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UC study examines organic strawberry costs

Study models a 30-acre coastal operation.

Pamela Kan-Rice, Assistant director, news and information outreach, UCANR

June 4, 2024

2 Min Read
About 13% of all strawberries produced on the Central Coast are organically grown. UC-bred Monterey variety strawberries shown.UCANR

A new study that can help growers and other readers estimate costs and potential returns for Central Coast organic strawberries was recently released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Cooperative Extension and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

“This study provides growers with a baseline to estimate their own costs, which can help when applying for production loans, projecting labor costs, securing market arrangements, or understanding costs associated with water and nutrient management and regulatory programs,” said Brittney Goodrich, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and study co-author.

The cost study models a management scenario for a 30-acre farm, 27 acres of which are planted to organic strawberries.  The remaining acres are for the irrigation system, roads, and buildings.  The study describes the cultural practices used in organic strawberry production and harvest, including land preparation, soil fertility and pest management, irrigation and labor needs.       

The 20-page study shows costs for each operation, material inputs and costs, and cash and non-cash overhead costs in a variety of formats for one production and harvest cycle. A ranging analysis is also included and shows potential profits or losses over a range of prices and yields.

The new study, “2024 Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Organic Strawberries,” can be downloaded from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

For a detailed explanation of the assumptions and calculations used to estimate the costs and potential returns for each crop, readers can refer to the narrative portion of each study.

Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities grown in California are also available at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

For more information about the organic strawberry cost study, contact Mark Bolda, University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor, at [email protected] Jeremy Murdock in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at [email protected].

Source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

About the Author(s)

Pamela Kan-Rice

Assistant director, news and information outreach, UCANR, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

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