NOFA Cost of Production Project
Offering Northeast Organic Vegetable Farmers a Better Understanding of their Profitability
Over the past two years, NOFA/MASS, NOFA-NH, and NOFA-VT worked with 30 organic vegetable farmers to determine the cost of production of vegetable crops commonly grown in the Northeast. The project, funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, developed tools, provided technical assistance, and aggregated data into factsheets to support farmers’ production planning and assist them in increasing the profitability of their farm businesses. Each farmer in the project selected one to three crops to track and analyze using a workbook created by Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook.
The results from participating farms were aggregated on a per acre basis into five crop-specific fact sheets that present key metrics such as net income, average price/case, cultivation hours/acre, wash and pack hours/acre, and many other data points related to the production of winter squash, potatoes, onions, head lettuce, and carrots. Supplemental factsheets present crop profitability comparisons, whole farm financial ratios, and tips for success when undertaking cost of production analysis.
This data provides a reminder of the reality that farmers cannot continue growing food if their farm is not profitable, and that a profitable crop is one that covers all business expenses with some money left over to pay the farmer.
The cost of production workbook and the factsheets generated by this project can help farmers make informed decisions on crop mix, markets, and production systems that maximize their profitability.
Please click on the links below to view the eight fact sheets developed by the project. To download printable 8.5x11 files, click here.
The cost of production workbook developed as part of this project is available for free upon request. Please contact Renee Ciulla to request a copy of the workbook.