An economic model was developed to estimate the feasibility of producing red oak (Quercus rubra) whips in an established container nursery. Cost per plant was compared for a simulated container nursery of 6.88 and 13.76 ha (17 and 34 acres) at different levels of production. Variable cost per plant ranged from $3.48 when producing 100 plants to $3.16 when producing 4,160 or more. Fixed cost per plant was $.42 to $.55 higher in the small nursery, depending upon level of production. Total cost per plant varied from $3.86 to $4.59, depending upon nursery size and level of production. Sensitivity analysis indicated that total cost per plant is less responsive to changes in wage rate than changes in interest rates on operating capital. Reducing losses during the rapidgrowth and overwintering phases of production is necessary in order to minimize total cost per plant.

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Author notes

Salaries and research support provided by State and Federal funds appropriated to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University. Manuscript number 57-91.

2Former Graduate Research Associate. Present Address: Cornell Cooperative Extension System, White Plains, NY 10606.

3Assistant Professor, Departments of Horticulture and Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.

4Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture.