Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Economics

Committee Member

Nathan Smith, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Michael Vassalos

Committee Member

Marzieh Motallebi

Abstract

South Carolina (SC) is the second largest peach producing state in the United States, behind only California and ahead of Georgia. SC, however, is the largest fresh market peach producing state. In terms of production value, the peach industry consistently ranks in the top ten of agricultural products in SC. With a value of $71,546,000 in 2018, peaches are a major contributor to the SC agricultural economy.

This thesis is divided into two chapters focused on two economic questions related to the peach industry in South Carolina. The first chapter quantifies the contribution of the peach industry to SC's economy by performing an economic contribution analysis. Using data published by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, an input-output model was chosen to conduct a regional economic analysis using the software program IMPLAN. Results from the model indicate that the SC peach industry has an economic contribution between $103,920,715 and $111,761,651.

The second chapter examines an investment decision for a 40-acre peach orchard in SC. The investment analysis used a Net Present Value (NPV) method paired with a Monte Carlo simulation to determine profitability. Peach enterprise budgets were constructed through interviews with peach producers and input from Clemson Cooperative Extension Service specialists and agents. Results from the analysis show positive NPVs when discount rates are below 6 percent for a 12-year time horizon and below 9 percent for a 15-year time horizon based on the assumptions made.

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