Produce Growers Should Consider a Budget for Each Crop

December 2, 2019

Emily Coll
Local Foods Program Assistant
515-296-0586
ecoll@iastate.edu
 

Produce growers may not grow the same quantity of product as farmers who plant conventional crops, but tracking the numbers is just as important, if not more so.

TomatoesAn article published in the November issue of Ag Decision Maker and its corresponding publication called “Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Production Budgets,” outline the importance of good record keeping, and offer links to enterprise budget worksheets, and fruit and vegetable budget decision tools.

Enterprise budgets are available for more than a dozen fruits and vegetables commonly grown in Iowa, and producers can update them with their own numbers and unique situation.

“Producers can use this as a decision-making tool, allowing them to focus on a specific crop, per season, as they track expenses versus sales,” said Emily Coll, program coordinator with Farm, Food and Enterprise Development at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The publication comes at a time when many producers and commodity farmers are considering ways to diversify their farm operations, to achieve profitability.

According to Coll, the budgets help producers get an honest look at what their production costs are, and whether a change should be made.

“This decision-making tool,” she said, “will help producers consider not only what crops to grow, but also the most efficient production methods.”

Tracking the costs for produce can be tricky at first, Coll said, because there are so many variables, including labor and equipment. But once a budget is established, producers can generally use the same budget from year to year.

A good enterprise budget ultimately helps the producer allocate limited resources – land, labor and capital – in a way that maximizes returns.

For more information, review the article and attached links, or contact Coll at 515-294-3086, or ecoll@iastate.edu.

-Iowa State University Extension & Outreach