Production Model and Consumer Preferences for Texas Pecans



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High prices in any industry, agricultural especially, tend to spur new investment opportunities. Recent prices for pecans have been high relative to their historical pattern, suggesting investment opportunities for pecans. Prior to any investment, the investor needs to know what products consumers are demanding and how profitable it is to grow those products. This study assessed Texas consumers' preferences for pecan products and the profitability of growing pecans in the central Texas region.

A choice experiment was conducted amongst Texas consumers to reveal consumers' preferences and determine their willingness-to-pay for the attributes comprising pecan products. A stochastic production model was formulated to determine the profitability of three different types of pecan orchards: a native orchard with no irrigation, an improved varieties orchard with irrigation, and an improved varieties orchard without irrigation.

Results from the choice experiment indicated that consumers preferred large size pecans, native variety pecans, pecan halves, United States-grown pecans, and Texas-grown pecans. The choice experiment also found that consumers were heterogeneous in their preferences for all attributes except pecan variety and U.S. origin. Results from the stochastic production model indicated that the most profitable pecan orchard in central Texas was the irrigated improved orchard.