Coordination of perishable crop production using auction mechanisms

A. Nicholas Mason, J. Rene Villalobos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We present a tactical level planning tool to address the issue of coordinating production of perishable specialty crops under decentralized control and incomplete information. The objective of this research is to address an emerging problem seen in the business model of agricultural cooperatives. These vertically expanded farmer associations market their products jointly. However, within the cooperatives farmers remain competitors seeking their own best interest, simultaneously seeking contracts for the most profitable crops in the most desirable part of the season; this behavior can work to the detriment of the group. The model developed considers the problem of asymmetric information and internal competition within the cooperative, as well as traditional factors relevant to agricultural planning. Thereafter, an auction based coordination mechanism is formulated, which leads production decisions toward a coordinated outcome despite each individual acting independently and on his/her best interest. The mechanism is shown to approximate optimal production targets through focused information discovery and a well-structured contract allocation methodology. The results presented show the viability of implementing such planning scheme in practice as well as the optimality gap under a variety of settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural Systems
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Mechanism design
  • Perishable products
  • Production planning
  • Supply chain coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Coordination of perishable crop production using auction mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this