputation of the product or the company? What specific aspects of sustainability do consumers value? Energy efficiency? Carbon footprint? Greenhouse gases? Water efficiency? Water quality impacts? Chemical use? Packaging? Recycling? Where does local fit in?

6 Objective 1: Clarify consumer demand for sustainable processing vegetables Conduct experiments to identify specific attributes of sustainable processing vegetables of value to consumers Changyen Yue, U of MN, Applied Economics and Horticulture Conduct a national mail survey to quantify consumer demand for certified sustainable processing vegetables Changyen Yue, U of MN, Applied Economics and Horticulture

7 Objective 2: Create and test sustainability assessment tools and metrics How do you measure sustainability? Focus on practice-based assessment: What practices are growers using? Some already exist, not here to discuss/criticize, except to say: Generally little or no input from growers and processors Assessment tool drafts already started for WI Assessment tools tell us grower practices, but still the question remains: How do you measure sustainability? Assessment gives adoption of hundreds of practices “Do you use practices to limit compaction on the farm?” etc… Data Envelope Analysis with principal components

8 Data Envelope Analysis with Principal Components Principal Components (PC) Many questions are closely related and highly correlated Use the principal components to reduce the number of variables Collapse the 50 pest management questions down to a few PC’s The data itself gives the weight for each question Data Envelope Analysis (DEA) Defines the “frontier” of the PC’s – the “best of the best” Distance from the frontier measures how much less sustainable a set of practices is relative to the “best of the best” Use this distance from the frontier as a measure of sustainability Gives a numerical measure of sustainability that ranks each farmer relative to peers

9 DEAPC and Sustainability PC 1 PC 2 Farmer adoption of practices gives two PC’s: PC1 and PC2 Plot these points: Each farmer is a point DEA frontier: outer envelope of points Radial distance from origin to point measures how sustainable a farmer’s practices are relative to best of the best Distance from frontier is room to improve Sustainability Metric Room to Improve

10 Sustainability Comparisons Can calculate the average, median, min and max of the sustainability metrics for grower population at different times Estimate distribution of sustainability metrics for grower population at different times Measure improvement over time by the shift in sustainability metrics and/or shifts in the sustainability frontier PC 2 PC

11 Objective 2: Create and test sustainability assessment tools and metrics Organize regional working groups of growers, processors, and academics to develop regionally- appropriate sustainability assessment tools AJ Bussan, UW Madison Horticulture Fran Pierce, Washington St. U and AgInfomatics, Crop/Soil Sci Julie Kikkert, Cornell University Extension Refine data envelopment analysis with principle components as sustainability metric for individual growers and the grower population Paul Mitchell, UW Madison Ag and Applied Economics Fengxia Dong, UW Madison Ag and Applied Economics

12 Vegetable Acres Harvested for Sale, 2007

13 Objective 3: Validate and improve production practices for sustainability Why would a grower adopt these practices unless they improved his life (made him more money)? Need to validate these sustainable practices Show that farmers can move towards the frontier and make the same profit, or Determine how much profit is lost if you move to the frontier, then be sure market compensates Field Trials to compare new systems to existing systems: how do they perform in terms of costs, yield, risk, quality and recovery? Sustainability means working to do better Need research to develop new production practices to push the frontier further outward Small Plot Research to improve production

14 Objective 3: Validate and improve production practices for sustainability Conduct field-scale system-validation trials of selected practices with collaborating growers and processors in each region AJ Bussan, UW Madison Horticulture Fran Pierce, Washington St. U and AgInfomatics, Crop/Soil Sci Julie Kikkert, Cornell University Extension Looking for Processors and Farms that doing on farm trials to evaluate new production systems to collaborate Track costs (inputs, additional harvest) Track yield, quality and recovery, and variability Demonstrate that growers can move closer to the frontier and that we can push the frontier further outward

15 Objective 3: Validate and improve production practices for sustainability Coordinate small plot studies with growers and processors to identify practices appropriate to each region  Pesticide delivery: Amanda Gevens and Russ Groves  Nutrient use efficiency: Matt Ruark  Water use efficiency: ??? Looking for Processors and Farms that are doing small plot research to improve production to collaborate on this project

16 Objective 4: Integrate project findings to foster transformation of industry Need to put the pieces together Specifics of consumer demand, sustainability assessment & metrics, and optimized production practices Need an integrated research and outreach strategy to address barriers to sustainably grown processing vegetables in each region Not all regions are equal: lots of variation in institutional capacity at universities, USDA, extension, processors, farmers

17 Objective 4: Integrate project findings to foster transformation of industry Assess institutional capacities to deliver technical assistance and education to growers and processors Pete Nowak, UW Madison Nelson Institute and AgInfomatics Create strategic recommendations and outreach activities by region to address barriers to sustainable processing vegetables Pete Nowak, UW Madison Nelson Institute and AgInfomatics “Market Foundations for Sustainable Vegetables” conference to link growers, processors, wholesalers and retailers Jed Colquhuon, UW Madison Horticulture and WISA Assess impact of sustainable processing vegetable production on the rural economy and employment Paul Mitchell, UW Madison Ag and Applied Economics

18 What we need from you! SCRI Match Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) has a matching requirement: for each dollar of federal money received, must have a dollar of non-federal match Gets academics and industry working tougher doing research Match generated by taking credit for the work you are already doing Some of you did this last time around Serve on project advisory board Time spent at a couple meetings a year, plus travel costs Time outside meetings preparing and following-up afterward

19 SCRI Match On-Farm Trials: Processors and Farms doing on farm trials to evaluate new production systems for sweet corn, snap beans, or other processing vegetables Time and additional input costs to differentially managing fields Time to track costs, yield, quality and recovery Time to organize and analyze the data Small-Plot Research: Processors and Farms running research plots to improve production systems for sweet corn, snap beans, or other processing vegetables Time and costs of running research trials UW wants very specific letters, spelling out all the details Templates and spreadsheets to help

20 Summary If you are interested, what we need from you is Letter of Matching Support, or Letter of Support (if no match) Questions/Comments? Paul Mitchell Office: Cell:


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