Organic broccoli costs examined

New cost of production studies for organic broccoli and lettuce grown at the central coast are now available from the University of California Cooperative Extension. The studies focus on production costs in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, California's primary broccoli and lettuce growing areas.

The analyses are based upon hypothetical vegetable farms using practices common in the region. Farm advisors, researchers, growers, farm accountants, pest control advisers, consultants and other agricultural associates provided input and reviews. Assumptions used to identify current costs for the individual crops, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. Ranging analyses tables show profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and overhead costs.

The studies were prepared by Laura Tourte, UCCE farm advisor, Santa Cruz County; Richard F. Smith, UCCE farm advisor, Monterey County; Karen Klonsky, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; and Richard De Moura, research associate, UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

The two studies — Sample Costs to Produce Organic Broccoli and Sample Costs to Produce Organic Leaf Lettuce — are available online at, at county UCCE offices, by mail from the University of California, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616; or may be requested by calling (530) 752-4424.

Cost of production studies are also available for many other commodities and locations, dating from 1931 to present. Internet downloads are free. There is a $3 handling fee for each mailed report.

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